This is part three of a three-part series that covers what it really takes for women business owners to succeed.
Over the last two weeks, I have been sharing what I now believe are the three keys of success that can help women achieve their goals in business (or frankly in anything else.) First, I wrote about the fact that you have to really want to succeed, and then I wrote about believing you can succeed. Today, I’m going to talk about the importance of believing you’re worthy of that success.
These three key elements – wanting to succeed, believing you can succeed, and believing you’re worthy of success – have collectively helped women achieve their goals. But they have also stalled women in their effort to succeed.
Before we jump into stories about how worthiness plays such a key role in success, let me tell you about one of my favorite lessons I recently learned while listening to Brenee Brown speak.
Brenee is an expert on vulnerability, and she was discussing how vulnerability and bravery are in fact the same thing – to be vulnerable is as brave as it gets. She also said that many of us allow other people’s opinions to define us, and when we are defined by other people, we lose the ability to be vulnerable. We can’t be truthful about our fears – we’re too worried about what others may think.
If vulnerability and bravery go hand in hand, then I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing women bravely open up about their feelings, feelings that have been getting in the way of growing their businesses. What happens when they open up is absolutely amazing. Let me give you a few examples.
We all carry certain preconceived notions about money, whether having a lot is a great thing (or not a great thing), not having enough is normal, or we deserve to be paid for what we do. The list goes on and on, but one thing is for sure: we all have some sort of internal opinion about money, and sometimes those opinions get in our way.
And this is where I see the worthiness key show up the most in business. So many women struggle with asking to be paid what they are worth. It is even worse when a woman’s business is making a positive impact on the lives of others (e.g., a coach or a nonprofit) and helping her feel more personally fulfilled. In these cases, I see women really struggle with asking to get paid what they are worth.
There is also a whole cohort of women, myself included, who are pleasers. We like to please and over deliver. And sometimes, we deliver but don’t always send the invoice to go along with that work. Why? Because we’re back to worrying about other people’s opinions. Will they think it was too much? Will they think I didn’t do a good enough job? And that, of course, is tied back to our own self worth.
When a woman is brave enough to speak up about feeling unworthy of charging more, unworthy of sending out invoices, unworthy of charging for the extra work that was not in the initial scope but she did anyway – the reactions from her peer group are always astounding. Every single person at that table speaks up and tells her she is wrong. She is worthy. And luckily (because she does value their opinion in this case), she is then armed with the ability to correct course and move forward towards her goals.
If you find yourself stuck right now, do a gut check to see if perhaps you are getting in your way. Surround yourself with people whose opinions you do value, and then be vulnerable and share what’s getting in your way. It is those people who will help you through this challenge and encourage you to move forward.
Frederique is passionate about helping women take their businesses to the next level of growth and success. As founder and CEO of Her Corner, she applies her entrepreneurial spirit & management consulting background and business operations expertise to give women the springboard they need to move forward.