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Natalie: Hello everyone, my name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today we have a very special guest who will be talking about her latest book that's coming out right now and the importance of leadership and education with women in particular. So I'd like you all to welcome my very special guest the amazing Mrs. Sharon Lecter. How are you Sharon?
Sharon: Fantastic Natalie. I'm absolutely thrilled to be with you today.
N: Thank you. Now you have been an author of many books going back to as far as (00:36) recorded and then most recently, outwitting the devil, which you are working with the paulene foundation. Can we talk a little bit about your story? How you got into all these amazing work you do?
S: Well, certainly. It's a long story but I'll give you the short version. I started my career as a public accountant, certified public accountant and planned out my life to raise and go through the ranks of the cpa firm and become a partner and all of that. And at the rightful age of 25, when we all know everything at 25, I decided you know, I'm working very hard and if I'm going to work this hard, I'm going to work hard for myself, and so that's really when I started my entrepreneurial career. And soon met my husband, got married, had children and really, since then I started and built companies. The first one, my children didn't like to read, so I met the inventor of the first talking book, children's books that had the sound strips on the side and created that industry at that time in the late 80s, 1987. So we started that and built it around the globe. In 1991, we sold that company, my husband and I moved to Arizona. In 1992, our oldest son graduated from high school and went off to college and got himself into a little credit card debt and I was very angry, I was mad at him but I was also mad at myself because I thought I have taught him about money, but he was with me when I used my credit card and just not with me when I paid them off every month and he had a good time in his first semester in college, a really good time. So we wouldn't pay it off, we wouldn't bail him out, so he ended up, it took him 7 years to take him off debt (2:20) but it was the best lesson we could have taught him. And that was on December of 1992, that's when I dedicated the rest of my career to financial education and financial literacy, started working with the school systems and fast forward a couple of years, met Robert Kiyosaki who wrote rich dad, poor dad together started a company together. We wrote 15 books together. We are partners, Richard and I, for 10 years I drove the company as the CEO for 10 years. In 2007, we were really no longer aligned in our personal missions. I still wanted to generate family, low cost, affordable products for people and he wanted to franchise the company, so I left the organization in 2007 and I say that because sometimes you have to close one door for another to open. It was later that year that the call from President Bush inviting me to be on the first president's advisory council for financial literacy and I served both presidents bush and Obama in that capacity. And then same year, I got the call from the napoleon hill foundation, Don Green is the CEO of napoleon hill foundation, and we had known each other for years because I've helped them in some of their international work, and he said, Sharon, I just found out you're on your own. I want your help because we all know what happened to the economy in 2008 and so they wanted to bring the wisdom of napoleon health back to the forefront because many people under the age of 50 don't even know napoleon hill is. And so, I joined forces with Greg Greed - dear friend, and we wrote three feet (3:51) together. I also got another phone call, so I also say you never know when a phone call is going to change your life. Don Green asked me to review a manuscript that they have just gotten and had been hidden for 73 years and it was called outwitting the devil. Napoleon Hill, most people know the story, that he spent his life preparing (4:18) it was a 20 to 25 year project and when he released it, he was frustrated because if people know what they're supposed to do to be successful, they don't do it. And so he sat down and he wrote this manuscript, outwitting the devil, about how we allow fear to hold the speck and he wrote this parable on an interrogation of the devil. It scared his wife to death and she forbade it to be published. It was locked away. He died in 1970 and she died in 1992 and her sister had it and she died 2 to 3 years ago and that's when the foundation got it. And when they asked me to review it, I was only the fourth person to ever read it, and it blew me away. It changed my life. It was an incredibly impactful book and I was blessed to be involved with 20+ books and this one is by far the most impactful. We released outwitting the devil and it continuously impact people around the globe. And what's happening to the world is it relates to women was Don Green never really authorized a book about women and I said, I never really thought of writing one but the last three years I've really seen the tipping point as it relates to women and so thinking to be rich for women was born. It will be released on June 17th. Hopefully, that was fast enough, I'm very old, I know a lot. Here I am today, ready to release thinking to be rich for women.
N: I know. You know, I just want to take a moment now because you did very quickly gloss over some of your massive accomplishments and contributions that you've made not just to women but to the society at large, and the work you've done really help not just to think outside the square but to really take charge of their finances and to really think of the direction of their life, how they can influence and create the reality that they want. So thank you for all the work that you have done.
