The case for eliminating money as a measure of success (for women-led businesses)
Listening to Reese Witherspoon, a highly accomplished (and multi-award winning) actor, producer, and businesswoman, with an estimated net worth of $240m (Forbes, 2019), rhetorically ask “when is it going to be enough?” got me to really thinking about this whole idea of money as a measure of success.
You see, Reese was talking to Jameela Jamil about how, in corporate meetings with production companies, she’s still left feeling “this” big (and by “this” big, she meant really, really small).
Because the men (who are the majority of the power players in those rooms) don’t take her seriously. Because her media production company is only making a tenth of what their companies are making. Because she had the audacity to step out of her “own lane”.
So when, in frustrated tears, she cried, “When do (we) women who’ve been put in this marginalised place... get to emerge as the leaders that we are”, it occurred to me that she was missing a key piece of the puzzle that would allow her to answer that question for herself.
You see, right now, in every industry (other than things like nursing, caring, domestic roles, and maybe teaching - where we are deemed to “belong”) she’s absolutely right.
Women - on the whole - are not taken seriously.
But it’s not because the men are making more money than us (or think us frivolous, foolish, or delusional).
It’s because we are allowing our income level (in relation to theirs) to determine how we feel about ourselves.
Because we perceive that the size of our money pile defines us.
And so, sticking with Reese (I hope she won’t mind me using her to illustrate my point), this is a woman who is doing seriously meaningful work in her industry.
She’s getting women’s powerful stories out into the mainstream.
She’s bringing inspiring, thoughtful, disruptive women-led drama to a global audience.
She’s using storytelling to help (in the best way she can) to level the playing field for women everywhere.
Meanwhile, the men (who’ve left her feeling small in those meetings) are really just looking to make the most money possible while taking the least risks; without giving a flying-you-know-what about progress, nor about making a positive impact in the world - in fact, they’re diligently working to maintain the status quo of their own superiority.
And yet we’ve somehow decided that they are the successful ones.
Because we’ve allowed the amount of money we’re making (in comparison to them) to dictate how we feel about ourselves.
We’ve allowed them to control the narrative that money equals success. And thus the smallness that we feel in their presence has become our reality.
The truth, of course, is that money - in and of itself - is entirely worthless.Neither powerful nor impactful, unless it is wielded by empowered people for the advancement, the lifting up, of themselves and society.
And so the idea that accumulating piles and piles of the stuff makes you successful, is nothing short of ludicrous.
A patriarchal construct.
An outright lie.
A bit like the lie that if you’re thin, or beautiful, or well-educated, or white, or straight, or cis, you are somehow more valuable than your fat, or plain, or under-educated, or black, or gay, or trans counterparts (also old, pale, and stale constructs, in case you hadn’t figured that out already).
You see, Ms Witherspoon, in my (not so) humble opinion, is already much, much more successful than the men in those rooms.
Because she’s doing something that actually matters.
And so, finally, I arrive at what I really wanted to talk to you about.
Not what a famous celebrity is doing or feeling - valuable though it (and she) is.
But what we are doing and feeling, every single day in our businesses.
Because, as a mentor, I’ve spent the last 6 years working with women business owners who, without exception, have come to me feeling like they needed to be making more money; even when they already had piles of it in the bank, and piles more coming in every single month, and had absolutely no idea what that additional money might be utilised for (other than accumulating more stuff).
And every single day my social media feeds are filled with entrepreneurial women (and men, actually) chasing their first (or next) $100k, their first million, their first beach house, their first... (you know where I’m going with this, right?) and convincing others to pay them so that they can learn how to do the same.
Selling whatever they can to whomever they can under the guise of living their purpose (if indeed it is anyone’s purpose to help folks pursue a moneyed lifestyle that feels curiously empty once you get there).
But what they’re all failing to realise is that an extra 6 or 7 figures (or even a 40ft yacht) won’t make a fig of difference to how big (or small) the “men” in the room (and by men, I mean anyone - male, female, or otherwise - who is earning more than them) will be able to leave them feeling; without even trying.
