Let me start by saying…I believe in the Go-Giver philosophy. I have seen it work in my own business. Yes to adding value. Yes to being a connector. Yes to referrals and collaboration and even value through branding. BUT…it can go too far. In fact, I would say that female entrepreneurs struggle with this…they by nature are givers, nurturers. And sometimes, they give it away or lower their value because they think they are helping. You can help. I believe in giving value. But I also believe in PLACING value on yourself…your worth, your expertise, your gifts. After all, isn’t that why you went into business? To be paid what you are worth? So why are female entrepreneurs crippling themselves? Don’t believe me…let’s look at some numbers.
In an article by Zervant.com, 42% of all entrepreneurs are women, 58% are men. Not a terribly huge gap, right? However, recent stats on income of entrepreneurs show that ONLY 2% of female entrepreneurs make over the $1M mark annually compared to around 10% for male entrepreneurs. WHY? The rates of business success and failures are the same…20% will fail in their first year, 30% by year three and 50% will have failed at the end of year five. Those rates are stable across gender. So why such the difference in income?
A couple of reasons. Women become entrepreneurs primarily to work independently and make an “idea” happen. They love the creative piece of entrepreneurism. Men become entrepreneurs primarily to earn more money and have a higher status. A very different focus that will result in very different daily income producing activities.
Men also tend to be more confident, in fact OVER-confident in their abilities. They are more likely to talk about their strengths and their business with a confidence that hasn’t been vetted yet. But because they present that image, others trust it and buy into it. Women tend to under-estimate their abilities. They don’t openly share about their strengths because they have been taught that is considered bragging. They don’t share confidently about their businesses UNTIL…and because they don’t appear as confident, others don’t engage as quickly. Therefore, they find themselves giving away their work or lowering the value to attract clients. But then they have set a precedence that is hard to overcome.
So, how do we change this? How do we encourage more women to monetize correctly from the start and build the resources that will REALLY allow them to continue to work independently and creatively on their passion projects? Here are a few ideas that I work with my clients on:
- We are REAL about the value of the product/ service you offer. AND….we don’t back off that number.
- Now we brand correctly to attract through value marketing the IDEAL client that will see the value and understand the worth. Price isn’t an issue when it is the RIGHT client in the RIGHT moment.
- We use social media to provide value but NOT give the “farm” away. We want “courtship”, “engagement” and a “wedding”. You know…your momma said it, “They won’t buy the cow if you give away the milk!”
- And we exercise our mental muscle to eliminate the old image of the “pushy car salesman” to one of relationships (which women EXCEL at!) and making the ASK in a way that is warm, authentic and real. If you don’t get your ASK in gear, you will never have! Women struggle with the ASK because they lack the right mental posture and confidence.
The solution= own your value + be the expert + create value.
Sugar, you don’t have to give it away! I promise you!