There is a woman I hired to help me with some of my business’ compliance issues; she is new to the consulting field. She subsequently struggled with coming up with a fee for her services. I told her I have the same problem when I determine the fee for a financial analysis or coaching session. She said a funny thing, “If I were a man I wouldn’t have trouble with this.” True? Why do women struggle with their own self worth?
I met with a business consultant last week (Bill Knoche, remarkable guy) who, after hearing about my particular struggles, said a very profound thing to me (while looking at me straight in the eye with a constancy even a cat would fear); “You have no idea how powerful and valuable you are.”
Why are women continually paid less than men for the same jobs? Because we don’t ask to be paid more, because we don’t value ourselves.
I know a life coach (Nancy Rizzo) whose most sought after coaching helps women remember that they are “worthy and deserving”. Why do we need this reminding?
I recall some years’ ago a “report” stating what a housewife and mother’s services were worth (I.e. cooking, cleaning, child care, decorating, gardening etc….). It was a staggering sum, I want to say something to the tune of $80,000 per year (if you had to hire others to do the same jobs) and I could hear millions of women around the world silently screaming “I TOLD YOU!”. (“I knew I was valuable but I needed someone else to tell you that and, maybe more importantly, tell ME that.”)
The women’s movement has done wonders for our gender’s progress in the work force and in education but I suspect many of us cannot fully embrace the power of the movement because we cannot seem to correctly value ourselves; whether or not we work for pay.
I recall something my Mom did when I was about 12 years old. My Mom was a nurse, but her life was spent as an artist (in every sense of the word). She participated in an art show, along with some friends from the art community. Her one friend always did (and still does) command a comparatively high price for her work. She got it, too. My Mom, on the other hand – who often traded portraits for dental work and the like – was more modestly priced. She got fed up at this art show because she hadn’t sold anything. For fun (or desperation, or both) she put an extra zero on each of her painting’s prices.
She sold two paintings that day.
That taught me more about perception of value than any college course or business consultant ever could.
My dear readers, only you can value your self worth; don’t be so quick to put yourself on the sale rack.