S: My pleasure, my honour, it's been incredible. I've just had the honour to work for Thunderbird University to be in (6:24), and I've worked with women all over the globe - in Africa, Asia, South America and from Afghanistan and from Jordan. It's just an incredible honour. Women, no matter where we are in the world, care about several important things: one is to take care of our families, to make sure our children will have the greatest opportunities they have and women can train colonies around and we've seen it over and over again truly in countries like Africa, if you give them a small amount of money and they can create commerce and they can create an entire economic community and turn entire communities from starvation to thriving.
N: Yeah. Absolutely. So of course, that means that you are the most qualified person to be commissioned to write thinking to be rich for women. So tell me a little bit about this journey, like who are some of the women you have actually featured in the book and why did you choose them?
S: Well, that's a great question because as I've started the project, it changed and it evolved because I started with a little preview, a purpose before I start to talk to specific women. I have found in my career that as women gain in their popularity, we have more than 50% of college graduates are women, more than 50% of management position are women too. 2 out of 3 businesses are started by women, I'm still frustrated by the fact that women tends to criticize each other, and we start complaining. My goal of this book is to change the dialogue from negative to positive. So instead of complaining about women, women are only earning $0.77 to a dollar against men. That need to change, of course, but when you look at the stats for younger women in their 20s, it's like $0.93 to every dollar. So let's celebrate the progresses being made. And you know that those young women are not going to get it worse than $0.93, it's only going to go up. So let's celebrate the progress. Again, we complain that there are only 23 women CEOs in the Fortune 500. Let's stop complaining and start saying, in 2000 there were only 2, so let's celebrate the progress that has been made. By celebrating it, we're going to open the doors for more opportunities for more women to be welcomed to the (8:58). And then, in particular, we talk about there are not enough women on board, that's corporate boards. That's absolutely true, 16.6% of board sitters in the United States. In Norway, it's 40%. So obviously we need to do that, but instead of complaining about it, we now need to prove positive all the recent surveys, recent analysis that corporate boards that have both men and women working together outperforms corporate boards without any women by 66%. So let's celebrate the fact that we know that that's happening. So the entire process of writing this book evolved as I started doing it. And when I did, we need to make it a celebration for women, so for each chapter, I highlight, the book actually follows the same chapters as the original thinking, grow rich. So for each chapter, I start with a Napoleon Hill's philosophy for that particular concept we applied phase, faith or understanding perception, perseverance or and I talk about his philosophy and I include stories from women who have used that in their own personal life and some chapters have 2 or 3 women, others have 4 or 5. And then I have a section where I talk about that particular concept was applied in my own career and in my life. And I end up each chapter with what I call a sisterhood mastermind. Sisterhood mastermind are quotes from women in history, women in power today, women that are heads of states, women CEOs, women that are in education, and young women that have just started in their careers, so we can bring ourselves in celebration of all women. And at the end of each chapter, I have an ask yourself question section. I have over 300 women in the book. And in fact, I think I mentioned to you the last time I saw you Natalie, that I even have a quote from you about the power of masterminding and then going to an exponential growth, that creating a tidal wave of change, I love that reference that you had. So, it's very important that people understand that we're not looking at, this is not a book about (11:17) women who have used their own power, their own strength to create success and significance. I have Barbara (11:27) in it. She's an ambassador from Finland, retired. We have (11:32), we've got Margaret Thatcher, we have Laura (11:36) is in the book, we've got Lisa Nichols and many of these women don't know they're in the book. But as I was going through I was looking for women that exemplified these aspects of the books. Michelle Patterson is featured in the chapter of persistence because of the history that she went through creating and recreating the California woman's conference because everybody was telling her to pull out of it and to stop and to quit, and that was the time that I met her and I helped counsel her and talk to her about the power of persistence and she prevailed and she's just incredibly successful and just about to launch another one this next month or this month. I'm really, really proud of her. So I talked about Michelle in the book as well. And then I have women that are a presence, Marjorie (12:28), who is one of the top women in the networking. Donna Johnson talks about that faith that she had, that burning desire to take care of her family. And so there are women all over, and then I bring in women CEOs and then I talk about Ursula Burns and what she's created in her organization. It was such an incredible opportunity for me to get to know these women so much better and then also to highlight that level of success of women around the globe.
