If you’ve been in the consulting business for any amount of time, you already know how tough it is to be an entrepreneur with a passion for helping people — let alone doing it all as a young woman. We’ve got the enthusiasm, the expertise and even the networks, but somehow these assets don’t necessarily translate into financial success in our consulting businesses. Why is that?
Something I’ve noticed—especially among women—is that we often get stuck when trying to grow our practice; not for lack of knowledge, but simply lack of confidence. We get stuck because we’re holding a subconscious belief that we shouldn’t be charging for something that we love doing so much we’d do it for free. Other times procrastinate on starting that Big Project due to a fear of failure.
While women have great entrepreneurial potential, we often fall into various “mind traps” that sabotage our businesses and keep us from doing what we need to do to achieve our full financial potential.
Here are six mind traps to watch out for.
- You’re not selling. Most women hate selling with a passion. We’d rather make friends with people and have them turn into customers organically. As a result, we often find it difficult to put ourselves out there and market our businesses and ask for sales.
- You’re not charging enough. Women often have a hard time asking for what we’re worth. According to research by negotiation expert Linda Babcock, women are two-and-a-half times more likely than men to feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating. This is very common in salary negotiation and also shows up in how we price our expertise, services or products.
- You’re not charging at all. When you’re starting out as a consultant, it can be easy to fall into the mindset that you have to offer your services pro-bono or at a deep discount to get some experience or encourage word of mouth marketing. The problem with that is if you provide too much value to your customers for free, they won’t want to pay you when you start charging for it.