Because money doesn’t prove that you are a successful, intelligent, evolving, contributing human.
It merely proves that you have a talent for convincing folks to part with their money.
Which is precisely why I’m advocating for a re-writing of the rules, in a way that actually works for us.
For ditching money (entirely) as a measure of our success.Which is not to say that we shouldn’t make (and want to make) lots of it. Simply that we don’t define our success by it.
I know, it’s a radical (or maybe just plain crazy) idea.
And I understand that, in the early days of our businesses, money is of huge significance... because life costs (and I am in no way diminishing the fight for equal pay, which is extremely important in an equitable society).
But, for those of us running businesses, who are already making more than enough to live a really comfortable life, let’s be honest shall we?
Once you’ve made your first few hundred thousand - and bought the house and the car and the fancy shoes - money becomes seriously insignificant; a thing we chase more and more of simply because that’s how we’ve been taught to operate by the men who’ve been fiercely defending the rule-book (and their own place at the head of the table) for more years than we can count.
A thing that leaves us feeling frustratingly empty, and not enough, even when the pile we’ve accumulated is two hundred and forty million dollars high.
And so you can see why that’s no way to judge our success. To judge anyone’s success.
But then what is?
Well, it’s certainly less easy to measure - isn’t that true of almost all things on the more feminine end of the spectrum? - but how about we start defining our success on how meaningful our work is? How well we understand ourselves and others? How much compassion we can find for even the people we vehemently disagree with? How transformative our ideas are? How much we’ve grown? How much we positively impact the lives of the folks who work with us?
Oh, I know, the (old school) fellas will hate it.
They’ll deem it ludicrous, frivolous, ridiculously naive.And they’d be right.
They’d tell us that no one will ever recognise our measure of success, no one will ever invest in our work, no one will ever back us.
And they’d be (at least partially) right about that too.
Because the old school certainly wouldn’t agree to measuring success this way.
And even the women, who’ve diligently followed the patriarchal rules for as long as they can remember, would likely find it a step too far.
For they would all turn to survey the empires that they’ve built, the luxuries surrounding them, and the piles of money in their bank accounts, and realise that - based on the measures proposed here - they’ve been immediately toppled from their place at the top of the success pyramid.
But here’s a question for you:
Would it even matter if they refused to recognise our measure of success?
Would it matter, really?Or would it be enough to shift our own perception of ourselves (since this is the real issue here), and thus their perception of us - from frivolous to brilliant, from small to enormous - that we know, when we stand in those rooms (real or Zoom), surrounded by folks who’ve made ten (or a hundred) times more money than us, that we are the ones who are truly successful?
And that they are the unbelievably fortunate ones to have the opportunity to work with women as successful as us?
THIS IS WHY SO MANY PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS CHOOSE TO DIY RATHER THAN INVEST WITH YOU
Wondering why so many of your PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS choose to try and DIY their success, rather than invest with you?
When your discovery call is going like a DREAM!
When they’re telling you that they CANNOT WAIT to get started!
When you’re convinced that they’re COMMITTED and READY TO GO!
Then, you get to the INVESTMENT, and… BAM!
They need to think about it.
They don’t have the money right now.
They need to speak to their husband.
And you’re PISSED!
What happened to committed? Ready to go? Can’t wait?
Well, maybe they just really don’t have the money right?
I mean, you can’t expect people to fork out cash they simply DON’T have, right?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
And you know why?
Because MONEY is NOT the issue!
And you know how I know?
Because I’ve been there.
And, just a couple of years ago, I watched many of the same clients that told me they didn’t have the money, go on and invest twice as much with a “bigger” name.
You see, it’s NOT the money.
It’s NOT the husband.
And it’s NOT that they want to DIY forever.
