The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action

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The Phoenix Book Picks: Dare to Lead + The Art of Money

I haven’t done a Phoenix Book Pick in a while, so I want to share what I’m currently reading this summer; actually, there are two books in rotation: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown and The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness by Bari Tessler.

I like Brené Brown’s books (her research on vulnerability and shame is phenomenal), so I was really excited about Dare to Lead, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s an honest, empowering guide to holistic leadership – sharing research and real-life experiences on how to lead from the heart not by fear and emphasizing the importance of vulnerability, self-work and bravery when it comes to leading others and building courageous teams. I also appreciate all the interactive tools, practices and writing prompts throughout the book, especially those around how to have tough conversations. One of my favorite quotes:

“Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead.”

The Art of Money by Bari Tessler is all about financial wellness and happiness by helping you connect the dots with how you think about money (past and present), by encouraging self-compassion when it comes to anger, shame, and blame around money matters, and by developing your personal growth through exercises like money story visualization. For example, Tessler asks in Chapter 3, Your Money Story: 1) Describe your current relationship with money, 2) Visualize your money past, and 4) Connect the dots between past and present, 4) Give yourself a hug. There’s no tough love and judgment here at all, only support for a deeper understanding about and healthier relationship with money. She explains in an interview about her approach, as well as colleague and financial planner, Saundra Davis (founder of Sage Financial Solutions), “While a lot of the financial world is riddled with judgmental, “tough love” approaches, Saundra and I are kindred spirits in ushering in a new wave of compassion, gentleness, and unshaming in this area of life.” This is definitely a breath of fresh air when cultivating financial wellness and happiness.

The Art of Money has been a real eye-opener for me; so much so, I started listening to her podcast, also called The Art of Money. Listen to the newest episode (below) with her guest, Saundra Davis discussing money consciousness, the wealth gap and race. It’s a very honest, open and powerful conversation.


One of my favorite quotes from The Art of Money:

“Please know that as you move courageously and compassionately forward with your money work, you are already taking steps to value yourself, your time, your energy, and everything that truly matters to you.”

If you’ve already read one or both of these books, let me know what you think. How have they helped you take better care? What books are on your list this summer? Share. I want to know.

Happy reading!


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. She is a personal development coach creating and facilitating dynamic women-centered, self-care workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates training programs and group coaching that empowers women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive, holistic approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space for women to truly explore and affirm who they are, what they want and how they want to do it.