Episode 231: Show Notes
Today on the show, we welcome Mia "Maya" Scharphie – creative career coach, designer, and agent of change. Mia founded Build Yourself to help women in creative fields move past the obstacles that hold them back in in their careers. This episode goes hand-in-hand with the previous few conversations we have had on the podcast around competition versus community and what empowering women really looks like. Through Mia’s Build Yourself program, services, workshops and courses, she helps women to build confidence in their work and in their work environments – assisting them with practical things such as asking for a raise or a promotion, negotiating better and lead a healthier work-life balance.
Mia also helps women understand and control their inner-critic and become comfortable with the fear of rejection and the heavily-weighted “No’s” that none of us want to receive. Mia also encourages us to find a wing woman and leverage the power of the women in our lives today. In this episode, we unpack our thoughts on empowering women and how we can make the changes necessary to tackle our self-sabotaging thoughts. Mia gives some really great, practical new routines and habits that you can start implementing in your life to see these changes and unlock the power of your own gifts.
The Power Of Negotiation: Why Enough ‘No’s’ Lead To ‘Yes’s’
Mia believes that there are two components to success. The first, is showing up and doing the work that is required. The second is getting bolder, bigger and “ballsier.” Because life is too short to play it small, right? The reported progress made by people after working with Mia has been: 1.) They make more money. 2.) They get a promotion. 3.) Their salary increases. 4.) They are happier at work. 5.) They’re more confident to ask for what they need. It could be argued that these are five fundamental things that women, in particular, struggle with in the workplace. Although this is slowly changing in certain industries, due to advocacy and awareness of women’s rights in the workplace, women still struggle to ask for what they want! Why is this?
Well social science studies show us that women are far less likely to negotiate, and to even initiate a negotiation in the first place, than men are. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” There are so may women who don’t even realize day after day, they are waiting for someone to come along and give them permission. In the work that Mia does with women, she likes to reverse engineer this notion. For example, she teaches a class on negotiating and advocating for yourself, based off of the philosophy in book titled: Ask for It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. You have to hear ‘No’ in order to hear and eventual ‘Yes’; that’s often how business works. But one ‘No,’ shouldn’t dictate you giving up! This is the one place Mia sees women really getting stuck in business. Because they fear being rejected. So they don’t make the ask. If you’re not hearing ‘No’ then the things you’re asking for are not big or bold enough.
Negotiating On Behalf Of Someone Else And Leveraging Your Wing Woman
Interestingly, however, studies have shown that women are as, or even more, successful than men when negotiating on behalf of someone else. Mia tries to get her clients to leverage this power. So for example, if she has a client who really wants to negotiate a raise, she will get that woman to act out her negotiation as if she were negotiating for someone else in the company. This helps her realize her own power. Sometimes, what will also push women to ask for a raise is the fact that they want to set an example for the women around them. Mia has seen so many women, even if they are women who work for themselves, knock the number down on a quote before sending it off because they are too scared that the number is too high. So what Mia advises us women to do in this scenario, is invite our business wing woman over for advice. Having just one other person to back you in your decisions is extremely powerful. So leverage your sisters! If you don’t have sisters, you can also use your own psychological tactics, which Mia teaches in her course The Wing Woman Effect. But just because you are a solopreneur, doesn’t mean you can’t have a wing woman. Mia herself met her wing woman online and they meet up once a week and push each other to play big. So if you don’t have your wing woman yet, go out and find her. Because the amount of doors that open when you invite other women to the table is insane!
The Effects Of Success: Why We Need To Focus On Action Rather Than Outcome
Mia believes that we can often create a feeling of success before the success even happens. There is often a lag time on the success we are trying to build and Mia encourages us to focus on the actions, rather than the outcomes. Focusing on output rather than outcome, is a habit we need to build and a habit that needs to stay with us – because it is a modest habit but also one of the most powerful habits of successful people. The one thing in particular that Mia believes women have to do is, “The ask.” Women are really good at having the coffee, dropping the hint, but rarely do they make the big ask. The “Will you hire me?” Or “Will you introduce me to so and so?” Because it doesn’t gel with our people pleaser mentality or our fear of rejection. At the end of the day, if you have a business brand with no clients, then you are not a business.
