Six Steps to Six Figures for Women: Release Your Fears, Own Your Worth, and Ask for What You Want

Six Steps to Six Figures for Women: Release Your Fears, Own Your Worth, and Ask for What You Want

by Sabiha Vorajee


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504306454
Publisher: Balboa Press Australia
Publication date: 03/17/2017
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

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Are You Asking?

I remember the first time I asked for what I wanted in my career. Interestingly, my request wasn't directed at anyone but myself. I had recently begun a new job with a very large, very successful American financial services company. It would become the best career move I ever made. It had been eighteen months since I had completed my accountancy and economics degree, and I was working as a personnel officer (it wasn't called HR in those days), and through an almost nonsensical conversation, my best friend asked me to join her in the company she worked for, because if she successfully referred me, she would receive three hundred pounds and be able to buy the shoes she was after. Thus, I landed a role as a credit analyst with a company I knew I would go places with.

This intuitive decision allowed me to make the above-referenced career request. It happened following a conversation with my new manager. When I joined his team, he asked what my aspirations were for my career.

"The sky is the limit," he said. If I was passionate, dedicated, and committed to myself and my work, I could scale whatever ladder I chose.

I was twenty-four and had had a taste of HR and liked it, although I was in a role completely different from what I had wanted. I was confused but very driven — full of burning ambition.

After my new manager posed that career question, I went home to my empty apartment in North Wales, where I had moved to be able to take this job. As I made dinner that night, I asked myself, where do I want my career to go? Where can it go? It hadn't occurred to me in my naiveté that I couldn't ask this of myself, so I simply did.

I had studied accountancy and economics. As much as I had enjoyed the subjects, I'd had no intention of going into finance. Working in HR had sparked my desire for working with people, which I loved. Was that my vocation? I had no idea. What I did know was this: I wanted to be successful. I wanted to become an expert in my field — someone people liked and respected, and I also wanted to receive a truly excellent salary. I felt as though I had started well. My salary was already above the graduate salary being offered in the market, and I knew if I worked hard (which was never an issue, given the work ethic passed to me by my parents), I would receive the money I wanted and create the success I desired.

When I spoke to my manager at our next meeting, I let him know I was interested in pursuing a career in HR. I had anticipated his being disappointed in me, given I'd not even been in my role on his team for two months, and here I was, already planning on moving into another area.

That wasn't the case. He listened intently to why I was interested in HR, and after a few minutes of conversation, gave me names of people in HR he suggested I touch base with, letting them know of my interest and desire. There were always opportunities occurring within the organisation, and although there were policies regarding how and when one could apply for a role outside one's own department, my manager let me know it was possible.

I was willing to do what it took. Within six months I had moved into the payroll team in the company. Within six months of that move, I was selected to be part of an organisation-wide business internship program. This was a bank initiative that ran for six months, with all ten interns rotating through every department in the bank. We experienced amazing opportunities and ended with positions best suited to our attitudes and attributes. I ended up moving to Ireland to head up the payroll area. Within two years of that move, I was the most senior compensation, benefits, and payroll person, heading up the function for the Irish subsidiary. I was twenty-nine years old and had achieved my dream job in four short years.

I learned to ask, and throughout my career I never stopped asking. Maybe it was due to my Indian background. Coming from a patriarchal community that didn't believe in educating women (my parents were ahead of their time), I learned that in order to receive what I wanted, I had to ask — and on occasion fight for it. I've always been passionate, so finding a way to get what I wanted was never an issue. As strategy after strategy worked, I simply kept asking and receiving.

It struck me as fascinating when I started seeing within my own career in remuneration and reward how there was a constant and continuing gap between what men and women earned. It seemed that very few women would actually ask for the money, the promotion, or the opportunity they wanted. This isn't to say women don't ever ask. In my experience, the disparity I noticed was they simply don't ask as often as men do, and not to the extent men do. This may seem like a trite remark, but it isn't. Every choice we make, irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the choice, is our decision.

In just under twenty plus years of my career, I have watched, analysed, worked with, reported on, presented to, created numerous strategies, papers, initiatives, and solutions on and regarding this phenomenon. Where relevant, I have talked to and coached men and women when it came to bettering their chances of receiving the money, promotions, or opportunities they wanted. One thing stands out above all others. When it comes to asking for money, promotions, or opportunities, more than 75 percent of my conversations with employees have been with men.