N: Yeah. You bring out an amazing point about whatever we focus on expands, to rather than being upset of the fact that we could do more, really just appreciating how far we have become. In my world and I'm sure in your world as well, women are really starting to stand up. They're starting to take charge. They're starting to create their own business. To really tapping to what really makes their heart sing and to really expand and influence around them, not just their families but an example to every single person around them. I think that thinking to get rich for women, this is a very timely message for us to be able to read and listen to and it's amazing how all these different principles that Napoleon Hill originally wrote back in the earlier part of the 19th century, how they apply today and how they are living examples of that.
S: You are absolutely right. The concepts and thinking grow rich are as valid today as they were back then when he published them. But when he did his research the only people in business were men and so the book was written from a male perspective and from research of all men, and so, I read the book when I was about 19 a few years ago. I didn't realize how much it had impacted me on my own life until I was in my 30s. But it really did help me create a path for women in the business world, so I was definitely in a man's world. And so, as we look at what is happening today, not only have women changed and more women are in business, but the dynamics of the business world have changed. And that's what is so exciting to me about it but I also want to make sure that we need to do it in tandem with men. You know what happens is people tend to become women libbers, you know, women are supreme and men should go away but know that the greatest power is when we can use the brilliance of men and the brilliance of women and they come together and as you said it creates a tidal wave of change because of that exponential force of the brilliance of both. That's so important that people understand and that's my message on the book, is we need to work together and there's never been a greater opportunity for change than there is today because we're starting to see the profit of evidence of the fact that women do contribute and certainly when we are in the midst of a crisis, it's women who stand up and take charge.
N: Exactly. And you know, the other thing that I think is coming through now is how women, being able to achieve these amazing positions and have these incredible companies while still staying in their feminine (16:09), being the woman that they are and thank goodness for all the women who have pioneered before us and have made it possible for us to be able to do this. I think with women and men, we complement with each other. We can connect each other in a way that benefits everybody without necessarily competing. Collaboration is definitely the way to moving into the future now.
A: Absolutely, and what's beautiful now, when we start changing that dialogue to one of celebration, we end up having those male champion step to the plate and support and it will speed up the growth for additional women to come to the work force because we're getting rid of the negativity and we're not challenging the men in the status quo, we are celebrating them for what they've done to support women. And in the book, even though in the body of the book, the only man I quote is Napoleon Hill which wasn't easy when I was looking for quotes, another proof positive that we needed this book because I was having a hard time finding quotes from women. We tend not to put ourselves out there as quotable. We need to change that, we need to get more quotes from women out there, that's one of my missions for the book. But I thought, I don't to really completely exclude men because that's my message. In the afterword, I went out and I talked to men that are, that have had powerful influences in my life and I believe who are true champions for women. So in the afterword, I have submissions, paragraphs and chapters from Mark Victor Hansen, John Assaraf, Greg Reed, Bryan Tracey, Harvey McKay, Burney Dorman and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting a few but, true champions for women that are out there really opening doors and supporting and counselling and mentoring and creating opportunities for the women in their lives. And they have all been wonderfully supportive about the book and they said, you know, Sharon it's not just the women that needs the read the book, all those men out there need to read it too, so they can better understand the women in their lives.
N: Absolutely. So Sharon we're running out of time and I could talk to you for hours on this subject, so where can we send people to find out more about you and about the book as well?
S: It's really simple, if you just go to sharonlechter.com/women, sharonlechter.com is my website (spells) and if you go sharonlechter.com/women you'll find out more about the book and for everybody that preorders the book, there's all kinds of free gifts that we're giving of course and there's a whole book salon where we're showing the interviews that we've had from women along the way and doing a deeper dive for each one of the chapters. So please visit sharonlechter.com/women and I'm so excited to be part of this.
N: Excellent. Thanks again Sharon for joining me. It's been an absolute pleasure, as usual, to be talking to you.
S: Well thank you Natalie for everything that you do, you create an incredible opportunity for your viewers.
N: Thank you. Now guys I encourage you to share this video by clicking the Facebook and Tweeter share buttons on this page, make sure you download the app if you haven't done so already so you can watch the shows on the go once the recording is up. And also, make sure you put your email on the box here on the page because I'd loved to send you the Manifesting with the Masters video e-course. It's actually valued at $87, and I would love to send it to you for free. So until the next time remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.