Does Cinderella Run Your Business?

Does Cinderella Run Your Business?

Recently I spoke to a group of women business owners. In the discussion after my talk, one woman said that she constantly gives away too much and she’s paying for it with her health.  She's in her early 40s and has constant back pain.  She's given up a part of the business she loves - being a make up artist - because she can't stand on her feet for long any more.

When I asked her to give me a specific example, she said that she did the make up for a bridal party in the bridal suite where the couple would be spending the night after the wedding.  After the bride and her attendants left the suite, it was a wreck so this lovely woman cleaned it up for them.  She wanted the room to be ready for the happy bride and groom to return to that evening.  It took her an hour, she didn't get paid for it, but she felt she must do it.

It was a lovely gesture, but she admitted that over giving is totally running her business and her family life.  Somehow she had gotten the message that she needed to go above and beyond what her contracted work was to please her clients.

Now, when I ask whether Cinderella runs your business, I'm not saying that Cinderella was an over giver, but she was in a servant position, at least in the first part of the story.  Then she went to the ball, met the Prince who recognized her as a valuable woman and partner, and asked her to marry him and be his Princess.

I find that many women who have a service business think that means they are a servant and have little value.  They usually are doing a service that comes naturally and easily to them so they think, incorrectly, that almost anyone could deliver the same service.  And they are waiting for another person to see their value instead of declaring it themselves.

In a contemporary version of Cinderella, she would probably tell the stepmother and sisters that they could do their own cleaning or pay her to do it because she was starting a cleaning company and wasn't doing it for free any more.  She wouldn't wait for the Prince, she'd start a business and acknowledge her own value and sell her services to others.

So how about you?  Do you give away too much because you feel like you only deserve servant wages?  Or are you ready to step up to owning your value and delivering a great service for good compensation?

It's time to rewrite the Cinderella story in your business.  

In the modified version I imagine, the sign on the door says, 

Cinderella CEO - delivering great value for good money.