“Consider a duck. It encounters the air, water and soil. It benefits from each, is hindered by none, harms nothing. They are cute, too. Be a duck!”—Old Slovakian Saying
My priorities in life were pretty well established by the time I was two. My parents told me that, at that age, I had taken a terrible fall down the stairs. They stared at me, frozen in fear that I had hurt myself horribly. But I stood right up, looked around and said, “Where’s my cookie?” It wasn’t until I found out the cookie was smashed and broken that I started crying.
A popular card from years ago had an elephant on it and read, “Things are getting worse—please send chocolate!” I can relate. Most of the time, I am a happy, energetic, positive person. People have even asked me, “You always seem so cheerful—do you ever get depressed?” Of course, I do. (I don’t cry over broken cookies anymore, though. That’s when the calories fall out.) I have my down moments, like anyone else. It’s normal. So then they want to know what I do to get over it.
I eat chocolate.
Chocolate is my anti-depressant drug of choice. Chocolate candy, chocolate cake, chocolate pie, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookies, chocolate krispy kremes, chocolate chocolate. Ummmm. When “Once more, dear friends, into the breach,” doesn’t cut it, I forget Shakespeare and Prince Hal and say, “No more breaches today. I need a treat!” I give myself some time off, I cuddle up in my bed, turn off the phone and zone out with books, videos, and naps. And chocolate.
I am really perky after that. Giving myself permission to take a break and pamper myself makes me feel like I own my life. I fight the good fight every day. I get more “Nos” than “Yeses” every day. And sometimes I just need more “Yeses!” So I say yes to myself, yes I want chocolate, yes I can have chocolate, and yes, I say yes I will yes (with apologies to James Joyce).
No, I can’t do this too often or yes, I will be fat and broke, but some days, sometimes, I play hooky from my work and sensible eating and take a break with chocolate.
Where’s your cookie?
“I enjoy all of the wonderful abundance of life!”
In LA Times a couple of years ago, Meghan Daum reported that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repealed his state’s equal pay law, and Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman conjectured that “money is more important for men.”
Do you think women – maybe subconsciously – think that, too?
In my many years of teaching Financial Stress Reduction®, I’ve seen evidence that they do.
Many women I’ve spoken with over the years say, “Oh, I don’t care about the money” and then they get paid everything else as Stuart Wild says:
“If you don’t concentrate on counting the money, people soon realize that money is not the focus of your consciousness, so they give you everything other than money: kudos, acclaim, praise, etc., etc. And sooner or later you’ll be in trouble.”—Stuart Wilde
Women have been culturally trained to believe that focusing on the money is materialistic, unspiritual, and not feminine. So they don’t ask for the money, they don’t make sales calls, they give away too much of their products and services for free.
Does this story sound familiar?
“Oh, I need your products!” said my friend, Sarah, to the woman at the networking meeting who was a skin-care representative. “Please call me tomorrow morning so I can talk with you about what I need to buy.”
Then she saw a woman who did graphic design. “Oh, I need graphic design for my new flyers and my web site, too!” she exclaimed. “Please call me tomorrow morning so you can help me decide what I need to buy.”
Neither woman called the next morning. In fact, they never called!
What’s up with that?? Aren’t they networking to get more clients for their business? And here was a client with money who wanted to buy – why wouldn’t they call her?
Sarah’s experience wasn’t the only one. Throughout my networking career since 1986, I heard stories like these over and over again. Most small business owners continue to network and not get the results they want, and make a lot less money than they deserve.
Women still only make 77 cents to a man’s dollar, largely because women still feel badly about “asking for money”. We’re culturally indoctrinated to wait for others to ask us or call us – you know, for a date, for a dance, to get married. But in the marketplace, we must ask to be paid for our services!
How can we re-train ourselves to ask for what we deserve in a cheerful, feminine, yet strong manner? How can we avoid being seen as “grasping” or “demanding” or “salesy” or “bitchy”—not just by others, but by ourselves?
I’ve done a lot of research on this question, and I’ve got answers. I wrote a whole book on it: “From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success Without the Stress”. You can get it anywhere online, so get one today and get more money tomorrow!