Here’s Why Being Self-Made Through Financial Empowerment is the New Ticking Clock

It has been decades since young women were taught that finding a mate and starting a family were supposed to be the top priorities in their life, even above financial empowerment. These days, it’s more realistic that girls are raised to pursue education, land great jobs and ultimately develop impressive careers. As a society, we tend to perpetuate this idea that hard work leads to great work opportunities, and that steadily climbing the corporate ranks is a guaranteed way to achieve stability and success.

As such, young ambitious women who seek financial empowerment and are keen on “making it,” swing from internship to job to promotion to the-next-great-position and so on, hoping at each stop that the scale will eventually tip in favor of their goals. They marry later in life, or not at all, they rely on birth control to stay on their professional course, convinced that their career trajectory matters more than anything in the world. They see themselves as modern, experienced, liberated and fierce.

But what if we still have it wrong? What if, when it comes to women and growth, our very notion of the word goals remains fundamentally skewed?

Self Reliance Through Financial Empowerment 

We’re here to say that becoming self-made is the new ticking clock. What we mean by that is: there is no true empowerment until you have your own money. Let that sink in for a moment. Your own money doesn’t mean your own bi-monthly paycheck, or your own super-status as a top exec with a corner office, or your own extensive resume with a long list of fancy bullet points.

What we’re referring to when we say self-made is an unapologetic sense of financial empowerment and self-reliance. A real sense of YOU on YOUR own terms. A YOU that works because she wants to and not because she has to. The proverbial ticking clock used to be about having families. Today, it’s about having the means to give your families great lives.

Money Matters

Look, everyone knows that money doesn’t buy happiness. But let’s just get real for a minute: without money, your own money, you cannot truly be free. Why? Because when you’re constantly worried about money, you can’t help but exist in survival mode, always just one problem away from financial catastrophe. You live from paycheck to paycheck, stuck in that whole hamster-in-the-wheel model, where the only thing you’re really able to generate is your own ongoing loop of anxiety.

Make it a Mindset

So what does it really mean to be self-made? It doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and invent the next Google or become the next Beyoncé. But it does mean you should, at the very least, identify your dream and start developing the desire and discipline to work toward it. It also means you start getting your head around the word sacrifice, so that you can move away from an instant gratification mindset, and closer to one that is goal-oriented.

And that’s the keyword, right there: mindset. Becoming self-made truly begins with how you think of yourself, how you see yourself, and how you carry yourself in the world. A self-made mindset, for example, uses words like “self-employed” as opposed to the ubiquitous “freelancer,” the latter of which is diminishing and evokes a sense of desperation, of having to wing it from gig to gig. On the other hand, when you say you are self employed, you’re making a declaration to the world (but more importantly to yourself!) that YOU create your own paradigm for success, one that does not hinge on anything other than your talents, passions and skills.

Own Your Destiny

Becoming self-made upgrades the idea of “making it” to “owning it,” poising you to achieve a sense of accomplishment that is designed, implemented and executed by your own desires and efforts. It’s a mindset and an attitude that pushes you to think bigger than landing that great job, or securing the promotion, because you can have all these things and still not feel self-made on the inside. When you embrace the self-made mindset, you stop feeling victimized or disappointed, because you are taking power into your own hands, with the key understanding that no one else is going to do it for you.

No Barriers to Entry

Here’s the best part: becoming self-made does not have to be a grandiose feat. Thanks to the digital era in which we live, the road is paved for all women, with practically no barriers to entry. All you need is a sense of willingness and an Internet connection. There are all varieties of ways for women to flex their entrepreneurial muscles, many of which can happen right from your own living room. We are in the era of fully empowered women in the do-it-yourself economy. The tools of instant entrepreneurship and self-reliance are all around us, and most of them are affordable and easy to use. Technology, social media, and the sharing economy make it easier than ever to start a business–so more than ever before women are perfectly situated to call our own shots.

The economic crash of 2008 catalyzed a new reality for so many women who, by necessity, were pushed to become heads of their households when dads and husbands everywhere, across all fields, started to lose their jobs. Multicultural women had no choice to but to step it up, and led the charge as the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs, becoming a monumental force in our country’s economy.

SELF MADE Is For All Of Us

Becoming self-made is a mindset, but it’s really a movement–one that speaks to the women who are ready to design her own destinies, the ones who know that jobs come and go. It’s for women who have served their country in government jobs, or the military and are ready to plan out the rest of their lives. It’s for women who feel their own sense of untapped greatness and just need a little push; or college grads saddled with debt, who are floored by the reality that their costly education barely got them an entry-level job. It’s for those of us who haven’t been able to follow that traditional, linear career path for whatever reason; or for women who may not relate to the obstacles and demands of climbing the corporate ladder, because they are too busy trying to make ends meet. And for the women who are climbing that ladder, it’s a call to arms for cultivating an entrepreneurial attitude to help you advance in your career and will also serve you well on the day that your industry is disrupted and you wake up without a job.

The bottom line is this: when it comes to financial empowerment, it’s not about whether you’re going to become self-made; it’s about when you’re going to become self-made. The road isn’t linear or one-size-fits-all, and it’s going to be different for everyone. You certainly can’t do everything at once–but you most definitely can start right now.