Celebrate the Ides of March by giving yourself a gift! Invest an hour this coming Thursday to learn how to grow your business by overcoming one of the biggest fears professional women have around asking for money.
Today is March 4th. Which is a homonym for March Forth! Let me make an argument for doing just that.
Awhile back I met a friend and colleague for lunch. We were going to continue a previous discussion about how we might work together. I thought I was so prepared. I had outlined a really cool workshop we could deliver together. Target audiences, key messages, logistics, the whole shebang.
She read it through, put down my masterpiece, and said, “That’s it?” I was crestfallen. This woman and I have literally been talking for years about how we could work together to empower women to change their world.
“That’s it?” I was crushed. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“This is good. But I was thinking we could create a whole program—not just a workshop.”
Oh…she wanted more! She was thinking big; I was thinking small. We spent the next half hour brainstorming what a program might look like, and who our ideal clients would be. We were both excited about our prospects, and had clear next steps to research our market. We are now putting the finishing touches on our program description, and getting it ready to present to potential partners. And I’ve discovered that any program can be broken down into smaller workshops or other products, which doubles our revenue possibilities!
This experience really challenged me to look at my goals and objectives, and my plans for my life and my business. Was I thinking too small about everything? Possibly. But my brain was beginning to hurt. I couldn’t handle thinking bigger about every aspect of my business and my life. But I could deal with a little mind expansion in one area at a time. So, I’m focusing my efforts on this new program (more about this in future post), and on creating a few really powerful ways to work with professional women that fit easily into their lives, schedules and budgets.
Yes, thinking big created a bit more work on my end. But thinking big also created a lot more opportunities—not only for my clients to get mentoring and solutions that work for them, their budgets and their schedules—but for me too. More opportunities to work with women who want to transform their lives and their world by asking for (and getting) the money they deserve; more opportunities to diversify and expand my business. Everybody wins.
Is there an area of your life or your business that you’re thinking too small about?
Now, those of you that know me well may have read the title of this post with a New Yawk accent, and a slightly obnoxious attitude. Like, “Whaddya askin’ for?” And expecting it to be followed closely by, “Who wants to know?” You would be wrong.
I simply mean to get you to think about exactly what you are asking for. Especially when you’re asking for money.
There are lots of words for money. Here in the US, we sometimes call it “moolah”, “Benjamins”, “bucks”, and “greenbacks”. We also know that when we hear those words, the speaker is referring to a pile of paper legal tender. Too often, we are way less clear when we are actually asking for some of the stuff.
We ask for “support”. We ask for “resources”. We ask for “assistance”. If we’re being slightly less nebulous, we ask for “funding”. Or we ask for “investment”. When was the last time you actually used the word “money” when you were asking for money?
Much of this obliqueness (is that even a word?) comes from our fears and discomfort around money. We’re not supposed to talk about money. We’re not supposed to ask other people about their money. We’re not supposed to volunteer how much money we make or have in our bank accounts. Why do we have these fears? Too many hypotheses to put into this post. Suffice it to say that most of us have some fear or discomfort around talking about money.
Well, here’s a new hypothesis for you. How about asking for exactly what you want?
I just heard all of you gasp.
What, you don’t want to ask that investor to actually write a check? You don’t want to tell the potential donor you need her to give you money? You’re uncomfortable asking a client to pay you dollars commensurate with the value you provide?
Look at the flip side. Should you be frustrated when the investor wants to trade stock in her company for stock in yours? Would you happy if the potential donor gave you her nasty old office furniture instead of cash? Does your work suffer if you’re secretly thinking, “they aren’t paying me enough”?
Be clear about what you want. It makes it much easier for people to give it to you.
If you’re still uncomfortable using words like money, cash, dollars, income, revenue and profit, you might want to check out my special report: 10 Biggest Fears Professional Women Have Around Asking for Money…and How to Conquer Them! You can get it by filling out the form on the right.
Or, get yourself the newly-released How to Ask for Money Quickstart Program. Three powerful tools to help you overcome your fears, embrace your leadership qualities and ask for—and get—the money you deserve.
As much as it may pain me to admit it here, I watch “American Idol“. I enjoy living vicariously through the candidates (the ones who get through to Hollywood, of course!), and listening to the comments from the judges. Every so often there is a great nugget that can be used by the vast majority of us who will never be in the Top 12 (or 14, or 150…).
Last night, two such nuggets came from my (usually) least favorite judge, Kara DioGuardi. First, she was commenting on the former-Barney-kid-turned-dominatrix who sang an En Vogue song, Erica Rhodes. What she liked about the performance was that this woman was completely and totally herself. Erica fully embraced and embodied her desire to be viewed as a true grown-up, not just a grown-up Barney kid. Oh yeah, and she could sing. The point is, the skill took a back seat the fact that Erica fully believed in herself.
Kara’s second important statement of the evening was directed at Christian Spear. This 16-year-old is an 8-year cancer survivor, who blew through Etta James’s, “All I Could Do Was Cry”. After the other members of the judging panel sang the praises of Christian’s skill, Kara said (something like), “You performed utterly without fear. Your confidence is amazing in a person of your age.”
Erica and Christian had less than a minute to get their points across to the judging panel. If Kara can pick up on their inner confidence (and, presumably, other contestants’ lack of confidence) in that short a time, don’t you think that your prospects can get the same vibe from you? The point?
Skills are noticed second to confidence level and the performer’s belief in herself. Does your belief in yourself match up to your skills?
I just finished my latest Special Report, and wanted to make sure you get your copy. It’s a special report on the 10 biggest fears women have around asking for money. Not only do I list the fears, but I provide strategies overcome them, and links to resources to help you implement those strategies.
Fill out the form on the right to get your copy now!