Somebody has to be first, why shouldn’t it be you?  Be clear about why you are working.  I have a lot of passion for my work, but if I didn’t need the money, I would be doing something different.  Do what you love and the money will follow is a myth.  Money is a strange and powerful thing.  It is closely tied to our emotions, confidence and feelings of self-worth.  As women, we receive a wide range of conflicting messages beginning when we are little girls.  Repeat after me, “I am working for the money.  I add tremendous value to my clients and I deserve to be richly compensated.”  Oddly enough, your clients are more likely to take your advice if they pay you more.  Making more money makes your clients more successful.

Somebody has to be first, why shouldn’t it be you? 

Women don’t always push forward to be first.  Unless of course it’s a Black Friday sale at Nordstrom.  Isn’t it time to start thinking like a winner?

The first thing you need to do is act like a winner.  Even if you don’t feel like a winner.  You can control your actions more easily than you can control your feelings.  Surround yourself with images of what winning looks like to you.  Visualize yourself winning.  Daydream winning scenarios.

EAT.

SLEEP.

WIN.

I do a lot of speaking and enjoy speaking at our local universities in San Diego.  Last fall I spoke to an MBA class on strategy implementation.  I enjoy this class because the focus of my core consulting practice is implementation and execution.  The professor also happens to have been one of my business school professors, years ago back east.  So, it gives me a chance to catch up with him too.

I try to make my presentation as interactive as possible and encourage questions.  I was talking about how I plan and manage various projects to make sure deliverables are completed on time.  One of the students asked whether I had a contingency plan for missing milestones.  My mind went completely blank.  I thought for a few long, silent minutes and replied, “It never enters my mind that I will miss a deadline.”  I had never thought about this before, but I realized at that moment that I have a “failure is not an option” mindset.  It’s nothing I have worked to develop.  It must be a combination of innate personality traits and great parenting by my Mom and Dad who instilled loads of self-confidence.

Be clear about why you are working. 

I work because I need the money.  If I didn’t need the money, I would be busy, but I would be doing something different.  I have so many non-profit ideas I would love to bring to life.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like my work.  In fact, I am sitting here because I am passionate about empowering working mothers to have meaningful careers with the flexibility to raise their children the way they wish.  I don’t want you to experience the heartbreak of the mother sobbing at her 6-week postpartum check-up because her employer refused to allow her more than 6 weeks of maternity leave or the female CFO sent on an emergency business trip the morning of October 31, missing Halloween with her two young sons.

Why are you working?  Some people don’t need the money.  Some families could make some changes and do without the money.  It’s important to know that you no longer have to choose either a) go to work or b) stay home.  It does not have to be all or nothing.

You can choose where you want to work and when you want to work.  You can decide whether to start your own business or work for someone else.  You can decide whether to work full time or part time.  You can choose whether you work from home or an office.  You can decide whether you need flexible hours or prefer a fixed schedule.

Do what you love, and the money will follow is a myth. 

If Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow had been a Katy Perry song instead of a book, it would have been the anthem of the late 80s and early 90s.  This advice didn’t stop there.  On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, delivered the commencement address at Stanford.  Perhaps the most memorable quote from his address is 

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  ―Steve Jobs

This decree that your career must satisfy your deepest passion makes some of us feel like we are not reaching our full potential.  It turns a wonderful career into something we settled for.  I don’t buy it.  In fact, I’m not having it.  Here’s the thing, the money might not follow.

You can create a career that allows you the money and flexibility to pursue your passion.

As women, we receive a wide range of conflicting messages beginning when we are little girls. 

My mother stayed home with us and never considered working until she got divorced in her 40s.  I didn’t have any friends with working mothers when I was in elementary school.  But for some reason, I always carried my Dad’s old briefcase and my babies went to day care when I played house as a young child.  I don’t know where I got this idea, but I always envisioned myself as a working mom.

I am not and have never been a perfectionist.  Overachiever yes, perfectionist no.  I see so many groups online for recovering perfectionists.  Apparently, it is something to be avoided.  Are you trying to be perfect?  Does it get in your way?

I don’t see my clients battling perfectionism, but I do see them hiding behind making something “just a little better” before they get out there and start selling.  I just need to finish my web site…  I just need to get my logo done…  I just need to refine my messaging…  I just need to clarify my offering…  There’s one thing behind all these excuses.  FEAR.  Fear of rejection.  Fear that my business won’t work.  Fear that I won’t get any projects.  Done is better than perfect and you should always be shooting for 80%.  80% is good enough.  I spend a lot of time booting them in the backside and pushing them out the door to go spread their message and sell their services.

I believe that 90% of success is showing up.  Sure, you have to be smart and have a good attitude, but these will not help you if you don’t show up.  I believe that if you show up all the time and add a heaping scoop of “fake it ‘til you make it”, you are pretty much guaranteed to succeed.

Repeat after me, “I am working for the money.  I add tremendous value to my clients and I deserve to be richly compensated.” 

When you’re telling people about your services, you are not asking or imposing, you are giving.  Imagine if someone like you had come along just when you needed it most?  You would have been delighted.  If you have something that can help, you owe it to the world to get it out there.

You are smart, experienced and you’re good at what you do.  Companies need your help to be more successful.  You owe it to them to get out there.  Be deliberate.  Be confident.  You can have more impact on your clients as a consultant than you could as a full-time employee and you can make more money.

Oddly enough, your clients are more likely to take your advice if they pay you more.  Making more money makes your clients more successful.

In the early days of my business, I didn’t charge enough.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t win the business if my price was too high.  Once I finally start charging what I was worth, my clients never batted an eye.  Just think of all that money I left on the table.

STOP right now and repeat after me:

I earned it.

I deserve it.

I am worth it.

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