So stop fooling yourself and make those asks. Don’t wait around for opportunities, approach clients and say, “Hey, I see this opportunity, this is what I can do for you.” Or you can make new clients by reaching out and saying, “Hey, this is what I do. Want to work together?” Again, stop fearing the ‘No’s’, because they are what get you to the ‘Yes’s’. Mia gets so many ‘No’s.’ Last month, she got 30 ‘No’s’ on the telephone but that didn’t stop her from going back the next day and asking again. Don’t take it so personally. The No is not always about your quality of work or a reflection of who you are. Just try to see the ‘No’ as, simply that, a ‘No’. Don’t give it more meaning that what it deserves. Don’t let a ‘No’ let self-doubt creep in. So, take action even it leads you to a ‘No’ and another’‘No; and another ‘No’. It will eventually lead to a ‘Yes’.
You’re Probably Self-Sabotaging; Here’s What You Can Do About It
Our inner-critic is a hard worker, right? And we follow our inner-critic, for some reason, as if we think it is God. It pops up all the time, everywhere, and Mia encourages her clients to keep a journal of all the times their inner-critic pops up. A lot of the time we just need to isolate the critic and understand it. If you can start to see when it pops up, it’s patterns, it’s tone – you can start to get control and power over it. Mia is all about using rituals and actions and habits for us to create new mental states of being. We have been brought up to play certain societal roles and when we change them or don’t fit them, we start to feel uncomfortable and this is often where the inner-critic pops up. It is possible that as you grow in success, your self-sabotaging habits might increase. Some of the ways this shows up is continuing to do things all on your own and not being willing to invest in new systems and help to free up your capacity.
So, ask yourself, “What is defining me?” And tap into that. Will asking for help, will investing in a new resource, will changing something in your business or in your home really impose on your identity? What Mia has discovered is that a lot of women who are more “successful” than their male partners, tend to do more housework, even if they can afford help, because they feel guilty about neglecting their prescribed gender role in the home. This is a form of self-sabotage and self-sabotage shows up in a lot of weird ways that we might not be fully aware of! So, if this self-sabotage is happening to you right now then, 1.) Notice that. 2.) Start a conversation with your partner about it. 3.) Be mindful of your own and of your partner’s resistance strategies. 4.) Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself if you fold the laundry when you’re not “supposed” to or expected to, and get mad at yourself, for example. We as women are carrying centuries of expectation on our shoulders and we are in the process of constructing a new narrative. It takes time.
What Evidence Is There To Prove Your Own Self-Doubt Right?
What helps Emylee’s anxiety a bunch is asking herself, “What proof do I have for that thing that I just told myself, to be true?” This goes for anything in life, right? For example, if a family member says, “Oh your husband is probably unhappy about you being so successful.” Well what proof do you have to believe that? So, if you are going down that rabbit hole, ask yourself, “What proof do I have?” Because a lot of the time people will say things to you out of the fear that they would have if they were in your situation. Like, “Well how will you make money?” Or “Jobs are scarce these days, you know,” or “How will you afford the house,” etc. If you are doing that inner-critic journal and finding that you are struggling with things over and over again, Mia advises us to write down five counter-evidence points to your thoughts. For example, “I’m so bad at sales calls.” Okay, write down the evidence points that prove you are actually pretty good at sales calls. Part of being confident is treating your mistakes as fields of learning. The more you can make mistakes the more comfortable you get with them and in turn get closer to success. Yes, it hurts in the moment. But if you have made enough mistakes before, then you have enough evidence that you will come out clear on the other side. If you are feeling down or questioning your business and why you are doing what you’re doing, go back to those positive memories, those successes, those kind words from others and remind yourself. Because we so easily forget what we have accomplished and how far we have come.
- The Power Of Negotiation: Why Enough ‘No’s’ Lead To ‘Yes’s.’ [0:03:42.1]
- Negotiating On Behalf Of Someone Else And Leveraging Your Wing Woman. [0:10:32.1]
- The Effects Of Success: Why We Need To Focus On Action Rather Than Outcome. [0:16:00.1]
- You’re Probably Self-Sabotaging. Here’s What You Can Do About It. [0:23:10.1]
- What Evidence Is There To Prove Your Own Self-Doubt Right? [0:36:10.1]
- Start a pitch log.
- Keep an inner critic journal.
- Use the wing woman strategy.