Years ago, when I first encountered the term “underearning”, I used the definition of “earning less than you need”. While this is accurate (the pattern of earning less than you need is indeed underearning), it does not describe many women out there. This narrow definition seems to say that the only women who fall into this frustrating pattern are those who “struggle” or are just getting by.
But is it okay to go from surviving to thriving?
I know countless savvy women who don’t see themselves as “strugglers”, but they don’t see themselves as financially abundant either. They make decent money, as relative as that is. And they are really frustrated. Why? Because they know in their minds and their hearts that they could make more. They know, at some level, that they are earning less than their true potential.
Sometimes this is brought home to them by seeing men who do similar work, asking for and receiving far more compensation. Sometimes they have female colleagues who just always seem to make more— money appears to flow easier for them. Oftentimes it is a gut feeling—these women know that the work they do is simply worth more. They get amazing results for their clients. But these results don’t seem to translate into more money.
“Underearning” is simply the pattern of earning less than YOUR potential. It is about the pattern of chronically, but often silently, underselling yourself. (Many women do not consistently ask for the money that they truly deserve. This is the most obvious facet of underearning.)
Underearning knows no professional boundaries. It affects consultants, doctors, therapists and countless women who run their own businesses. Sometime when women are in professions that others think of as lucrative, such as the legal profession, they don’t see themselves as “underearners” because they know others don’t see them that way. But this just increases the sense of isolation and frustration! Just because you “should” be making a lot of money doesn’t mean you do! I know plenty of lawyers who work really, really hard and still don’t make enough to live the life they long to live. They offer a very valuable service and still many of them earn below their potential.
This is truly a silent epidemic —countless amazing women earn far below their potential, and very few people call this what it is: underearning.
Tons of experienced women are frustrated that their hard work is not yielding more money. These are women who are very good at what they do, but this work and skill does not necessarily bring them the level of financial abundance that they desire and deserve.
What about you?
Take a moment and look back over your career—look back over the last ten, twenty, thirty years – do you see a pattern? Do you see a pattern of repeatedly earning below YOUR potential, or less than you could have earned? If there is a pattern, as opposed to a one-time occurrence, then it is time to look deeper. It’s not about surviving… it’s about thriving! It’s time that we bring this silent epidemic to light.
Upcoming Webinar: “MoneyMinder for Business: How to Earn More, Owe Less, and Create Financial Stability In Your Business”
Do you own a small business? Want to learn about a powerful tool and process that helps you earn what you’re really worth? Join us on February 12th at 5pm Pacific for a one-hour webinar on embracing the Business MoneyMinder. In this webinar, MoneyMinder founders Karen McCall and Mikelann Valterra will discuss the powerful benefits of using the Business MoneyMinder and how it can help you step into the life you most desire. So if you are a small business owner, consider joining us. You really can feel more in control of your business and be the driver of your own life.