I’ve got a confession.
I’ve always been one for big revelations. I like surprises, and I love a good epiphany. Just ask my college girlfriends about all the epiphanies I had about my then boyfriend, now husband, Jeremy, in college.
So, as I sat down to write this post, I could feel the beginnings of one coming on, an epiphany, I mean.
Confession #1: I’m a workaholic.
Now, I’m guessing that anyone who really knows me probably won’t actually be that surprised by this little confession, but I admit I’ve never really thought of myself this way.
Committed to whatever I happen to be doing at the time? Definitely.
Juggler of many balls and never really wanting any of them to drop? Uh… guilty as charged.
But workaholic? No. That’s not really a word I would have used to describe myself, but over the past 8 months, I find that that’s actually the right word. The classic definition of a workaholic is someone who works long, hard hours, generally because they enjoy it. Which is definitely true. But there’s another part to this definition. A workaholic works long, hard hours because they feel compelled to.
Huh. Yep, also accurate. But I’ll come back to that in a second.
So, how did I come to this confession, and why is it important?
It started with a comment at the dinner table last week. I can’t remember what prompted it, but my daughter, Lily, casually said, “Mom, you’re allllways working.” My natural instinct was to be defensive, to come up with some kind of counter response, at minimum an excuse, but I realized that she was right. I do work all the time.
A few days later, Jeremy made a similar comment, and just like before, I wanted to defend myself. Didn’t they all realize I was running a business and juggling a million balls? Didn’t they realize I was trying to set the family up for success while I was away on travel this week? But just like with Lily, I knew he was right. It didn’t matter that I was doing all those things, they needed me and I wasn’t there. I was physically present, sure, but emotionally and mentally I was a million miles away. I was thinking about the next blog I needed to write, the next Facebook post to be created, how to make changes to the Mini Mental Makeover, and on and on and on. I felt compelled. You saw that coming a mile a way, didn’t you?
But to them, none of that mattered. Not that my work wasn’t important, but me being present was simply (and understandably) more important to them. And so began the downward spiral in my head.
Not good enough.
Do more. Be more. More. More. More.
But why is that the go-to response?
Because me juggling all the balls, taking care of all the logistics for the family “to make life simpler”, and pouring all my time and energy and passion into work to deliver a result is deeply tied to my own sense of self-worth. I know I’m not alone here. As women, as moms, as business owners, we feel the tug to constantly deliver results, to be all the things to everyone. At its core, it’s all about proving your worth to the world outside…
And confession #2: I want to make sure I justify my worth to myself.
I want to make sure there’s no question that I’ve got it all together, because if I have it all together, if all the balls stay in the air, then me being more absent will still be okay.
Newsflash: My worth has nothing to do with how many balls I juggle.
It has everything to do with my thoughts.
Let me say that again. My worth has nothing to do with what I do… but rather what I THINK about myself. What I believe about myself.
Hear me, Smart Girl. Your worth as a human being, as a woman, as a partner, a mom, a business owner has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do. Until you believe this fundamental truth, it’s going to be impossible to do what you need to do for your business.
When you’re questioning your worth and all those fears Christy talked about last week it means you give away your time for free, you set lower prices for the work you do, and you devalue your unique set of experiences, expertise, and talents. It means you don’t follow up with customers when they don’t pay on time. It means you don’t hold customers accountable for their contractual obligations. Things we did for years.
You cannot run a successful business if you’re afraid or unwilling to stand with confidence or fight for the value of your time and expertise.
Did you know, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, female entrepreneurs charge on average 20% less than their male counterparts for the exact same work? In a world where women still make less than their male counterparts in virtually every industry, women have to OWN their worth and the value they bring.
Why is this still a thing? Why are we still doing this to ourselves?
I’ll tell you. Because when it’s all said and done, when you dig beneath the surface, we don’t feel we’re worth it. We minimize ourselves. We fear we’ll never get clients or that we’ll lose the ones we’ve got if we don’t acquiesce.
Ladies, we have got to stop with this nonsense.
You didn’t leave your professional job and start this business so you could give your time, experience, skills, talents, and expertise away for free.
You didn’t leave your professional job and start this business because you wanted to make less.
It’s time to pull on your power panties, step into those killer heels, and stand in your own power.
Now, repeat after me.
I earned this.
I worked hard to get where I am.
I have a lot to offer.
I am worth it.
Now do it again with conviction. With gumption this time.
And on a practical level, take a look at your pricing and how you set those rates. Do the research to see what your competitors are charging, what you uniquely bring to the table, and the value you provide. There is no one, NO ONE, on this earth that brings your unique skill set, your unique experiences, or your unique set of capabilities to the people you serve.
Focus on the results. Hold firm to your boundaries. And stop undercharging.
You’re worth it.
Whew! That felt good.
Here’s the deal. The Mini Mental Makeover is our 14-day challenge. It’s designed to help you tackle the mental clutter that is keeping you from being successful. Just like Marie Kondo helps you declutter your home, we help you declutter your mind. You don’t need anything getting in the way of your success. Let’s be honest, there is NO joy in that. So, let’s give Marie a rest and come do a little 2 Smart Girl-ing. Join us on March 4th for our next Mini Mental Makeover! We’ll give you simple, straightforward, easy to use tools to help you tackle the clutter and find a new sense of joy in your life and business. Registration is easy and worth every penny. If you do the work, this program will change your life. A bold but true statement. Click here to register today.
Now, excuse me while I shut off my phone and computer for a bit. I’ve got a date night with Jeremy and a fun weekend with the kids to plan.