Archives for November2013

Is Your Brain the Reason You’re Underpaid?

Right brain entrepreneurs and executives are consistently undervalued and underpaid. I’ve written before about the reasons why right brain entrepreneurs and executives are overwhelmed, overcommitted and overworked, but today  I want to talk about where the rubber meets the road – in our wallets.

As with other patterns that tend to hold us back from living and working in a way that brings us joy and fulfillment, being undervalued and underpaid are managed by three primary factors:

  • Our Brains
  • Our Beliefs
  • Our Habits

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (OK, I’m really dating myself here) these three factors are so powerful they direct virtually every part of our lives. Being undervalued may seem a bit innocuous, but it’s really just the symptom of a much larger issue.

We are often undervalued by others because we undervalue ourselves, we have difficulty articulating the value of our contributions, and most business is organized as a left brain activity so it’s a challenge to get others to understand the value of the way we take in and process information.

Being undervalued leads to being underpaid – whether because we don’t ask for compensation that matches the value we deliver, or because our specific organization isn’t set up to reward right brain expertise.

So how does the brain fit in?

First, as right brainers, we have a tendency to make things – anything, really – more complex. We actual revel in the complexity because we can see all the parts at once and are excited about finding the connections and patterns between seemingly disparate parts. This tendency toward complexity interferes with our ability to quantify our contributions. Simply put, if we can’t value what we do with a simple explanation, then few others can truly value what we do. 

Second, our brains are wired to make leaps of logic that are astute and insightful, but to someone who can’t follow our leaps, we appear flighty or frivolous. We just don’t make sense to them. If we don’t make sense, and we can’t explain how we came to our conclusions or ideas in a step by step manner, is it any wonder we are undervalued, and hence underpaid?

Third, we tend to crave variety and flexibility. In fact, we get bored without it. We generally have multiple projects going at one time, multitask on a regular basis, and are always looking for the next new thing that will capture our attention. This makes it hard to identify which activities are using our real gifts. This inability to organize around doing just what we’re good at prevents us from valuing our gifts. We are actually good at many different things, but zeroing in on what we are particularly gifted at can be a challenge.

And fourth, we have a deep seeded fear that others won’t respect us if we aren’t doing everything they expect us to. We strive to meet others’ expectations, ignoring our own needs and not focusing on our gifts. We like to be helpful, so we end up spending time focused on things that aren’t all that helpful to us our our businesses. This fear of lack of respect drives us more than any belief or motivator ever could.

So the answer to “Is your brain the reason you’re underpaid?” is “Yes, and there’s more.”

In the upcoming teleclass, “Why You’re Undervalued and Underpaid – And What To Do About It” we’ll explore more about how our brains can hold us back, as well as how our brains, along with our beliefs and our habits create a triad for being undervalued and underpaid.

I hope you’ll join me! Register below:

“Why You’re Undervalued and Underpaid – And What To Do About It”
November 7, 2013, 12noon PT (3pm ET)


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Undervalued and Underpaid: The Catch-22 of the Right Brain Entrepreneur

Has anyone ever said to you, “Wow! That’s amazing that you can do that!”…and you’ve waved it off saying “That was easy” or “It was nothing.”? We right brainers tend to think if we can do something then, surely, everyone else can. Or at least a lot of people can.

The truth is, it was easy for YOU, but if someone is impressed it means you’ve done something that isn’t easy for everyone and that it took some skill on your part.

We feel undervalued – that what we contribute isn’t taken as seriously as what someone else contributes, or isn’t seen as adding to the solution or positive outcome as much as others. But when we wave off recognition or acknowledgement of what we have contributed, how are people supposed to value our work. If we don’t see the value, and we teach them not to see the value, why would they pay us more?

Hence the catch-22.

We don’t see our own value (or downplay it) –> Other people can’t see or reward our value –> We end up being underpaid –> which leads to feeling undervalued –> Now we question our value even more –>   and the beat goes on.

Being undervalued and underpaid go hand in hand. When right brainers are undervalued it often results in being underpaid. And being underpaid makes us feel undervalued. What we usually don’t want to look at is how we unintentionally contribute to these circumstances.

We need to start identifying our own gifts and learning to appreciate them as actual gifts that not everyone has. This is the only way we will be able to value them appropriately and get paid what we’re worth.

For example, what comes naturally to me is identifying a person’s blocks, immediately recognizing what they are missing and/or minimizing, seeing their patterns and how they all inter-relate, and what they are failing to consider. Seeing the patterns and pathways in what appears to be chaos and disarray comes naturally to me. For me it is really easy and simple. Until I realized that not everyone can see things the way I can, I undervalued my skills and wasn’t paid as well as I could have been.

Once I got clear that how I take in and process information, and then translate it into appropriate, actionable items is really rather remarkable, it became much easier for me to value my work. And my income followed suit.  

What’s important to realize is that we don’t do this intentionally. Rather it is the result of how our brain is wired, our particular set of beliefs, and the habits we’ve developed over time. All three of these elements working together create our catch-22.

The good news is there’s a fairly simple way to turn this around. And, yes, this is one of those times where it really is simple – anyone can do it. As long as they know how. It starts with the beliefs.

Join me in my upcoming teleclass:

“Why You’re Undervalued and Underpaid – And What To Do About It”
November 7, 2013 at 12noon PT (3pm ET)

First Name:
Primary Email:

*Note: by joining our mailing list you will receive periodic emails from us.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

PRIVACY: We will never share your information with anyone. Promise!