I read all about you in yesterday’s Guardian. I’ve been thinking about the article a lot and have decided to devote this blog post to you. I am going to pretend, just for now, that you and I are friends and you have come to me for advice.
Claire, I am no wise sage. I do not have all the answers. I am not a big fat know-it-all either. I am writing this to you, because I think it will help me and hopefully others. Also, we have so much in common and I guess you are not happy with your £14,500 a year ‘knife-edge lifestyle’ as you told the Guardian reporter that it was making you ill.
So, for what it’s worth, here are my badass tips.
- You are what you think you are. You said in the article ‘I don’t expect any improvement in my situation.’ If that’s what you think, then you won’t. A little positive mental attitude goes a long way. Before I read You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, my earnings as a freelance writer had crashed through the floor and I truly believed that was it. Finito. I would never earn well again. Like you, I was also planning to sit it out until retirement. Thanks to Jen’s advice, I have since doubled my income.
- Get a money mantra. I am sorry to hear that you can’t afford a washing machine or that your fridge is rarely full. That’s kind of okay when you’re an 18-year-old student, but not when you are 46 and have worked hard all your life. Jen’s mantra is ‘Money flows freely and easily to me.’ Mine is ‘I am a cash magnet.’ You’ve just got to keep saying it until you believe it (I find this hard).
- Get a side hustle Claire, you say that your work designing learning aids is not valued. That saddens me. I have two children on the autistic spectrum, so I for one know how vital your work is. You don’t have to give up your day job to make more money – could you find a side hustle? I started selling pop-up cards online. My daughters took note and now one sells slime on Instagram, while the other flogs handmade clay charms on Etsy. The internet opens doors and that’s the first thing I’d invest in. You say in the piece that you paint and make cakes – could you make a bit of extra cash doing these things?
- Value yourself In the article you say ‘It’s a national scandal how little women are paid.’ I agree Claire, but you do not have to accept the norm. Know that you are special, valued and worth more money. Believe it, really believe it and things will change.
- Quit feeling guilty Guilt is a wasted emotion. I read that you still feel guilty about buying a pair of shoes for £69. Stop. Stop it now. You bought a pair of shoes, it is hardly the crime of the century. Don’t punish yourself. Life’s hard enough without adding self-loathing into the mix.
- Read some self-help books These are the ones that have helped me. You Are A Badass: How To Live An Awesome Life And Stop Doubting Your Greatness by Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass At Making Money, also by Jen Sincero. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Journey by Brandon Bays.
And remember Claire, you are never alone. There are badass women at every turn, many of whom would be happy to help you. I wish you the very best of luck in your journey.