New Year, New You
Ladies, Here's How To Earn More Money
One mistake women tend to make in work and business is playing (and staying) small. Why is this? Settling for less seems to be ingrained in us due to societal norms and years of expectations, not only by the patriarchy, but by other women. I'm on a mission to empower women to think and act bigger, expect more for themselves and their families in 2022 and beyond.
The African proverb, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” is often quoted to motivate the world to make education accessible for all. In the current generation, women are more educated than ever; in fact, according to recent enrollment stats, in the spring of 2021, 59.5% of college students in the United States were women, while 40.5% were men.
So why do women continue to make less money than men? On average, women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, and it’s even less for Latina and Black women. How can this be? While there are many factors that may contribute to the gender pay gap, including discrimination or unconscious bias, I believe women can take responsibility for many of the causes and do something about it.
1Believe You Are Worth It
According to some studies, women don’t even apply for a job unless they believe they are 100% qualified, versus men who will apply even if they don’t have all the required experience. This alone is limiting what a woman can earn in the workforce. On a deep level, behaviors like this may come from beliefs about our worth and money itself.
Generational or moral beliefs about money could be holding you back from desiring or seeking more money. Were you taught that people with a lot of money are greedy or somehow bad? Do you say things like, “We can’t have everything we want” or “We’ll never have enough money”? These are signs you have limiting beliefs about money.
Recognizing your negative money thoughts and working to change them will be the foundation for thinking bigger. Two books I’ve found for learning more about this topic are Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jenn Cincero.
2Ask for More Money
Studies show women don’t ask for raises as often as men. Women business owners often charge less or be expected to charge less for their products and services as well. I believe this boils down to either ignorance about what they could be charging and/or their negative beliefs about how much their offerings are worth. If you want to make more money, ask for it.
3Start Your Own Business
Did you know, on average, self-employed people are four times wealthier than workers? That’s mind-blowing! If you’ve asked for a promotion or raise with proof of your increased value to a company and been turned down again and again or you’re just tired of low wages, consider starting your own business.
Starting a business can be risky. It takes a lot of grit and belief in yourself, but it has so many benefits for women. Freedom to work around your schedule and the ability to make more money are just the tip of the iceberg.
For an inspiring story about how one woman went from not being able to afford electricity for her apartment to overworked and underpaid lawyer to multimillion dollar business owner, I recommend the book We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers. Self Made by Nelly Galan is another great book for women who want to take control of their lives by being their own boss. Rachel is a Black woman and Nelly is Latina. Economic freedom is possible for all women, especially in the United States.
4Value Your Time
Whether you own a business or work for a company, consider whether you’re using your time most effectively for earning more or less money.
Many women dedicate much of their time to “saving money” — clipping coupons, sewing clothes, and shopping the clearance section for hours. While there’s nothing wrong with being thrifty and using your resources wisely, it makes so much more sense to earn $100 with a side hustle in the same amount of time it took you to “save” $10 clipping coupons.
Another example: If you can earn $125 per hour in your business and pay someone $20/hour to clean your house while you work, you’ll make $420 ($500 minus $80) instead of no money at all if you clean the house yourself.
Culture and bias are things we can’t change overnight, but you can take responsibility for your actions that are keeping you and your money small. Learn to control your thoughts and beliefs about money, ask for more, stop working for lower wages by becoming your own boss, and maximize your earning potential by using your time wisely and you will close your own earning gap. Go forth and conquer, sisters! I’m right there with you.