In the last ten years of my career, as I became good at asking for what I wanted, I began asking women around me why they weren't asking. What astounded me the most was that many seemed surprised by my question. It hadn't occurred to them to ask. Many said they weren't sure how. Some didn't think it was appropriate. Others pointed out their companies had remuneration strategies and annual review programs, and they worked within those boundaries. Some felt they didn't need to ask because they didn't imagine they were underpaid — a notion they often realised to be incorrect after further discussion with me. Some of the women didn't like talking about money. Some were offended I had even asked. Some flinched and said it wasn't important — although their body language told me the opposite. In the end, after unceasingly studying the topic, I realised this subject at its core was much, much bigger than I had ever imagined.

The pay gap is an issue. In this day and age, it's embarrassing that we still have women who are paid less than men, and even more so, for doing the same or similar work. Without getting into this too deeply (there are so many reasons and opinions as to why this exists), one thing is clear. Women want to receive what they believe they deserve, but far too often they believe they are already being paid so and that the next pay raise, promotion, or opportunity will happen when it's time, and they will be asked about or notified of it.

When I ask women, "When was the last time you asked for a pay raise, a promotion, or an opportunity you really wanted?" they often reply they want to do so. In some circumstances, they have even gone as far as getting it, but it's always as if it's happened by magic, as a coincidence, or by happenstance. Luck is a word I hear often. What makes me smile is these are women I see as leaders in their industries, yet when it comes to asking for what they want, they tell me they feel like they fall short far too often.

When I share some of my experiences as a head of reward, about how often the opportunities that come up are snapped up before they're even on paper, they're often surprised. I share that this is usually because someone has created an opportunity either by simply asking about it (as I have done in the past) or by putting his hand up for it before it was even officially available. When I explain this, the lightbulb moment occurs. Women realise the promotions and opportunities they are waiting for are being given to others (often to men, because they've asked for them) before qualified women even show up. This is not always the case, but it is a common occurrence (and even more frequent as one goes further up the corporate ladder). Therefore, asking for what you want before you're completely ready for it is critical.

Therefore, I ask you, "Are you asking?" If you are, good for you, and I hope you're getting the results you want. I hope this book helps you to ask and receive even more.

If you're not, why not?

I have a firm belief in the work I do. Asking for money, promotions, and opportunities we want isn't simply about asking for and receiving what we deserve. It's about owning our inherent worth, putting it out into the world for the betterment of everyone, and knowing that when we live and give our glorious gifts, the universe rewards us. One of the ways this occurs is through money.

When we're not living this, it's because something is stopping us. Releasing our fears is the first part of this journey. Owning our intrinsic worth is the next, and that's about much more than receiving money. Being able to articulate this from a place of authentic confidence, profound certainty, and our own powerful charisma from a place of true win-win is the final step.

This is what I hope to share with you in this book: to not only help you get what you want but to help your organisation get what it wants too, and to start eliminating the pay gap.

I believe it's time to change the story and create a new legacy, one of financial education and empowerment for girls and women everywhere. It's a mission and vision I believe worth living for.

I hope you're with me.

If you'd like to journal your journey using the Six Steps to Six Figures Vision Book and access the exercise pertaining to this chapter, please visit and submit your details. You will be given immediate access. Enjoy!


What Happens When We Don't Ask?

Economist Linda Babcock of Carnegie Mellon University and co-author with Sara Laschever of Women Don't Ask and Ask for It has stated that women often leave between $1 million to $1.5 million dollars on the table when they don't ask for the money they want.

Across the globe, millions of women will earn less than their male counterparts for the work they do and often, for doing same or similar work.

• In the United Kingdom and United States, women will earn £500,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, less than men.

• In Australia, the average twenty-five-year-old male will earn $2.4 million over the next forty years, compared to $1.5 million an average female will earn.

• Women are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty in their old age than men.

• By 2019, the average woman will have half the amount of pension/401K/superannuation than a man has.

• Men with children earn almost double what women with children earn over their lifetime.

