There is no doubt in my mind that the men reading this post about entrepreneur business coaching, are wondering why I singled out women as I talk about money.
Yes, money is a loaded topic in entrepreneur business for both men and women, yet women have some situations that are unique to the cultural messages given to their gender.
Men, I think you’ll find the topic informative and useful.
Women, Let’s dive in.
Money Doesn’t Grow On________________________
Money is the Root of All ________________________
A nice girl cares more about doing good, then making money.
Here’s a funny story – though “funny” is less “ha ha” and more “oh wow”.
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years. Never have I ever heard a man, while pricing his services or deciding the value of his products, say anything like,
“Well I care about people and just want it to be affordable for everyone.”
“I don’t want my audience to think I’m overcharging.”
“I love to help others and would hate for someone to think I’m all about money , or greedy”
Are you laughing yet? Because these sentences or ones similar are what I hear from women clients often. In fact, in opposition to never hearing thoughts like that from men, I believe I have heard them from almost every woman I have worked with, in one form or another.
Does this mean that men are just callous and don’t really care? Or that they really are only about the bottom line and cost be damned?
I don’t think it means that at all. I think men do care deeply. But I think women carry around so much baggage and so many stories regarding money, that they are confused about money, value, worthiness, altruism and business and how all these pieces should come together.
Money is much more than just Dollars and Cents. In our culture, money has great meaning that has been placed upon it, exalted, contorted and manipulated.
At a base level, money is nothing more than a means for the trading of goods and services. When it became too cumbersome to trade the cow for the chickens, or the bricks for the bread money was created as the intermediary currency to improve the efficiency of straight bartering.
So why is it then that money in our culture means power?
Why do many women grow up concerned about making more money than their spouse/partner?
How indeed did money become something we believe since childhood to be both difficult to accumulate and the “Root of all Evil”?
Isn’t it a curious thing that in the United States, all the altruistic, caring and severely low paying professions are dominated by women. Nursing, Social Work, Teaching, Elder Care.
I’m flabbergasted whenever I delve into this topic, that the MOST important professions involving caring for our health, our children and our parents are devalued in our society. Why are there not more men in those professions? I think it’s because men were taught (often without words – just through experience, media, etc..) that it would be beneath them to work for so little money and women were taught (through the same informational experiences) that caring for others is more important than money.
Isn’t that just crazy?!
In an ideal values based world, don’t you agree that teachers of young children and intensive care nurses and social workers should earn more than say football players or wall street moguls? And yet we are in a catch-22 of sorts, because the messages continue for our children and women continue to have a conflict between caring and self-worthiness and the true value of the work they do.. and round and round we go
So what’s a women entrepreneur to do?
I have a story. In the early 1990’s I was in a Master’s Degree program studying to become a Clinical Social Worker. I was training to work in the field of psychotherapy much like a psychologist, seeing clients privately or within hospitals or mental health facilities.
We had a class with an awesome kick-ass powerful woman professor about setting up our business. I’ll never forget this one things she taught us. She too spoke of the low pay and low perceived value of women dominated professions like social work. She said that it was Up To Us to be the change that must come to our profession by charging what we are worth for our services and not taking no for an answer. She presented graphs and charts showing how much more money, male social worker made for the same exact work. She let us know that they do because they won’t accept the lower pay.
What I learned from Professor Sue Henry is that as women, charging our value and in fact – the value of the outcome of our services to our audience – is not only NOT SELFISH, it is CRUCIAL for the shift that must occur in the perception of women, value and money.
So many women entrepreneurs that I coach hedge and haw around their prices and the value of their time. They are afraid of standing tall and embracing their true worth and in the process they hurt themselves and all other women entrepreneurs too.
Guess what Ladies? You can be caring and wealthy. The work that you do and the impact you make on others has deep deep value. You are the bringer of that value and every time you undercharge, you give your brain a message that you are NOT WORTHY.
I’m not saying you should overcharge either. I’m saying that you deserve to be paid your worth..and your business worth is intimately related to the value of the outcome that your clients and customers receive from your products or services. When your brain gets a signal that you are not worthy – the law of attraction reverberates that signal throughout your environment. You energetically set the stage for money NOT FLOWING for you in your business or your life.
I’m often asked how one determines their fee structure. When you have a hard product that requires manufacturing it’s a much easier formula. But many women entrepreneurs in business offer services or educational products that are harder in some ways to value.
In my Entrepreneur Business coaching programs we go through a deeply illuminating process designed to tease out true value and worth from old filters and stories. I love the “Ah-Ha” reactions that women (and men too!) have from this experience. It is by far on of the most powerfully shifting exercises that I do with both private clients and EBSC members.
Money for Women Entrepreneurs is a heavily loaded topic imbued with stories, messages, experiences and culture since childhood. Digging through all of this in order to get clear – to be powerful – to embrace money as a measure of value and self-love, rather than as just dollars and cents – is crucial for women entrepreneurs to fly high in the success they deserve.
I hope you’ll join me in this discussion by commenting below this post. Much can be learned from each others perceptions and experiences.
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