If you’ve successfully started your own business, decided to go freelance, or work at a startup, you’re used to rolling up your sleeves, working hard, and doing whatever it takes to get things done.
But when it comes to negotiating, do you still freeze up or freak out?
If you find it hard to approach investors, raise your rates, or talk about money and contracts in any way – you’re not alone. Thought traps women have about their perceived inadequacy when it comes to negotiation are pervasive: In surveys, two and a half times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating.
So how do you become comfortable asking for what you want and deserve?
It starts by shifting some fundamental beliefs you have about yourself and your ability to negotiate. Only from there can you slough off what’s been blocking you from getting the rates, contracts and deals you want and your business needs.
Which of these common self-limiting beliefs is holding you back from negotiating and limiting your chances of outrageous success?
“I’m not the negotiating type”
Women often attribute their success to luck or the help of others, rather than to their own hard work and strengths. But if you want to succeed, you need to let go of the false thought that negotiating is a skill that you either are or aren’t born with. Negotiation is a skill you have to – and can – learn. Much like a muscle, you have to practice your “ask” in order to bulk up your strength. It’s up to you to pump negotiation iron!
“I hate talking about money and numbers”
Many women are uncomfortable with confrontation. We make ourselves sick with concerns that people will think we’re self important or pushy if we make or counter an offer. We get scared about what others will think about us. But you can turn those anxious thoughts into an asset by asking yourself: What’s really behind the discomfort I have asking for things from other people?
“I won’t get what I want, so why bother?”
Women tend to operate from a “playing small” mindset, often thinking of our businesses as side hustles, while men think of ventures in terms of enterprises. Coming from this place, women acquiesce power, hoping for “just enough”, and crossing our fingers that the other person will do us a favor by simply accepting to work with us. This scarcity mindset is both damaging and unrealistic.