These are some potential financial consequences women face when they don't ask for what they want, and they can be substantial.

What is even more significant and concerning from a broader holistic perspective is the emotional and spiritual impact it has on us as women, when we're either struggling financially or simply have a feeling we could be doing better in the money and wealth stakes. When we inherently know we could be doing better financially and aren't, due to the subconscious, innate discrimination prevalent in a system that only fifty years ago deemed it was okay to pay women less than men. The impact this has on us about how we feel about ourselves on all levels can be devastating.

The global domain in which all of this is going on is having an impact on girls and women everywhere, about all aspects of us, our place in the world, and our ability to make it what we want to be. It also determines how we move forward in life. We hear relentlessly about the pay gap yet still watch as male leaders within our biggest organisations don't implement real solutions and make them work. It's frustrating to know that as a woman my skills and abilities may be priced subconsciously at a reduced rate simply because of my gender. All these things and more contribute to an overall sentiment for women of feeling undervalued, unworthy, and undeserving not only of asking for what we want but receiving it.

Our seemingly inherent and subconscious lack of belief in who we are as women is the core issue and challenge, and when we can readily embody the truth that is our power and pass it onto the next generation, who can aim to soar even higher than we might dream, then we have at one level fulfilled what we came here to be and do. Pave the way for the next generation.

At a collective subconscious level, until we can all let go of the unequal past where we have had to fight for our very survival, the survival of our children, and most importantly our voice and who we are at our core — a powerful manifestation of the divine feminine — until we find ways of letting go of this, personally and as a community and society, we will not create the kind of passionate, joyful, abundant, and downright wealthy life we want and deserve. The kind of life where everyone wins, not just the tiniest, white male minority.

I grew up in a very patriarchal culture and watched as women lost their voices or lived lives without one from the start, struggling financially because the rules had forbidden them to act to take care of themselves and their families without having to be entirely dependent on others. This created within me a deep desire to make it better not only for myself but for all women.

It pains me to see women run themselves into the ground, trying to be and do everything for everyone, and put themselves last every time, from the big things to the smallest. When the tiniest moments of joy can't be accessed until everyone else has had theirs, and it's hard to even remember what our moments of joy are.

When we don't ask for what we want, it negates who we are from within the deepest part of us, and bit by bit we slowly erode any advance we may have made at any level. Individually and personally, we live a life of constantly chasing our tail, feeling and being "not enough" in anything, and always having a niggling sense of somehow being left behind, of not having a clue how it happened. Or maybe feeling like it's always been that way.

Throughout my work and life, I haven't experienced many women who, when asked about how they feel about themselves, have been able to answer that they love themselves and everything in their lives unconditionally and that every moment is a joy.

For us to feel this way, we often imagine every aspect of our life must be perfect, yet we know in our cells this will never be the case. Perfection doesn't exist, yet we still chase it physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Logically we know we're chasing a will-o'-the-wisp, yet we can't seem to stop.

Why? And how does this tie into the concept of not asking and its impact?

When we don't believe deeply in ourselves, who we are and what we do; when we believe we must fight for everything we want; when our experience is that for us to get what we want; we must be the opposite of who we are, then we hold back from asking for what we want and being able to receive it.

Or if we do ask, we ask from a place of entitlement or demand or worse: a complete lack of worthiness. These spaces may give us what we want, but at a cost that hurts us more than the one doing the giving.

So, what is the ultimate impact of not asking, or of asking from a place of not being in alignment with who we truly are?

At an individual and personal level, we manifest an endless cycle of "not-enoughness" — of struggle, lack, and scarcity, and ultimately, a compounding effect of the belief already within us of, "I'm not worth it." We listen ardently to the voices outside, forgetting we have a much stronger voice within, and we wonder why we feel empty, no matter how hard we work or how successful we become.

At a community level, we strengthen all the above, and we live it and teach it to each other subconsciously. In being able to empathise and sympathise with our common not-enoughness, we create connection and continue to perpetuate the myth, ensuring we keep it in place for our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces and generations to come.

