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Can Women Have It All?

Which profession is right for your financial freedom?

Part 1

Can women have it all?

Can we have the career we desire with financial freedom and the family we cherish while taking care of our own well-being, health and sanity?

Can we really have everything that we want?

Oprah says we can have it all, just not all at the same time. Hanna Rosin, the author of “The End of Men, The Rise of Women”, gave an emphatic, “No!” when I asked her this question on The Rich Dad Radio Show recently. My friends in the corporate world tend to lean towards the “not possible”, “no way” side of the scale, while my friends who own their own businesses seem to be a bit more optimistic on the subject.

The One Key Factor to Have it All

This led me to delve into this question a bit deeper. What I did find was ONE factor that did seem to tip the scale to whether you would answer, “Yes” or “No” to the notion that you as a woman can have it all.

Corporate women tend to favor the “No” side, especially corporate women with children. Children are a definite factor in this equation. Full-time employees, as well, take a more pessimistic approach. On the other side of the coin, female business owners and entrepreneurs struggle less with the idea and actually seem to create ways in their day-to-day lives to make “having it all” a reality.

So what’s the difference? Why do some women believe they can have their profession, their family and themselves all in a functional, sane and yes, even happy, life, while others simply don’t imagine it’s possible in their lifetime?

In my opinion, the key component to whether you can “have it all” or not depends upon one thing –

Do you control your schedule or is your schedule dictated by someone else?

In other words, are you in charge of your time… or not?

Who determines when you show up at work?

Who dictates when you can go home to your kids?

When weekend plans with family have to be altered because of business, is that your call or someone else’s?

All Professions Are Not Created Equal

Different professions have different demands on women. Here are the top categories. Where do you fit in?

The Corporate Woman With Children

I think mothers who want to advance in the corporate or business world struggle the most with the concept of “having it all.” It’s a tough gig. You are expected to put in long hours, attend corporate dinners, show up for early-morning conference calls, and more. If your boss needs you at 2:00 pm on a Saturday, it’s hard to say “No” knowing that your upwardly-mobile career depends upon it.

Yet, you don’t want to be a stranger to your children or be replaced by a nanny that they end up loving more than you. You want to spend time with your children, put them to bed at night and be there for all of those precious, once-in-a-lifetime-moments that come with being a mother. You want to be the successful businesswoman, the great mom and wife.

If this is you, please tell us how you keep on top of it.

The Full-time Employee With Children

This is the woman who works five or six days a week and is not striving for the corner office, becoming a partner in her firm or seeking an executive title. She’s doing work she enjoys (hopefully) and is content to bring home the paycheck and have a life outside of her job.

She is not in control of her schedule while she is at her job. Her kids may go to school, daycare, or if she has the funds, be at home with a nanny. The conflict appears at those times when she wants to be with her kids but cannot because of her job. This is where the guilt kicks in. She is often the first one to leave the office at 5:00 pm to get home to her kids.

Is this you? Do you have it all? Please tell us more.

The Corporate Woman or Full-time Employee with No Children

Not having control over your day-to-day schedule will always cause angst. Even if you don’t have children and work full-time, you still have obligations with friends and family and personal wants that often have to be put aside in the name of the job.

Not having kids myself, I have to believe there is less conflict and guilt that go along with family and other, life obligations versus those of longing to spend more time with your kids.

Your comments?

The Career of Mom

If you know that you are meant to be a full-time mom and that is your profession, then the battle between work and family seems to almost disappear. The struggle to have it all may appear if you truly yearn to build a career along with being a mom and have put it on the back burner. Or, the struggle can show up later when your kids are grown and you now need to find a new purpose or profession in life. Up until that point, your kids were your purpose.

Are you a professional mom? Talk to us.

The Woman Entrepreneur With Children

I believe you have more FLEXIBILITY over your time than the woman employee, which is the key component. Although having your own business is no walk in the park; you will often put in more hours per week than the woman working for someone else. Yet, an entrepreneur makes her own rules and creates her own schedule – a huge plus when wanting to have it all.

An added bonus is that you can involve your kids in your business and give them an education they’ll never get in school. I know of several female business owners doing just that. One couple is teaching their two young boys to be entrepreneurs. The boys, ages 10 and 14, are now on their third business together in three years.

Another mother includes her daughter in her retail business whenever possible. The girl loves greeting customers, ringing up sales and being with her mom at the same time.

