In conversation with author, mentor and advocate for financial literacy, Sharon Lechter
Saying that Sharon Lechter is a guiding star for every woman in business on their journey to success would be an understatement. She has sailed the seven seas of the financial world from a career in accounting to advising the White House. She is the co-author of several titles in the critically acclaimed Rich Dad series and collaborated with The Napoleon Hill Foundation to bring the teachings of Napoleon Hill to a booming financial world. Now on her journey as a mentor and releasing her new book, ‘HowMoneyWorks for Women – Take Control Or Lose It’, Sharon Lechter joins us for a chat about success, growth, and the importance of financial literacy.
Looking at Sharon’s extraordinary career in finance illustrates the journey of a trailblazing woman exploring different avenues of the financial world and paving the way for the women who come after her.
“Going around the world speaking on the topics of financial education is my mission, is my purpose. It is not my job. It’s what I do.”
She describes the early years of her childhood growing up in a middle-class household and how the experiences of her parents and environment shaped her understanding of finance and money.
“We would talk about assets at the dinner table. We would talk about appreciation and cash flow, and so I grew up in a world understanding money and the power of buying, building and creating assets.”
Lechter credits this early environment of openly discussing money and assets as the influence behind her passion for educating the world about financial literacy. It also led to her collaboration with Robert Kiyosaki to create the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, which revolutionised the world’s understanding of finances and the power of money.
“I realised that I had been given this gift of understanding money that wasn’t taught in schools and most people did not grasp. We grow up in a world where we hear things like ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, ‘pinch your pennies’, and ‘save for a rainy day’. So, we grow up with these comments; money negative! money negative! money negative!
“No wonder we develop this mindset of scarcity. I on the other hand was brought up in a home where we talked about abundance and how to build wealth.”
With an incredible career in educating the world about financial literacy, leading to an exciting new endeavour in mentorship, Lechter explains that the driving force in her career is simple.
“My true passion and calling is financial literacy and mentorship. One of the most fulfilling things I do right now is mentoring; it has been said my legacy is creating other people’s legacies. I step into my clients’ worlds, support them where they are, and help get them to where they deserve to be.”
It was during her collaboration with The Napoleon Hill Foundation to release the works of Napoleon Hill that Lechter was faced with how education about financial literacy often excludes the experiences of women.
“A woman who is married and has a special needs child. How do you deal with the needs of a special needs child? Somebody who has left an abusive situation and is trying to rebuild herself with two children. So these issues are typical, not totally, but typically issues that women face.”
When working with The Napoleon Hill Foundation, Lechter began to focus her advocacy specifically on the needs of women.
“Most of my career I resisted doing anything specifically for women because my position was that the steps to success are the same. And I realised as I get a little older and wiser that while the steps for success are the same, we tend to approach them very differently. The original book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ was written at a time when women were not in business. It was very male-centric. So, I had the pleasure of going through the same chapter outline as the original book but looking at each step through the eyes of success for women.”
Lechter looks back fondly on her experience writing and publishing ‘Think and Grow Rich for Women’, which focuses on aspects and issues in the financial world that are unique to women and their journeys in business. In the book, she offers invaluable insights and strategies to empower women in their pursuit of financial success and independence.
“It was such a fun project because when you read it, you may read one story and say, ‘I couldn’t do that’ and the next one you say, ‘I could do that!’ It gives the opportunity for women to see the steps of success through the lenses of other successful women.”
With ‘Think and Grow Rich for Women’ opening the door to a greater understanding of the financial issues women face, and using the experiences of over 300 women to demonstrate to women of all backgrounds how to tackle them, Lechter’s new book ‘HowMoneyWorks for Women’ dives deeper and explores the uniqueness of the financial journey of women from beginning to end.
“We’ve taken women from every decade of life and given examples of things that they’ve faced related to money. From college to retirement, to special needs children, to getting divorced, to having a spouse die. All of those things are issues that women face.”
‘HowMoneyWorks for Women’ is a thrilling amalgamation of Lechter’s passion for mentorship and her years-long advocacy for education on financial literacy, using the knowledge she has amassed over her career to teaching women how to seize their own destiny and find success. During her career working as a mentor and in her advisory role at the White House, Lechter has found that a negative mindset often stands as one of the biggest obstacles to achieving success.
Her primary challenge as a mentor “is always to reach the people who need it”, which served as the driving force behind another one of her books.
“Fear does one of two things to us: it paralyses us or it motivates us. So my hope with my book ‘Outwitting the Devil’, published in 2011 in collaboration with The Napoleon Hill Foundation, was to open people's eyes. It helps you identify your fear and then turn that fear into focus and that focus into fuel to help you create the life you deserve.”
Sharon Lechter’s incredible dedication to mentorship and education about financial literacy, especially for women, emphasises the importance of a strong community that fosters strength and support for aspiring women in business.
“It is so important to control your environment. Are you in an environment with people who encourage you, support you and drive you forward? Or are you in an environment with people who just drift through time?”
As Lechter continues her legacy of advising and guiding others to success, her advice is. “Be the CEO of Your Own Life! And focus on taking action every day.”
For more information, visit www.sharonlechter.com