Let me ask you a question ….
Why is it that women….
- have been graduating from university at higher rates than men since the 60’s
- have been starting businesses at twice the rate of men for over 2 decades
- still control just 1% of the worlds wealth
- run half the number of multi million dollar companies as men*
- make up a teensy 3% of the worlds self made billionaires**?
To add insult to injury women are experiencing overwhelm and burnout at alarming rates, divorce rates are rapidly climbing, infertility is more common than nature ever intended and women everywhere are screaming to be heard with voices that are stuck on mute!
Something is not quite right here!
I’ve been thinking a lot about these anomalies over the past few months and trying to figure out what the real problem is.
Women entrepreneurs tell me all the time that they launched their own business for a number of reasons:
- To get the freedom and flexibility they so desperately need and crave
- To do work that aligns with their values and deep soul calling
- To give and have impact in this world
When I ask them where money fits into their reasoning an overwhelming number tell me they are not in business for the money, they are in business to serve. On top of that they say it like that makes them somehow more virtuous and authentic.
Like ‘money’ is the evil stepsister they don’t want to be associated with.
Now, let’s be clear here before we go on. Nobody is really in business just for the money but money is an extremely important part of business success. It also has a huge effect on your level of freedom, your ability to focus on doing work you love and your ability to serve and have epic social impact in this world.
I’m not sure all the women entrepreneurs out there are getting the freedom and flexibility they thought they would, are serving at the level they would like to or are having the level of impact in this world that they deep down know they could.
By ignoring the money part of business a lot of women are tripping themselves up not just in business but in life.
Business is about creating an amazing piece of value in some shape or form. It’s about filling a need or a gap that exists in society. The return for your precious resources of time, energy and creativity comes in the form of money. This is the value exchange at work.
Of course there is also a sense of deep satisfaction and contribution you get from creating and giving value. This feeling lights any soul up far more than money ever will but without money or some other form of tangible value it is unsustainable. The value exchange gets out of balance and that feeling of satisfaction and contribution can turn into resentment and dissatisfaction pretty quickly.
As I have discussed on this blog before the value exchange involves both giving and receiving.
As women we are great givers. We love to give, to nurture, create community and support each other but we are not so comfortable with receiving. We blush when we get a compliment and brush it off as nothing. We discount and apologise about our prices in business. We tend to shy away from standing firm in price negotiating and often give away our power very quickly so as not to seem pushy.
Over time we run out of giving power and that’s when the resentment kicks in and things can go to pot!
You can’t give non-stop without receiving and replenishing your giving power.
Money is an integral member of your team. It is there to support you and to make everything else run smoothly. It is as important as any of your staff members.
**(Apr 2014 data – 1080 self made billionaires – 32 self made female billionaires)