When I work from home, I love keeping the TODAY show in the background to hear about what is going on in the world.
Something different happened at 9AM though, when it switched to the Megyn Kelly show. Typically I’m typing away on email, getting things done, but something piqued my interest (and no, it wasn’t her “racing” Danica Patrick on a go kart).
Kevin O’Leary started talking about negotiations at work, and I was like “oh this is interesting, I teach negotiations, so I wonder if I can learn anything.”
The first thing out of his mouth was:
“Don’t be greedy.”
So, he now had my full attention.
I was enraged.
What came out of his mouth next shocked me even more.
“You need to know what everyone around you is getting paid. If everyone is getting paid 70K, and you are getting paid 50K, you should be ok with 65K, because you’ll know you can be happy with it.”
Slow. The. Fuck. Down.
If I know that someone else, doing the SAME job as me, with the SAME success as me, WHY should I feel guilty asking for equal pay?
Easy – I shouldn’t.
Neither should you.
In our Ladies Get Paid Negotiation Workshops – we talk a LOT about the conditioned “ick” factor that women have around asking for things for themselves. We’ve been conditioned, not to take a compliment, not to ask for more than we receive, and we’ve been told not to “brag” since bragging is “not lady like”.
Kevin O’Leary’s quip on being “greedy” feeds RIGHT into that.
No, it’s NOT greedy to ask for your value – it’s called being competitive in the market place. If you underprice yourself, you underprice your value.
You would think Kevin would know that, being a Shark on Shark Tank and all.
You are in the business of you, and when you work for a company, your business and that business work in tandem to successfully fulfill both YOUR goals and the BUSINESSES goals. When the balance is there, you can build your career at that company, and your company is successful. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
So, Kevin. I’m glad you said that on TV, and while you may have thought nothing of it, you made it NECESSARY for me to speak out. Something, that I probably wouldn’t have done a couple months ago.
You have to advocate for yourself. You have to research. You need to know what the market value is for your skills. These are all things that you can learn. But the most important part is being able to stand up for yourself, when someone like Kevin walks in.
When someone like him, who has made his millions by “being greedy”, tells you “don’t be greedy.”
Let me tell you. Don’t you DARE undervalue yourself, because of a comment that someone says.
Don’t you DARE let your mind convince you that you should be OK with making less money than your peers, for WHATEVER reason.
Don’t let guys like Kevin dictate your worth any longer.
You are the only one that really knows your worth. You are the only one that can truly advocate for yourself – no one else can do it for you.
So, Kevin, I’m glad you got your air time and your stacks of cash waiting for you at home. One of your most famous quotes is “Assholes get rich because they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.”
So readers, if you are still with me, don’t let the assholes convince you NOT to ask for your worth. Don’t leave any money on the table, because you are “afraid” of being perceived as “greedy.”
You. Are. Worth. It.
P.S. Subscribe to my email list, I’ll be sending out an email announcing when my next negotiation workshop is scheduled!