Because YOU don’t believe that you’re a serious enough player to offer true transformation (so you’re watering down your messages, and your offers, so you can stay in your comfort zone; meanwhile you end up sharing irrelevant crap that has nothing to do with your business and getting people to take the next step with you or, worse yet, sounding like every other dull-as-dishwater coach out there).
YOU don’t believe that your EXPERTISE is good enough to command the high-ticket price you’re asking for (that’s why, month after month, even though you’re charging a good price for your coaching, you fail to hit your own target for clients signed and money received).
And YOU don’t really believe that you can COMPETE with the big industry leaders (even though you don’t need to, because there is NO competition, WHATSOEVER, when you embrace your authenticity and unique SUPERPOWER).
And guess what, because YOU don’t believe in you, the people who get on the phone with you, WANTING you to really SEE them, BELIEVE in them, and HELP them to INVEST, walk away feeling deflated and let down.
Because YOU didn’t believe in YOU.
And so you didn’t REALLY show up for them.
You didn’t really CHALLENGE them to come up with the investment.
You didn’t really CHALLENGE them to stop second guessing themselves.
And you didn’t really CHALLENGE them to become the WINNER that they so DESPERATELY long to be.
Because, to do all of that, YOU would have to challenge YOURSELF.
To GROW. To STAY in your POWER. To flip the bird to your FEAR!
So, let’s be honest with each other, how long can you afford to let this bullshit go on?
Here’s my thoughts on that one…
IT CAN’T GO ON A MINUTE LONGER.
It’s time to stop dicking around with affirmations and visualisation and start taking yourself really fucking SERIOUSLY.
Because your BUSINESS, your clients’ RESULTS, and your quality of LIFE, depend on it!
You KNOW the strategies for attracting coaching CLIENTS.
You KNOW your niche.
Your MESSAGE is SOLID!
You've booked PLENTY of clients in the past.
Your clients have gotten some GREAT results.
But NOW you want MORE...
So, you DECIDED to make a giant LEAP in your IMPACT and your INCOME.
You RAISED your PRICES.
Did some WEBINARS.
Ran some ADS.
Continued to show up like the PRO you are.
In fact, things seem to be FALLING APART!
You can barely book a DISCOVERY CALL anymore.
And the people you do speak to are a TERRIBLE FIT, or they CAN'T (aka WON'T) pay you.
So what the hell CHANGED?
Well, one things for sure...
And therein lies the problem.
You see, raising your prices to 5k. 10k or more, doesn't turn you into the kind of woman who can RECEIVE 5k, 10k or more for your services.
It doesn't turn you into the kind of woman who can tolerate SEEING tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in your bank account!
And it doesn't turn you into the kind of woman who can deliver 5k-10k worth of value for her clients.
And until you BECOME the woman who CAN you'll continue to show up as, and receive the results of, the woman who CAN'T!
I've just realised what's going on here... you're playing NOT TO LOSE in your coaching biz, instead of playing to WIN!
You're NOT shouting from the rooftops about the incredible transformations you co-create with your clients, JUST IN CASE you can't deliver.
You're NOT charging the premium fee you should be commanding , JUST IN CASE no one will pay it.
You're NOT being direct and transformational in your marketing messages, JUST IN CASE you offend someone.
You're NOT challenging your paying clients and prospects (and hence NOT helping them to fulfil their true potential), JUST IN CASE they don't like you for it.
You're NOT making serious investments, JUST IN CASE you can't create the clients and cash.
And you're NOT being honest about what you do, with those closest to you, JUST IN CASE you lose those who feel outgrown by you!
For pity's sake, woman, it's time you played to W I N !
Ok, so a few people might be a bit put out, but you would also be....
Attracting PERFECT clients, who make your heart sing, because they want the kind of transformation you are FRICKING AMAZING at co-creating!
Commanding 5k, 10k, 15k, or more, PER CLIENT!
Changing lives with paradigm shifting marketing that COMPELS prospects to reach out to YOU!
