Are you a Baller or a Shot-Caller?

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog called “Don’t Be A Baller” in which I discussed the mythical city girl dressed in designer threads, hitting the hot-spots every night of the week, and living in luxury.  While there are many successful, savvy women (and men) who do have –and can afford–this lifestyle, there are a ton of ladies (and guys) who talk the talk but CAN’T walk the walk.  And by walking the walk, I mean paying for their over-the-top lifestyle.

In fact, the more I talk about managing debt and minimizing unnecessary expenses with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, the more ballers I find who have been popping up all over the place–women who grab their paychecks and go shopping immediately– before putting the 10% minimum into savings.  Women who slouch around in Seven For All Mankind dressing rooms squeezing into jeans, trying on dresses at Reiss, shopping for wrinkle cream and lip gloss in Sephora, snagging Frye boots at Bloomingdale’s–while their monthly bills sit unopened on their kitchen table.  Women and men behind on their bills but hitting the clubs every Saturday and assuming their shrinking bonus check will cover up their spending sins.

I know life is hard, being single can be tough, work sucks, you just broke up with your boyfriend, yadda yadda yadda–and any other excuse we use to validate this outrageous behavior.  But we need to get a grip!  With a little focus and planning and a lot of self-control, we can change from being a baller to a shot–caller.

What’s a shot-caller?  She’s a woman with a plan, focus and single-minded self-control.  She sets goals for herself–maybe she wants to start a business, buy a home, start investing in ETFs or save for a wedding–sets up a plan to reach her goal, puts her head down and gets to work!  Shot callers aren’t always out at the club, they often pack their own lunches, use Groupons and coupons, skip big group dinners and buy things on sale.  It’s not that these ladies don’t have fun–they just pick and choose when and where to make an appearance, keeping their eyes on the ultimate prize–their financial goal.

Shot-callers are just that: they call the shots when it comes to their finances, and not the other way around.  They have already determined what their priorities are, and anything else that comes up is not as important.  So if a particular Shot-Caller’s goal is to accumulate six months’ worth of savings to start a business, she may bid adieu to Antonio her fabulous but needy hair dresser and head to Super-Cuts for the next few haircuts in order to save some money. Or she may skip the sushi dinner with friends and just meet them after for drinks.  And, she might choose to stay in her small but affordable apartment while her peers ‘move on up to the east side’–just to allow her breathing room and freedom to save for a condo.

Rest assured, not all city-slickers and suburban-dwellers are ballers. Recently,  I came across three shot-calling women who are large and in charge, and I wanted to share their stories.  Each of their stories represents a significant D-word.  Now D’s have always meant something bad to me, ever since I got a D in Algebra 2 and was informed I wouldn’t be allowed to move on to Trigonometry.  This was good news to me since I would rather spend the night alone in a wax museum with a serial killer than do my multiplication tables, but my dad didn’t see it that way.  That guy was a closet mathematician and took out his math obsession on his very confused daughter, Lena.

But I digress.

This week, I am going to profile three different Shot-Callers–women who have successfully taken control of their financial futures and have survived to tell their stories.  They have graciously shared their personal experiences in their plight to reach their goals and determine their future.  And along the way, they have some great tips we can all learn from.

Tune in tomorrow when I will profile a Shot-Caller with Discipline: Sharon Richter, a certified nutritionist and founder of the Richter Reco (, who built her business from the ground-up, bought and renovated her dream NYC apartment and–most importantly–built a closet to house her Carrie Bradshaw-inspired shoe collection.

Wednesday/Thurs I will profile a Shot-Caller with Design: Tea M, a Croatian-born architect who came from war-torn Yugoslavia by way of Italy then NYC-and climbed Mt. Everest, Kilimanjaro and Macchu Picchu along the way.  While young girls dreamt of their dream wedding dress, Tea envisioned her dream home, down to the color and design of the fixtures–and now she’s living her dream!

Wrapping up the week will be a Shot-Caller with Determination: Tamar Vezirian, founder of Gotham Glow Tanning ( , who came to NYC from San Francisco to be a performer–and instead found herself spray-tanning celebrity clients, some of whom have greeted her at the door of their hotel rooms wearing nothing but a rhinestone necklace.

All of these ladies started with a dream, worked and saved for it and reached it.  They have determined their lifestyle and financial future; if they can do it, so can you.


2 responses

  1. Love! Cant wait to read it : )

  2. This is an excellent article, Lena. I’m not sure if you’re aware of them, but there’s an organization that is all about this very same concept, called Savvy Ladies (in NYC), which I’m rather familiar with. I would look into that group if you (or anyone else) is interested in this sort of positive energy…

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