I like what this mother of one and a senior executive at a large beauty company said:

“I was thinking that while traditional careers (government, finance, corporate jobs) are pretty inflexible, I’m always inspired by the mom-trepreneurs who basically blaze their own trails to make it work. Rather than waiting for the world to be accepting of what you want out of work/life balance, it’s awesome to see women take control into their own hands, found their own businesses, pursue their passions, and all while being great moms. It takes a lot of guts, creativity and often the luxury of not being the primary earner, to be able to create those businesses. But, in the end, those businesses can employ lots of other moms trying to balance.”

The Entrepreneur Without Children

That would be me. Robert and I have no children by choice. That would be my friend Mona with a thriving PR and publishing company. That would be my friend Kathy with a lucrative marketing business.

If you don’t have kids in the equation, does this relieve some of the “having it all” pressure? No doubt about it (although, Robert can be a pretty big kid at times). Yet, I trust a woman would never use the excuse that having kids is the reason why she isn’t successfully living the life she wants.

Are you a business owner with kids? An entrepreneur without kids? Share you stories and opinions with us.

Which profession is right for you?

There are many choices when it comes to working, financial freedom and having it all. Tell us what you think below. And next week, I’ll share Part Two of this blog and what other women say about this subject.

In the meantime, check out our free, financial education community here.

