The Vocabulary of Worth, Psychology and Entrepreneurship


Dr. Relly Nadler: 
This week we have Amanda Steinberg who is the founder of which sends a free daily email about money for women. We’ll get some ideas about what some of the issues and concerns are for women about money.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Amanda is obviously and innovator and a leader in her industry. She talks about spending money, psychology, entrepreneurship, planning, saving, the vocabulary of worth, investing, earning and work. We are going to learn so much from her today.

It’s part of our ongoing series to help leaders really develop leaders and learn more about themselves while they are doing it. We’ll be trying to understand the mindset of women today, how they look at themselves, their worth; it’s so important. I know we are going to talk to Amanda today about how women even ask for a raise, which is so differently from how a man asks for a raise.

Amanda has been featured in Forbes, Self, and the New York Examiner as the CEO of multiple web sized agencies over the last decade. Amanda has observed how women, more than men, struggle in areas of earning, saving and net worth. was created to give women tools to help them earn what they are worth and generate their own wealth through savings.

Amanda has degrees in urban planning and architecture from Columbia University. As you know, it’s so important for all of us to recognize that today, more than ever before, we have more women in the workforce than in generations before us. We have double the number of working moms since the 1970s. This is a big issue. Amanda, welcome to the show.

Amanda Steinberg: Thank you so much, so happy to be here.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Amanda, one of the things that we always like to ask folks who are guests on the show, is who have been the most influential leader in your career and your life and why?

Amanda Steinberg: There really have been so many. But I guess I’ll start with Anita Roddick. Anita Roddick was the founder of The Body Shop. She is a pioneer of socially responsible business and she really proved with The Body Shop that a business can be about social good and be profitable. I read her book, Business As Unusual, and it really changed my thinking about business and social responsibility. Ever since then I have been thinking about how my businesses can be both contributors to social good and, of course, very profitable.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: When you talk about these influencers in your life, it’s sometimes one of the character traits of many of our guests to talk about individuals who have been close to them from a family perspective. It’s fascinating to me that you went right to a business person who I can admire and obviously have a great deal of respect for. Why this particular business person? What was it that made such an impact?

Amanda Steinberg: Well, I really just admired her spirit and her spunk and everything that I have read about her. I also have great respect for the operations of The Body Shop and everything that I’ve studied about it. So from afar I’ve modeled her because of her reach and the extent to which she grew her business. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago.

I’m also more than happy to talk about the women close to me and in my family as well.

Of course, I have to start with my mother. My mother, as all mothers do, has really shaped my life and my career. My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old. When my dad left, my mother had never worked and really wasn’t very financially secure. I remember her telling me multiple times, very young and very early in my childhood, saying, you will not depend on anyone, it’s really important for you to learn how to take care of yourself and make sure no matter what that you always take care of yourself.

She went back and got her MBA and has a thriving career now. She really was an extraordinary model for me in how a mother becomes a successful business woman and the values that she wants to pass on to her children.

Dr. Relly Nadler: In just looking at your background, Amanda, tell us a little bit about, especially after getting an urban planning and architecture degree from Columbia. It looks like there would be kind of a stretch. How did you get into this and the whole idea about women, money and their finances?

Amanda Steinberg: Absolutely. It’s funny. I don’t really think my degree has a lot that is related to what I’m doing now on the surface, but if you look underneath at what urban planning is about, it’s about systems development and our communities and the communities that we live in.

The history of my career is that despite being urban planning and architecture major, I learned computer programming at a young age. The truth of it was, I was making far more money coding databases than I was as a bartender. So, I took on more and more programming work. This was in 1999 when I was a senior in college. I really enjoyed the internet. It was new and it was booming so I did not have an urban planning career, I decided to have an internet career instead.

So how did that get me to I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. I’ve been running my own businesses for 10 years. By the time I reached 30, something really drastic happened to me. When I turned 30 two years ago, I’m 32 now, I turned around and I said to myself, you know, I’ve been making more than $100,000 for a few years now and yet I have no net worth. I have nothing to show for it. Why is that?

