Some years I tend to be a HUGE reader, and some years I tend to only get through a handful of books. This year, I am on an official reading binge. I cannot seem to get enough words into me - via reading actual books and also by listening to audiobooks. And whoa, have I have stumbled across some good ones.
One of the best in my 2018 pile is Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski. It was excellent. LOVED it. Not only does she share her own harrowing story of moving up the ranks in the television business, but she covers the stories of other business mavens such as Sheryl Sandberg and Susie Orman. This book does not serve up fluffy, happy-go-lucky, just ‘put-your-mind-to-it’ stories. No, this book goes into the nitty gritty of negotiation, career strategy and rising up to your potential even when everyone else is trying desperately to bring you down. It is meaty goodness served up with a side of brass tactics.
Important warning: the book does have a ridiculous Q&A with Trump - before he was prez - and knowing what we know now, it is even more offensive. But it does not take away from the awesomeness of this book. Just roll your eyes, ignore and move on.
I really knew nothing about Mika Brzezinski. I saw the title while scrolling through the online library listings and just grabbed it. I knew there would be something in it for me. I still have never seen her show Morning Joe, and likely I will never tune in, but if there is a woman out there who has risen to that level of success, I want to hear her story.
There have been so many times in my career - especially working as a graphic designer in the highly toxic and competitive world of branding - when I just did not see the value I was bringing to the table. I under-quoted and under-charged so many times, it still amazes me I was able to hit six figure years. But I did - by working more and more and more and… big breath… more. It was so bad on so many levels. I was tired, burnt out, cranky, and pissed off all the time. I was definitely driven by some subconscious belief that I was only worth so much, and whatever I was worth had to be earned by working hard 24/7.
But now I am older, wiser and I definitely have a better sense of my worth.
It feels good.
One thing I do now, before I put any quote together or list a new product or service, is I ask myself, “What would Laura* do? What would Laura charge?”
Laura is one of my bestest friends and she is a total SuperMaven.
Most of us know of at least one bad-ass, super successful person in our life who takes no bullshit. They know their value, they step up to the plate and they ask for what they want. They are not afraid to ruffle feathers. They don’t worry about what others think. You need to think of that person when you are negotiating a deal or contract.
Because that SuperMaven is someone you RESPECT. They may not be liked all the time by everyone, but you can be sure as heck they are respected. And that is what you want for yourself. Respect leads to value - which leads to being paid what you are worth.
And if you don't have someone in your life that is a SuperMaven, think of Ellen or Oprah or someone else who inspires you and leads a life you think is effing fantastic. Think of them, and push aside that little voice inside of you that says “Maybe I am asking for too much”. Tell that voice to SHUT UP.
Because then YOU will become the SuperMaven. Then YOU will be the one to inspire someone else to level up, power up and embrace the glory.
And the world needs more SuperMavens.
To your brave success,
*Not her real name. Protecting the somewhat innocent lol.