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She walks through fire. She frees entire cities of slaves. She has dragons at her beck and call.
Without a doubt, Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons is the fiercest character on Game of Thrones.
She’s also one of the most complicated, and one of the most admirable. While I don’t agree with her every decision, I do believe she can teach us something about life — and about how to get paid, even when it requires some blood, sweat, and tears.
Here are four ways to rule your money like the Mother of Dragons.
Believe in Yourself
So many of us have self-doubts when it comes to our finances. We think that we’re doomed to be “bad with money.” Or that being “comfortable” — wealthy, even — is for other people, but not for us.
If you’re nodding along in agreement, take a page from Dany’s book. “So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names,” she told Jon Snow. “Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself.”
Unless you believe in yourself and your abilities, you’ll never find financial success. The best way to empower yourself is through education. By devouring podcasts, newsletters, and articles, you’ll eventually develop the financial confidence you need.
Build a Team
Although Daenerys exudes confidence, she’s also smart enough to know she doesn’t know it all. Along her journey to power, she’s amassed a slew of advisors to help guide her decisions.
As she once said, “It takes courage to admit fear… and to admit a mistake.”
The same goes for your finances. While it’s essential to build confidence, it’s also essential to create a strong financial team as backup. You don’t need to be rich to do so, either. Here are some potential members of a 21st-century financial team:
- Apps, apps, apps: All of us have a team of financial advisors in our pocket. Between apps for budgeting, paying and trimming bills, and managing money with a partner, embrace the wealth of technology available.
- A trustworthy bank: Make sure your bank’s got your back. The Breaker of Chains would never stay with a bank that nickeled and dimed her — in fact, she’d probably burn it the ground. So choose banking with no hidden fees that prioritizes you as a customer.
- A robo- or human financial advisor: This one’s not as vital as the others, but it can certainly help. Get robo-advising for your investments through apps like Wealthfront or Personal Capital, or seek human assistance with a fee-only advisor through the XY Planning Network.
When you surround yourself with high-quality people and products, you’ll find the support you need to achieve financial success. (Even if nobody on your team loves you quite as much as Ser Jorah loves Khaleesi.)
Listen to Your Values
“Our fathers were evil men,” Dany told Yara and Theon Greyjoy. “They left the world worse than they found it. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to leave the world better than we found it.”
Daenerys lets this sense of justice guide all of her decisions — even if it means slaying thousands of slave masters. While I’m not suggesting you follow those specific footsteps, I do think you can consider your values when making financial decisions.
One way is through “sustainable investing,” which encompasses a range of different strategies, including:
- Divesting: Pulling your investments out of companies you don’t support, such as those in the fossil fuel or firearms industries.
- ESG monitoring: Investing in companies with high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores, or in ESG-focused index funds.
- Impact investing: Funneling your money toward specific causes like renewable energy.
Just like the woman who would become “Mhysa” to many, you can also let your moral compass drive your financial moves.
Don’t Let Anything Stand In Your Way
Throughout Game of Thrones, people have scoffed at Daenerys and her lofty goals. The Dothraki warlords laughed when she said she would rule them all. Then she burned them down. Others said the Dothraki would never cross the sea. Then they did.
Khaleesi never let the haters get to her. “I am not your little princess,” she declared. “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it.”
Using that as inspiration, think about your money goals. How can you Mother-of-Dragons them by making dramatic changes?
If you want to retire early, for example, move to a new, more affordable city. If you want to accrue a six-month emergency fund, calculate how much to set aside each week, and set up an automatic savings contribution right now. If you want to earn more money, walk into your boss’ office and ask what you need to do to get a raise.
The bottom line: If you have a financial goal, don’t make any excuses. O.K., maybe don’t burn down an entire city with your dragons (#dracarys), but you know what I mean.
How the Mother of Dragons Can Help Your Finances
While Daenerys’ strategies may be a little, well, unconventional, we can still learn a lot from this powerful character.
By sticking to your values, educating yourself, and creating a solid financial team, you’ll gain the confidence to crush all of your money goals — no dragons required.