Helping your clients to reach UNFATHOMABLE heights (including having the courage to say YES to investing in themselves) while expanding yourself as a coach.
Earning double, triple or QUADRUPLE what you're earning right now (while working a helluva LOT less).
And experiencing the PRIDE and unconditional LOVE of those who really matter to you, as they come to respect the formidable, self-sufficient, POWERHOUSE you've become.
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You've always been a major OVER-ACHIEVER, right?
So why is your coaching biz so UNBELIEVABLY HARD?
Before you started your biz you RACED up the corporate ladder, have more qualifications than the average brain surgeon, can whip a team into action with your motivational pep talks, and have NEVER missed a target in your life.
For years, you were surrounded by people who ADMIRED and respected you, paid attention when you spoke, gladly gave you additional responsibilities, and TRUSTED your every decision.
And then you started your coaching biz, expecting to bring that same level of over-achievement to entrepreneurship, only to be severely SMACKED DOWN!
All of a sudden, NONE of the old rules apply.
That’s why I’ve created this exclusive training especially for you >>> www.jodavidsoncoaching.com/3essentialshifts
I’ll tell you more about that shortly, but first let’s dive a little deeper into the problem…
You can't just work harder, because that doesn't get you anywhere but FRUSTRATED and overwhelmed.
You can't whip others into action, because NO ONE is listening.
You're struggling to even MATCH your old salary, let alone BREAK THE 6 FIGURE BARRIER!
And your qualifications don't appear to mean DIDDLY-SQUAT!
So, you spend most of your time marketing like a MACHINE and implementing EVERY online strategy you can get your hands on.
Convincing people who are FAR LESS THAN IDEAL, to work with you.
To pay you a FRACTION of what your gifts and talents are worth (even if you put a premium rate on your website, if you're not getting paid it often enough, or you're constantly discounting to make sales - I'm talking to you!)
DRAGGING them through your coaching programmes, because they're just NOT committed enough.
And basically falling more and more OUT OF LOVE with your business, with each passing day.
Hey, I hear you.
Because not so long ago, I was in exactly the same position.
Until I discovered that the key to OVER-ACHIEVING in your coaching business is NOT doing more, working harder, implementing every strategy under the sun, or getting ANOTHER qualification.
Nope. All that stuff - the things that come NATURALLY to us over-achievers - will just lead to you hating your business, and your life (while continuing to UNDER-ACHIEVE).
Because, actually, it's ALL about what's happening on the INSIDE.
ALL of the DEEP INNER “stuff” that does NOT come naturally to over-achievers like us.
It's down to your BELIEF in your ability to COMMAND a premium (5k-15k) for your UNIQUE coaching services.
It's down to your CONFIDENCE in your ability to deliver TRANSFORMATION at that PREMIUM level.
It's down to your FAITH that your coaching package is THE BEST and ONLY solution for your perfect client.
It's down to your IRRESISTIBLE MESSAGING that pre-sells your coaching for you.
And it's down to how WORTHY YOU FEEL of RECEIVING 5k, 10k, 15k, for doing work - in your zone of genius - that comes easy to you!
So that you can really have the INCOME and the FREEDOM RICH LIFESTYLE of a true HIGH-ACHIEVER.
You're ready for that, right?
I thought so.
So come and join my free training:
3 ESSENTIAL SHIFTS you MUST make to ADD 6 FIGURES to your income BEFORE the end of 2017
During the session I'll be sharing...
1. The NUMBER ONE REASON that you’re still earning WAY BELOW your potential, and the SECRET that you NEED TO KNOW to break the habit, so you can begin RECEIVING easily, quickly, and MASSIVELY.
2. Why raising your prices can actually cause a dramatic DECREASE in your income, and the ONE simple thing you should do instead, to make sure you add 000s to your BOTTOM LINE.
3. How to attract the perfect, ready-to-invest clients who PAY, in full, BEFORE you get off the discovery call.
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