So I started to look and I started to talk to some of my other friends and I realized that many of my other friends were very accomplished, running organizations, but still struggled to make ends meet. Struggle to pay their rent. So then I started to get really interested and also kind of angry. I just want to talk a little bit about the anger that fueled this business development project.

The research that I did into women and money in particular was really appalling. I’ll give you some statistics because I know you are very interested in science as am I. Here’s some of the data that I found about women and money.

In 2009, women still make $.70 for every $1.00 earned my men. This is a notion that was popularized in the 1970s and we still haven’t made a dent in it. Nearly two-thirds of working women earn less than $30,000 a year. Women retire with an average of 1/3 less in their retirement funds that men and yet we live 10 years longer. I could go on and on and on.

In summary, I found out that there was all of this data; I wasn’t alone despite being good at earning money, women seem to have a big disconnect in terms of the term net worth and growing our own wealth. So it’s really this frustration with myself that fueled me to start Daily Worth and start educating women in areas of both self-worth and net worth.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Now, you are saying a lot by saying very little and having the background you have and then having to the stimulant of this anger and passion to start a business is a really critical underlying force.

Dr. Relly Nadler: We were talking about how the anger may have translated into some of this conviction about what you are going to be doing for work. So maybe you can talk about what is the anger and then how did you turn that into what you are doing today with Daily Worth.

Amanda Steinberg: Sure. My anger is really directed at myself a bit and it’s directed at many of the women who I know who undervalue themselves and how I have undervalued myself in the past. One of my intentions, I have many intentions and goals with Daily Worth, is to help women transform their own perception of their own self-worth and the way in which they particularly value themselves in the workplace as it relates to their earning.

For example, as the founder of Daily Worth I am now constantly in conversations with women about asking for raises as well as doing a lot of research on the subject of asking for raises.

Also I have hired and fired probably 50 or so people in the last 10 years. What I have found is that there is a huge gender disparity. Men, for example, with some exceptions of course, tend to have no problem asking for what they know that their market worth to be. Women, on the other hand, have a totally different approach to asking for money. Many of the women I have hired say, well, what are you offering? Or, “what is it you need to pay me?” They really put it in my hands without understanding even what it is that their own self-worth is.

I also find on that related subject that women tend to apologize for everything, even when it’s not our fault. It drives me bananas and I’m constantly asking women to stop saying sorry. I find all of these concepts across self-worth and net worth to be very interrelated.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Not only are the interrelated, but they lead back to what Daily Worth is all about, right? I think you started Daily Worth in a pretty challenging economy and I’m curious, because you have daily emails and people email you and you have all of these blogs going on; how can Daily Worth help leaders in today’s economy understand more so that they can get the best performance; get more out of their employees, men or women?

Amanda Steinberg: Well, one of my philosophies about leadership is that the more we take care of ourselves and the more we become the model for those who we are leading, the better leaders we are. I think of another example, I was on a phone call yesterday with one of my colleagues who is in her 60s, who I really admire. She earns top dollar; she can ask for $3500 a day without flinching. I’ve always just assumed that she has amassed extraordinary net worth, and yet she told me when we were dealing with an invoicing problem related to a client that she was concerned about needing to turn off her utilities because she didn’t have the money that she needed.

I was really surprised and somewhat saddened, and yet it all goes along with the theme of Daily Worth and not taking care of ourselves. I think as leaders, the wealthier we are the more financial stable we are, the better leaders we are. Not only because we have peace of mind, but because we can then be the model for those who are looking up to us.

Dr. Relly Nadler: So say a little bit about, just for our listeners, I love the tie in with self-worth and net worth that you said earlier, that’s great. When you talk about net worth; can you define that for us?

Amanda Steinberg: Your net worth is all of your assets combined. So it’s how much money is in your retirement account, what is the worth of your house, how much of your house to you own; minus all of your debts. So if you have credit card debt you have to subtract that from what it is that you own, and that is how you come up with a number. Your net worth really is a number. It’s combining the value of all of your assets minus all of your liabilities.

Listen to the complete interview, above, without commercials.


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