I have two successful women in my mind right now:
Suze Orman has been my financial hero for many years now — not because I’ve learned from her but because 1) she’s confirmed everything that I’ve figured out on my own about personal finance, and 2) she’s public and therefore is spreading the word. I don’t have cable/satellite, but anytime her shows air on PBS, I watch it. I love the way she presents herself and her information — personable, meaningful, articulate, passionate. It’s personal financial teaching at its best.
Oprah Winfrey I admire because, powerful as she has become in changing society, she has not lost her moral compass in weilding that power. Like Orman, I also love the way she presents herself and her information, her stories. She started out as a journalist, but, like many journalists who care, couldn’t stay on the sidelines of history. She wanted to make a difference in society. And with her production companies, her philanthropies, and even her physical presence, she has.
These are my models of successful women. But at a cost: one’s personal/private life.
That is the great juggle, the great balancing act. And the more publicly successful a woman (or man, for that matter — like Ben Stein) becomes, the more the “private” side of that balance becomes lighter and lighter, as the public acts of success becomes heavier and heavier.
It gives one pause. The fear of failure — that’s not unusual; that’s a common fear. Fear of success? Surprisingly — paradoxically — yes. That’s as real as the fear of failure. Because of the cost.
As I said: it gives one pause.