April 15, 2008

Book Review: Six-Figure Salaries Are the New Black

Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny (HarperBusiness, 2002, ISBN 0-06-093346-1)

This book was written by: Barbara Stanny, a journalist, motivational speaker, and financial educator who is uniquely qualified to tell the world about women who have fought their way up through the glass ceiling to earn six-figure salaries. "Raised in a wealthy family," she writes, "married to a stockbroker, given a trust fund when I turned twenty-one, I never gave money a lot of thought. I always worked hard but never earned much, and it didn't matter" (p.48).

What is in this book: Plenty of lists, like the 8 secrets of six-figure women(p.42), their 4 must-haves (p.78), their 3 big helpers (p.79), and the nine traits of underearning (p. 52). Ms. Stanny has provided these lists along with anecdotes from and discussions with her six-figure friends to show how "underearners unwittingly throw banana peels in their own path in all sorts of ways, like applying for work they're not qualified for,"(p.61) when they actually need to exhibit more audacity, since every six-figure woman she interviewed "came to a point where she had to step outside her comfort zone and do something she wasn't completely sure she could do" (p.79).

What is not in this book: A call for women to sit down and be quiet. While "women don't understand power," (p.237) Stanny feels that "a woman afraid of her power is like an eagle afraid of its wings" (p.235). "I truly believe that when enough women claim their power, collectively we'll have the resources, values, vision, and sensitivity to change the world, to heal the planet" (p. 254).

Would you recommend this book to a professional wrestler? No, I would recommend that a professional wrestler try to convince Ric Flair to write Secrets of the Figure Four Leg Lock, because I would totally read the hell out of that book.

Would you recommend this book to Calista Flockhart? Yes, but she'd probably only read it if she thought it was about the secrets of stick figure women.

What was interesting about this book? Stanny writes that her assistant, "Juliette, doubled her salary soon after she picked up my book" (p. xvi). Happily, I was also able to double my yearly earnings almost immediately after reading this book; I was able to claim the recycling deposit on some cans I found in my living room car.

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