Leave A Comment jump to leave a comment
Anthony
1/11/2013 8:37:39 AM
I believe that it all boils down to the values that we hold dear to our heart Kim. Being a husband with two beautiful boys is challenging enough for any woman and I believe all women have to potential to have it all, but it all comes down to priorities. Do you cherish a family life more than a professional one? Every woman is different based on the values that they hold dear to their heart.
Will
1/11/2013 1:26:48 PM
Flexibility means you get to say "Because I'm the Boss that's why."
Karan
1/12/2013 10:41:50 AM
Dear Kim, you have covered the financial aspect pretty well. But there is 1 important aspect to be considered : the way women handle STRESS. Men & Women are designed by nature differently & they handle stress differently. The ways & techniques men use to think & handle things don't necessarily apply to women. Since for the first time, women have started going to the workplace to earn a living, the dynamics have changed, thus, bringing with it a whole new set of troubles. For more details, do read "Men are from mars, Women are from venus" Book SERIES by John Gray, PhD. (Specially his book - What your mother couldn't tell you & your father didn't know). You may become successful FINANCIALLY, but not knowing this stuff will SERIOUSLY damage your health & peace.
IYIZIRE
1/12/2013 11:08:57 AM
Have children, please! The 1st Human mission on earth apart from making it better your feel happier. Think of your old ages; you and Robert! in life, Never say " If I knew...". I'm sorry to look at your private life...
Stevencockerill
1/12/2013 8:54:24 PM
Dear Kim, My name is Lisa and I am married with no children. I don't know how women in corporate jobs who have children cope. I am setting up my own business while I don't have children so if I decide to have them I have the freedom to attend a sports day without having to ask permission or take annual leave/no pay. I know that if I had children I don't want to be a full time stay at home mum as I love the business world but I don't see much point in having a family if you never spend any time with them. No easy solution.
Suzette
1/14/2013 7:43:31 AM
Dear Kim, I know all too well the frustration, tension and guilt when wanting to have it all. Being an entrepreneur and the mother of 2 grown boys, it has never been easy. As princess Diana told her children: "There are work days and there are play days". It inspired me to concentrate on the quality of whatever I do. If it is work-time, my study door is closed. When it is family time and my work is up-to-date, new incoming work can wait for another hour or 2. I am proud to say that it rubbed off on my children and both are sucessfull business men. In fact, my oldest son and my daugter-in-law works for me part-time to ease my workload. OK, I could not expand my business when the children were small, but my turn came when they left the nest and it feels like I am living a second life. What I want to say is this: it is never too late to have what you want. Just give it time.
alyssa
1/14/2013 7:48:49 PM
I want to be the entrepreneur woman with children. I'm only 26 right now and I realize that now is not the time for me to pop put little ones. not because of my age, but because I am not married and not successful in achieving my goals and dreams of entrepreneurship. When I meet the man of my dreams, I want to have something to bring to the table. When we decide to have children, I want to be able to give them my time and care for them. Time is too precious and too valuable to spend slaving at a penny job or even a high paying job 40-60 hours a week. That takes away from life and I dont want that.
Sqwrlyone
1/15/2013 9:37:29 AM
Kim, i had to smile as I read this. Ive been in all the potions you've mentioned and have felt the stress of each one. Yesterday however, I had the joy of spending the day with my teenage son, hiking to a lake we had never before seen, enjoying every minute without pressure or time schedule...because It is ME who makes my schedule. I am an independent massage therapist at a very busy PT clinic/gym. I set my hours and because of education both in my skill set and financially with you guys I've been able to formulate a life that works well for me and my family. Yesterday was PRICELESS! Thank you for sticking with the teaching. I know Robert could have given up a long time ago. Because he didn't, he has not only inspired me, but my children as well. My daughter has her own business and is creating her schedule, as well as my son. We spent much of our time on the trail discussing creative ideas for future business as we enjoyed nature...his favorite class room.
brazilanne@eircom.net
1/16/2013 5:42:31 AM
I genuinely believe that 'work' gets in the way of doing the things that matter most. Coming home after a day at work and having to face making dinner for the family etc leaves you very tired to invest in reading etc on how to financially secure your future. Children also drain your finances and this also slows you down. For me the balance between caring for my family and planning for financial security was to work part-time. I have found the richdad advisors Tom Wheelright, and Gareth Sutton and Mike Maloney wonderful sources of help in building wealth. I have paid less tax and am building a future where I hopefully will be free of working for someone else and where I no longer have the awful guilt of leaving my children to go to work. It takes time (years)- and it can be lonely. I see the government incresing hidden taxes, reducing benefits and squeezing the working middle class. I am grateful that I can see what and why they are doing it and I am grateful that I can avoid some of these taxes. You at richdad do wonderful work for those who listen and learn from you.
Antonio
1/16/2013 6:03:39 AM
This topic really raises my interested to comment. “The End of men, The Rise of women”? When I am teenager in 80an, my female teacher told me that the 90an will be the rise of women. In the 90an, my female friend told me again the 21st centuries will be rule by women. From years 2000 to 2010, my female colleague still said the future will be rule by women. Now, they still the telling me that women are going to rule the world soon. But again, they push forward the problem to near future. Why? In this book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, the author claimed that male and female subject are completely different not just in biological but in everything. Women want security, men love adventure (Well! not all of us and not all the female subject look for security). Many women today do try a dangerous act too. Nevertheless, some psychologist said that the only reason female subject look to the future for solution is not because women fill been discriminated by man or they demanding more respect but because of female subject are more likely to have a inner-insecurity (inner-Insecurity does not mean you coward) which is more than male subject. Insecurity cause women less cable on run risky activity like investing in high risk businesses but today with education and training women can too perform some risky deal. From what I can understand this book could be written by an insecure female author who needs to believe that she can have it all. Can Women Have It All? I remember I had watched a funny movie before. In this movie, a female actor ask the male actor: “You said you love me, now I asking you in between yours’ family and yours’ business which one do you choose if you can only choose one of them”. The male actor said: “I want both”. Female actor: “No, I said you can only choose one”. Male: “Well honey, if I can only choose one how am I going feed you and the kid. Bread and love is both important to me”. In this story we can see one thing…this is not just a women “problem” but men have the same “problem”. Here are we, ask: “Can we have it all?” If you are a job seeker, you work for 8 hours that mean you still a lot time with your kid and wife, just don’t spend too much time in the bar. However, if you are entrepreneur or CEO, you just have to learn the way to handover some of your jobs to yours subordinate. Is that really hard? Well, I have seen many bosses feel insecure when they have to let their subordinate hander the job. If your companies are going fail when you are on vacation, it will fail anyway. Entrepreneurship is all about how you do it and have it all. If you can’t, you fail. It doesn’t matter your female or male or gay...:)
CreativeFlows
1/16/2013 7:02:43 AM
I'm a stay at home mom becoming a multimedia start-up mom-trepreneur. It's been tough trying to clear my mindset from the thought of ever having to go back to an employee situation again. I kind of flipped my finger to that over a decade ago, but it's been tough being a self-employed administrative worker (on and off mostly). I know that I can live a more purpose-driven life once I get myself in full gear. I've got everything lined up the way it can be to make it happen, but my lack of the correct financial knowledge and systematic operations is a real drag on production. I can't even think about the product at this point because I'm so scattered trying to lock-down the foundation of structure, planning, accounting, etcetera. I'm going into areas I've got major issues to confront. After all, I didn't go into law, accounting or business school because I found those things boring. But here I am, a content creator who absolutely needs to master these things as an entrepreneur. There is major confront that needs to happen in order to let the knowledge happen! I am deeply considering the group coaching program offer I was given last month.
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