“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”
– Marianne Williamson
As with everything in life, time, choice, options, and money, your mindset is the first predictor of your level of success. Our minds are one of our most powerful tools, and just as when you purchase a new car and see more of that car everywhere you look, your brain is trained to filter out the noise and provide proof to validate your thinking. Operating from an abundance mindset where you trust that you have enough time, choices, options, and money allows you to notice opportunities you may have otherwise missed, prioritize more effectively and bring you closer to your goals.
This paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance has shown itself time and time again when I speak to guests on “Women’s Million Dollar Conversation.” Each has, at some point, had to make a mental shift from the “traditional” way of doing things, thinking, or limiting beliefs to “trust” that the path to their goals will appear and that they are more than capable of achieving their goals. One of the most common examples is their comfort in talking about and acquiring money.
For years women have been told they’re “not good with money,” “don’t understand,” or “don’t have the expertise,” and it’s been subconsciously holding us back. Some may have been raised thinking money is “bad,” “dirty,” or hard to get. These limiting beliefs are simply not true! Money is a tool that gives you the freedom of time, reduces worry, and creates opportunities you may not have otherwise had. The more money you have, the more flexibility you make for yourself and the more generous you can be.
Women’s Million Dollar Conversations Guest and Principal of Andrea Jones Consulting shared, “Honestly, Alice, what money provides is freedom. You don’t have to worry so much about putting food on the table, paying your bills, paying your mortgage, making sure your kids go to good schools, all those things. Once you’ve got those covered, you can be very free to think more clearly about what God has given you to do on this earth. It gives you an open mind and the ability to step back and say, how can I make an impact? What am I here to do? And you don’t feel as constrained. So money buys freedom.”
As I help many women leaders build financial independence, I like to share the analogy that financial freedom is like having that light switch in your hand. “On” means continuing to work (in exchange for income), which they are not obligated to do. “Off” means they graciously choose to stop working because they have other priorities to serve, and making an income is no longer necessary. When you create independence, you call the shots, and you can flip the switch anytime you desire.
What fixes a retirement plan that has a deficit? Money does. You can save more or work longer, or a combination of both. How much more do you think you can save? For a woman who is very determined, it may be a few thousand dollars a year. If no other factors change, this committed woman will likely tighten her budget and cut expenses, which is not easy. On the other hand, working longer will delay the spending of retirement assets and save more during your additional working years. But not all of us want to work longer.
However, there is a third option that many commonly overlook: asking for your worth! Many of our Women’s Million Dollar Conversations Guests have done so in their journey to success; they negotiated with their employer, customer, and board and got it. Let’s say for an employee, the compensation increase is 30%, about $30,000. Now she can save a lot more than a few thousand dollars a year. This really fixes her retirement plan without cutting a lot of expenses or requiring her to work longer.
Through my work, speaking engagements, and “Women’s Million Dollar Conversations,” I have seen women breaking through their limiting beliefs by believing that they can build the lives they want to lead. One of the most significant predictors of financial freedom is a woman’s comfort in talking about money. This slight shift helps women demand their worth at work, charge appropriately for their services and advocate for themselves when negotiating.
If you want to free yourself from limiting beliefs around money and create financial freedom, start with this small task. First, notice how you talk about money to yourself and others. Do you speak about it as a tool to achieve your goals, or is there an emotional tie to it that is holding you back? Are you feeling overwhelmed just by thinking about it? The more comfortable you are at wielding the tool we call money to create options for yourself and your community, the more opportunities will arise, allowing you to expand your impact and become financially free.
If it feels hard to advocate for yourself, give yourself a bigger WHY. It’s easier for many to demand their worth when it’s tied to something else, like providing educational expenses for your children, helping buy a home for your parents, helping your spouse to start a business, and providing the luxury to take a healthy pause to take care of yourself and your family.
Now, let’s get you prepared for your conversation. If you’re ready to demand your worth, start with these simple steps:
1. Gather information:
A. Business Owners: compare your rates to market rates for similar services. If you find the market rate is $3,000 and you charge $2,500 per hour, it may be time to up your rates.
B. Employees: research compensation rates for your role, industry, and location. If you find your experience level is commonly paid $125k annually and your compensation is $100k, you have room to negotiate.
2. Prepare for the conversation:
A. Business Owners:
i. Current Clients: Rather than focusing on the fear of losing a client, realize that consistently over-delivering paired with feeling undervalued can cause you to subconsciously resent and damage the relationship. Having a candid conversation is the best way to move forward.
ii. Future clients – establish a new service menu that reflects the new costs of your services, and don’t forget to update your website.
iii. For prospects who received a proposal but haven’t signed – let them know you’re honoring your initial quote for a set period of time, or let them know there is a change in your fee structure and provide them a new quote.
i. Connect with a recruiting company to polish your resume and ensure your research data is accurate.
ii. Leverage this information as a backup plan to manage your fear around negotiating with your employer so that you project confidence and grace.
iii. Be clear about what you want, what you need, and what is not negotiable. For example, if flexible work hours are not negotiable, then getting the market rate may be secondary.
iv. Schedule a time to discuss this with your employer when you are calm and peaceful, and they are more likely to be open-minded with the ability to have a conversation and discuss your concerns.
3. Prepare to walk away from the negotiation table:
A. There are times when the other party at the table does not want to budge. Lingering on might harm the relationship. Choosing to pause or stop the conversation respectfully is a way to provide more time and space for all parties to evaluate and decide on the next step.
When women believe in and negotiate for their worth, they help themselves, their peers, and future generations shed biases and build financial freedom. I welcome you to follow my Women’s Million Dollar Conversations to see how women like you created financial freedom by working toward their dreams, shattering their limiting beliefs, and demanding their worth.