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Lady Business: Introducing a Blog About Women, Money, and Business

A jar filled with coins. Cash Money Forever thanks to CoinstarNot many people know this about me, but I am in love with Coinstar. My relationship with spare change is one of the reasons I'm into business, people, so bear with me.

My affection for the big green machine is partly about the actual mechanics, since that lever with the handle and the holes is kind of fun and the feeling I get watching the computer count my old change is a little like the way I feel when I'm sitting in front of the nickel slots in Vegas.

What I love about it the process is that it makes me feel deeply responsible for taking otherwise worthless pennies (which are costly to make which is why some people like this guy want the Mint to stop making them) and making them valuable. I am a proud penny pincher. Some people say stingy, I say frugal.

Before I sound too much like a child of the Great Depression—maybe it's too late for that—I didn't become a Scrooge McDuck because I wanted to buy a set of rims for my Matrix. Money for women and feminists, to me, is the bottom line. The more secure we are as women financially, the more free we can be to do important work in the world, whatever it looks like.

I like money less for what it is than what money can do. This is how I became a part-time business nerd, obsessed with how to be more productive, efficient, and lucrative, and it's the reason I'll be guest blogging in the coming weeks on the intersection of all things related to lady business—women, money, work, and the economy.

I have resisted scratching this itch in my brain for approximately 20 years. I like the business world, but I'm a creative type. I spent a summer interning at Goldman Sachs during college with that very sentence playing on repeat in my head. 

Here's a short career bio: As a little girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer, then a professor, then a romance novelist. I grew up to be a newspaper reporter who became a librarian who has become a writer, entrepreneur, and journalism lecturer.

In my free time, I read books. I wish they were juicy books like The Hunger Games, but...no. The books I love, the ones I humblebrag about reading? Self-help books. Usually about business. That's right: Suze Orman, Jonathan Fields, Chris Guillebeau—if they've got details on how to save money, how to be an efficient creative person, and how to be more productive all at the same time, I am on their virtual team. (Chris Guillebeau just published a book this week called The $100 Start Up.)

Which brings me to another point. The business/corporate world, save for Sheryl Sandberg and Carly Fiorina, remains incredibly male and unfriendly to women and working mothers. You'd think with all the strides women have made in business during the "mancession/masculinity crisis" there'd be a few more women at the table. I know they're out there. I want to write about what their lives are like. I'm curious about about gender pay parity, what its real world implications are and what popular culture makes, generally, of the growing ranks of female breadwinners. 

My only caveat: I like math, but I don't often attempt to do it in public. There will be some of that here. I apologize in advance if it gets ugly. Other than that, I'm excited to be guest blogging for Bitch readers. During the years I've been writing for the magazine (I was one half of the duo that produced "Eat, Pray, Spend" and more recently, "Target Market") and y'all have been some of my favorite readers in the blogosphere and in real life. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Lady Business and anything else.

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Comments

13 comments have been made. Post a comment.

This is great! I've always

This is great! I've always been a creative type, but have recently discovered that I am more interested in business than I let myself be. It's just not seen as the "cool" thing to do, particularly within activist and social justice circles. I'm excited to read your articles. :)

Oh, you, too?

I hadn't thought about that, but I think you're right, Mari Ana. Maybe business & business interests are associated with The Man & that's why? I don't think women generally are encouraged to think wisely about money. So there's that.

so excited about this series!

I don't use Coinstar, but I am definitely a change-counter. I've also always meant to read a Suze Orman book but have not gotten around to it. Looking forward to more!

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

Thanks, Kjerstin

I have waay too much fun at the Coinstar machine. Seriously. The cashiers look at me with my coffee can like, "She's baaack..."

Thanks for doing this series!

Thanks for doing this series! I'm a creative type as well but I'm currently working in business at one of those dynamic startups. I often feel like the women in business thing doesn't get it's proper due. There are a lot of people writing about it, but I feel like none of them are talking about right things. It's always "to get ahead in the biz, wear sensible skirts and learn to play golf." I want actual numbers and dollar signs and things that women who run actual businesses care about. Looking forward to reading your stuff!

Thanks, Jen!

I know, I was talking to someone about Forbes Woman the other day and how much I want to like the way writers have written about women and money but usually the numbers are what's missing. Thanks for reading.

Awesome -- I'm just starting

Awesome -- I'm just starting a very tentative and fledgling business doing writing/editing, so this is timely! Excited to read more. Question: do you listen to/read Dave Ramsey? I have in the past but it feels strange. Half the time I'm like YES EXACTLY and half the time I am cringing.

Thanks for the series!

I am so on board with this. Financial awareness is a HUGE step towards control over your own life and goals. I had a life changing moment when I read On My Own Two Feet http://www.amazon.com/On-My-Own-Two-Feet/dp/1598691244 before the authors spoke at my college. Women of the world! Track your finances!

I'm so happy about this

I'm so happy about this series! I had to do a crash course in finances after my divorce and I felt so helpless and incompetent when it came to my finances, even though I was 27 years old and had been working since I was 16. He had handled all of it, much to my detriment. (Ladies, take a lesson from me - don't do that.) Looking forward to what you've got to share on this subject!

MyMoneyMindset can complement the blog

Good to see another blog focused on women and money. Much needed. If you want more resources and a cool Women and Money assessment tool, visit my website at www.mymoneymindset.com Lots of resources for women....

Looking forward to this

Just because I am a 99%-er, doesn't mean I am against business entirely. What I am against is the corporate culture doing all it can to control every aspect of our livelihoods while ripping us off in the process. I focus myself on supporting independent businesses where ever I can, which is no easy feat when I am surrounded by corporate "chain" stores and multi-national companies doing what they call "business" around where I live and even online (Just because you can find it at amazon.com DOES NOT mean you should buy it from there. Need a copy of Bitchfest? Buy it directly from this website instead!). What I would like to see is an emphasis on taking back control of how we behave as consumers and how we save and spend our terribly hard-earned $$$. Got spare change? How about donating it to projects that are meaningful to people - such as this one or any other grassroots cause that needs $$$?

I like Suze Orman, pretty much. She is a very good advocate and educator about personal fiscal responsibility and I have always loved how she convinces people with large sums of debt that they cannot afford extravagances such as sports cars, horrendously overpriced designer clothing, vacation timeshares, and yachts. However, I am critical of those "debit cards" that actually do more to help the companies that issue them (They all have fees beyond the initial debit card purchase and those monthly maintenance fees that most cards charge add up FAST!) than the people they are supposed to be helping, such as people with poor or no credit histories having access to online shopping that does not accept physical ca$h payments. Suze Orman says that her debit card will help build a credit history? This article challenges that.