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You're Reading She Wrote the Book on How to Earn Your First Million

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Chelsea Sanders
Chelsea Sanders
Work & Money

She Wrote the Book on How to Earn Your First Million

‘Hello Seven Podcast’ creator Rachel Rodgers says we all have it in us to earn 7 figures. Enter for a chance to win her wealth-building guide!

Rachel Rodgers wasn’t born into wealth. In fact, she remembers what it was like having to count and roll coins with her parents so that she could surreptitiously make a small purchase while on a visit to the mall with friends.

But along the way to making her first million — as she trained as a lawyer, found work and later opened a law practice and successful coaching businesses — she learned the mechanics of wealth. She popped the hood. She got her hands dirty. She saw that the pistons of prosperity don’t spin the crankshafts of cash without the fuel of focus, the spark of shrewdness and the oxygen that is open-mindedness.

Lucky for sisters who want to accelerate into the fast lane toward financial freedom — she’s provided us with an owner’s manual and a set of keys. Rodgers, a mother of four, believes that not only is seven-figure wealth attainable by almost anyone, but also that, in some cases, it can be achieved within three years. She’s the creator of the Hello Seven Podcast, runs a membership organization called We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club and has just published We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth and Gaining Economic Power.

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This isn’t your ordinary personal finance book. I’m finishing it now, and it’s like having a frank, funny and fabulous talk over brunch with that one girlfriend who always reaches for the check (because she’s got it like that). Check out what she shared with me in a recent email exchange and you’ll see what I mean:

Sisters: Describe what writing a check felt like before you adopted your wealth-building habits, and what it feels like to write a check now.

Rodgers: Fresh out of law school, I tried to look polished, affluent and professional, but I was drowning in student loan debt. My checking account would regularly dip below zero and I would feel so ashamed. I remember [lunches] with friends, and they’d all hand their fancy credit cards to the waiter, and then there’s me — handing over my debit card and praying it doesn’t get declined.

Writing a check felt scary, stressful. What I didn’t realize back then is that my money struggles were no accident. These struggles were the result of centuries of oppression, marginalization, misogynistic and racist systems designed to keep women (especially Black women) feeling broke and powerless.

As I got older, I went through an awakening. Today, I can write five-figure checks to charities. I can offer bonus checks to my employees! I take joy in spending money on the people I love and the causes I care about.

Sisters: You’re a millennial. However, there are members of your club who are Gen Xers and boomers. What do you want a woman who is in her 40s, 50s or 60s to know about building wealth?

Rodgers: It is never too late to take charge of your finances. Research shows that starting your own business is the fastest way to create a seven-figure net worth. As reported on CNBC.com, one survey found that 28 percent of millionaires built their wealth by [betting on their own brand and pursuing a dream, such as] starting their own business, and they accumulated an average net worth of $7.4 million over the course of 12 years.

Now, if you choose a different path — for instance, climbing the corporate ladder, living very modestly and saving whatever you can — you can certainly still become a millionaire, but it’s likely to take you closer to 22 years or longer. This is why I’m so passionate about encouraging women to start businesses.

Sisters: What advantages do Black women have over white men when it comes to building wealth?

Rodgers: We know that we’re probably not going to be invited to have a seat at the table of power and wealth. So, we build our own tables. Black women are significantly less likely to receive a business loan from a bank. We find another way to get funding. I’ve seen women sell furniture, do a yard sale, find a grant, rent out a spare bedroom — whatever it takes to get that coin! And this resourceful spirit leads to success.

Also, Black women have extraordinary emotional resilience. We are familiar with rejection, disappointment and unfairness, and we know how to cope. When business challenges arise — a customer complains, a marketing plan doesn’t work out, whatever — we have the ability to face it, figure it out and get past it.

Sisters: You’ve got four kids. How does a mompreneur, or a founder who is providing care for an adult (or both), find balance?

Rodgers: You need to hire help. Period. We need to normalize nannies. Hiring domestic help should not be a shameful thing! I [hire] a chef [to do] meal-prep for the household, a housecleaner who comes twice a month, a tutor for the kids. My husband is an amazing dad who helps a huge amount, too.

For $50 to $70 dollars a week, you can have your laundry washed, folded and delivered to your doorstep. Instead of spending 6 to 10 hours a week dealing with laundry, use that time to develop marketable skills, or start a side-hustle, or find more clients. Use those hours to bring more money in the door.

Sisters: What should a woman who isn’t the boss at work be thinking about if she wants to create financial freedom?

Rodgers: If you enjoy having a 9-to-5 job, great. Be the best you can be and aim for a leadership position. Whatever your current salary is, ask for double. Yes, I said double. There’s a chapter in my book where I explain how to do this. And if you’re thinking, There is no way they would pay me that much, my book might change your perspective.

Sisters: If you were to advise a reader of one step that she could take over the next 15 minutes to put her on a more prosperous path, what would that be?

Rodgers: Go get yourself a nice haircut. Or a good bra. Or a blazer that makes you feel like a boss. Do something that makes you feel like a million bucks. Invest in your mental health, physical health, happiness and appearance. When you’re feeling good and looking good, you’re more likely to schedule a meeting with a potential client, ask someone to hire you or ask for that raise!

This book giveaway has now terminated. We'll run another soon. Be sure to read your Sisters emails right away to be among the first to learn of new giveaways, contests, events and more.

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