I recently had a conversation with a woman who was telling me all about her two-year plan she’d put together to land her dream job. This was it! The job she knows she’s meant to do and she’s determined to get it.
Here’s her plan:
- Work hard for two years gaining the appropriate experience needed to earn credibility
- Network with the right people for visibility to ensure that they see her value
- Deliver results every step of the way
Her plan is so air tight (in her mind) that once the key decision maker sees how amazingly talented and hard working she is, the job will be hers.
Does this sound a tiny bit familiar? Have you ever created the same kind of plan to land your dream job or dream client? Did it work?
Too many times we hear about women being disappointed, shocked, or frustrated when someone with less experience, credentials, and credibility swoops in and robs her of what she’s worked so hard for? What she’s wanted more than anything?
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve probably all been in a similar situation. When it happens to us we’re hurt, mad, disappointed and left asking ourselves, how could they not have seen how perfect I was for them?
Don’t we all want to know what we need to do differently next time to avoid the pain, and ensure a happier and successful ending? Would you believe me if I told you that I know the secret formula to a happier ending? I know you’re saying to yourself, “yeah right let’s hear it Christy.”
The secret to successful outcomes is that you have to start thinking successful thoughts. It’s that simple! Your thoughts direct your outcome and results, so in order to achieve successful results you’ve got to think successful thoughts.
Let’s go back up to the example above.
Old thoughts: I need to work hard, get lots of experience, deliver results, and show her how incredibly valuable I am to the organization and then they’ll hire me because I did all of the right things that I was supposed to do.
This thinking says, I don’t believe I can do it yet, but I will believe I can do it in two years when I’ve worked my booty off to prove to you (and myself) that I can do it, and when I think I’m qualified enough I’ll get the job.
New thoughts: Yes this job is mine because I’m a Rockstar at what I do! Sure I’ll have to learn some new things but not a problem because I can do that. I need to tell her that I want this job and how excited I am about the opportunity so her search is over. I’m going to ask for help on recommending what things I should be learning and working on so I’m ready when she needs me. I can’t wait.
Here’s the thing, you show up differently depending on how you think about yourself. If you think “I’m a rockstar! Let’s make some magic happen,” you show up with energy and confidence that says to everyone game on! I’m ready to do this. But if you show up believing you’re not quite ready and need some time to get you there, then you show up holding back, a bit reserved, maybe a little quiet. People can feel the difference which will then produce a completely different result for you, and for them.
Let’s take a pause and listen to what your brain is saying to you right now because my guess is, it may be freaking out a little at the idea of really putting yourself out there and asking for what you want.
The truth is that women really, really struggle with asking for what they really want and believing they’re worth it. Women suggest, drop hints, slay the work, and kill themselves hoping and praying that someone notices what a badass they are while someone else (usually a man) comes in and closes the deal. He believes he’s worth it, he asks for it, and he gets it!
We hold back from asking for promotions, raises, better contract terms, a bigger office, flexible work schedules, and rates that are commiserate with our experience.
We hold back from asking for help at home, the office, in our businesses, and even in our relationships because we feel guilty, ashamed or afraid of asking for what we really want and need.
I’m not pointing a finger at anyone out there because I struggle with it just as much some days and what I’m saying is we ALL need to start rewriting the “stinking thinking” that goes on in our heads. It’s taking a toll on our time, money, success, and health, and it’s just ineffective.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Numbers don’t like and the research shows that men are four times more likely to ask for more money, and that when women do ask they request 30% less than what their male counterparts do.
Men are more likely to negotiate office size, salary, incentives, bonuses, and other benefits before they ever accept a position, even if it’s an internal move.
In a Carnegie Mellon study with 78 recent master degree students, 12.5% of women negotiated for their starting salary, verses 52% of the men. This could potentially lead to a $1.5 M in lost income over the woman’s career. That’s over a $1M, which becomes a huge issue when you stop and think about women outlive men by 4-6 years. You need that money.
Jess and I watch women business owners lower their rates, provide discounts, extend terms and struggle with asking for what she’s really worth all because of the false recordings that play over and over in her head, convincing her that she’s not good enough, smart enough, experienced enough to just ask for what she really wants.
But things are improving as the research also shows that millennial women are asking for what they want and actually getting it. Yes, there’s hope.
My 10 year old daughter Ella has absolutely no hesitation or fear in asking for what she wants. Minute by minute, hour-by-hour, day by day she asks for everything. She’s bold, gutsy, determined and believes if you don’t ask, you won’t get. She doesn’t take the no personally.
Most of the time I’m exhausted by her endless requests, but there’s a part of me that also admires her tenacity and persistence in not giving up. Secretly I hope she never stops asking. I hope she charges into her teenage years and adulthood with never being afraid to ask for what she really wants in life because she has a better chance of getting it.
The Call That Changed It All
Two years ago Jess and I learned how powerful it feels to just ask for it. We were working for an international client and 24 hours before our departure the work was cancelled. We were completely mental about how to handle the cancellation with our client. While we had a contract and a cancellation policy, we struggled with the idea of just asking for it this amount of money ($54,000) when we didn’t do the work.
These crazy thoughts consumed us for nearly two weeks and wreaked havoc on our productivity, not to mention the mental exhausted and how spent we felt.
Leading up to the conversation the craziness in our head went something like this:
What if he says no.
What if he thinks we’re being greedy in asking him to honor the contract?
What if he doesn’t want to work with us again in the future?
What if he thinks we’re being difficult partners?
What if he hires someone else to finish the work?
What if he prevents us from getting other clients?
When we finally had the call, we summoned up the courage to ask to be paid for the loss of work and what the contract stated. It was one of those moments where we pulled up our big girl panties and asked for it. We believed we were worth it. We knew we had consistently delivered our part of the contract without fail for six months. We recognized that we had been a trusted partner for years and had gone above and beyond to deliver the desired results to this client. We both firmly believed that the contract should be honored. We also agreed that hearing him say no would be much easier to live with than knowing that we never asked for it.
Neither of us will ever forget his words after he agreed to honor the contract and pay us for the cancelled work. He said, “I just needed to hear you ask for it.”
In that moment, we realized that that we’ll never get what we want unless we have the courage to ask for it.
Smart Girl today is the day. It’s time to get out of your head and get down to business by rewriting the false recordings that you’re playing by and aren’t serving you. It’s time you start asking for what you want, what you’ve worked for, and what you’re worth. You’ve totally got this.
P.S. See you on Facebook Live on Thursday @ 12:30 CST as we tackle the struggle.