Being an underearner is a term that was coined less than 20 years ago. But what is an underearner? If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means someone who isn’t living up to their earning potential. In return, they may live paycheck-to-paycheck, have a ton of debt, and will consistently earn lower pay than they should. Barbara Stanny, the author behind Overcoming Underearning(R): A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life, created the term underearner when she wrote the book back in 2007. That book changed my life, and thinking about it made me want to talk about the topic of underearning on my podcast. So, if you’re ready to know your worth and stop underearning, this is for you.
My Story + How I Was Able To Stop Underearning
I struggled with underearning for a long time. For me, it was a mixer of things. One was that I was afraid of being an ambitious woman. I didn’t want people to view me as stuck up or bitchy. I didn’t want to miss out on a great relationship because I was “overly ambitious”. And, I graduated during the recession. So I didn’t want to lose a job just because I wanted and deserved more money.
In fact, my last job was stressful and I had a lot on my plate. But I didn’t want to quit or get fired because I was broke. So I continued to take on more and more work and worked for way less than I deserved, just because I thought I “needed” the job. And that was my fault. Granted, the job could have paid more. But I could have used my skills to earn more money and get a better job. I could’ve also invested more in myself and who knows, my business may have taken off sooner.
While I don’t regret my past and how my life has gone so far, I know now that I wasn’t fully confident in myself and my abilities. There were times when I could have negotiated. I could’ve listed my skills and gotten a raise. I had every opportunity to earn more.
However, after talking with so many different people, I realized that I like money, I’m great at earning money, and I shouldn’t feel bad for being ambitious. Also, I deserve to get paid for what I’m worth! So in 2017, I made a huge change and decided that I was going to stop underearning.
I Made The Decision To Stop Underearning
Once I decided to stop underearning, I was able to make 6-figures in my business. I am now on my way to earning 7-figures. I was also able to negotiate deals 6-7x the amount that I thought I would. I’ve been able to close sales that I used to believe were impossible. And I have stronger boundaries, which has led to more money in my pocket. I’m also not broke, tired, and exhausted. It feels amazing. So yes, it’s possible to stop underearning. Is it going to be uncomfortable? Yes. But it’s totally worth it. So, if you’re ready to stop underearning, here are my top tips.
Get Clear About Your Limiting Beliefs
First things first, you need to get over your limiting beliefs about money and success. Before I decided to stop underearning, I had a lot of limiting beliefs. I didn’t believe I could get a better job. I didn’t want to be too ambitious. Also, I had a fear of disappointing people. But I had to learn what my limiting beliefs were and stop believing in them. Trust me, your sanity and bank account will thank you for this.
Invest In Yourself
This also goes for investing in your business. You have to learn that in order to grow and prove your worth, you have to know who you are, your skills, and what you have to offer. I invested very heavily in business mentorship and personal development. I worked on my mindset, and I also invested in programs that would teach me skills that I could use in my business. For true success, you need a great mindset and a great structure. That comes from investing in yourself.
Own Your Desires
The last tip to stop underearning is to own your desires and not be afraid to ask or go for what you want. For me, I moved into an apartment because I was ready to live on my own. I started making different decisions so I could live the life I wanted to live. I started earning more money to treat myself to the things I wanted. If you’re being honest with yourself about what you want, you can own your desires and stop underearning, because you know exactly what it is that you deserve.
Underearning isn’t fun, but you can stop underearning by being honest with yourself and not being afraid to make YOU happy.