Women and their Struggles with Worth

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.”
Bingo.
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.

About Amy Jo Lauber

I help people who are overwhelmed take control & make good financial decisions with confidence and experience peace and abundance. Are you ready to say goodbye to working hard but not having anything to show for it? Go to www.lauberfinancialplanning.com "Let's Talk" tab to schedule your complimentary initial consultation and take the first step on the path to financial empowerment.
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5 Responses to Women and their Struggles with Worth

  1. Cherie says:

    Thank you for this very important reminder! I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” We all need to remember the value and worth we bring to ourselves and to each other.

  2. Michelle says:

    Great reminder, as a whole-hearted supporter of women coming to value themselves more highly and a regular recipient of coaching with Nancy Rizzo, I want to second her Life Tool of being “worthy and deserving!” Your story of your mom’s art work and adding the zero is a wonderful example, thank you for sharing it.

  3. Dr Aletta says:

    Loved this article, Amy Jo. When I converted my business to fee for service I took the advice of an advisor (a man, by the way) and set my rate at the high end of the bar. It took me a year, and much success, later to be totally comfortable with how I priced my worth!

    P.S. I especially loved the story of your Mom at the art show!

  4. Amy Jo, you nailed it! Here at the Women’s Business Center we counsel women not to fall into this trap of self-devaluation but we do it ourselves! This post may become part of my counseling sessions – coming from you it has more value than coming from me…oops, I just fell in, didn’t I?!

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