At a societal level, we maintain the status quo. Change is slow, inconsistent, and doesn't last. We find ourselves taking two steps forward and three steps backward. We allow the myths to run our lives; the voices outside are so very loud; and because we don't own our enoughness, our worthiness, in the end our hamster wheel runs faster and faster, and we become emptier and emptier to the point where our power drains away at an exponential level.

We lose our connection to the collective divine feminine power. The part of us that is connected to each other and all that is. We grieve silently in the darkness of our heart and soul, wondering who and what we are crying for.


Excerpted from "Six Steps to Six Figures"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Sabiha Vorajee.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction, xiii,
How This Book Works, xxiii,
Step 1: Your Invisible Barrier — Hitting Your Glass Ceiling, 3,
Chapter 1: Are You Asking?, 5,
Chapter 2: What Happens When We Don't Ask?, 10,
Chapter 3: Why Aren't You Asking?, 15,
Chapter 4: Asking for What You Want: A Must, or Nice to Have?, 19,
Chapter 5: The truth about Worth and Value, 22,
Chapter 6: What's Getting in Your Way? Realising You Have a Glass Ceiling, 27,
Chapter 7: Triggers — the Keys to Awareness and Consciousness, 32,
Chapter 8: Getting to Know Your Glass Ceiling So You Can Break through It, 36,
Step 2: Through the Glass Ceiling to Your "Why", 39,
Chapter 9: Who Did You Want to Be When You Grew Up?, 41,
Chapter 10: The Truth of You — from Your Childhood Dreams, 45,
Chapter 11: The Power of Intuition, and Your Inner Being as a Compass, 49,
Chapter 12: What Do You Really, Really, Really Choose?, 53,
Chapter 13: Your Powerful and Priceless Vision, 56,
Chapter 14: Time to Play!, 60,
Step 3: Drawing back the Curtains; Facing Your Truth, 63,
Chapter 15: The Sum of All Fears, 65,
Chapter 16: Drawing back the Curtains: The True Power of Our Beliefs, 70,
Chapter 17: Uncovering the Truth about Our Monsters — the Beliefs of Fear, 74,
Chapter 18: Your Monster — Your best friend?, 79,
Chapter 19: Who's the Big Bad Monster? Taking Back Your Power, 84,
Chapter 20: Who Do You Believe You Really, Really Are?, 89,
Chapter 21: Money, the Biggest Monster of All, 93,
Step 4: Uncovering the High Value Woman Within, 99,
Chapter 22: Getting Crystal Clear on Your Powerful and Priceless Vision, 101,
Chapter 23: The Power of You — Owning Your Worth, 104,
Chapter 24: What Do You Stand for and Believe In?, 108,
Chapter 25: Tapping into and Living Your True Power — Your Feminine Energy, 112,
Chapter 26: Cultivating the Lost Art of Being a Feminine Woman, 120,
Chapter 27: Feminine Energy and Leadership — You Are a Leader, 124,
Chapter 28: What Happens When You Embrace the Powerful, Feminine Leader Within?, 128,
Chapter 29: Finding Your Powerful, Feminine Voice, 130,
Chapter 30: Allowing Yourself to Receive (the Powerful, Feminine Way), 133,
Step 5: Connecting to and Becoming the High Value Woman You Are, 137,
Chapter 31: The Seat of Feminine Power — Emotions and Energy, 139,
Chapter 32: Teaching People How to Treat You, 143,
Chapter 33: Boundaries and Non-Negotiables, 147,
Chapter 34: How Do You Be That? Living the Power of Being on a Daily Basis, 150,
Chapter 35: The Dark Side of Emotions — Staying Centred in Your Core, 154,
Chapter 36: Number One through the Gift of Gratitude, 160,
Chapter 37: Being More, Doing Less, 164,
Chapter 38: Vulnerability and Transparency — the Real Power Tools, 167,
Step 6: Filling Treasure Chests (Inside and Out), 173,
Chapter 39: A Professional Life You Choose to Live and Lead In, 175,
Chapter 40: Creating Truly Congruent and Authentic Relationships, 178,
Chapter 41: Creating an Inspired Plan with "P3" (Know Thyself), 182,
Chapter 42: Creating an Inspired Plan with P3 (Know Your Value), 187,
Chapter 43: Creating an Inspired Plan with P3 (Know Your Field and Industry), 191,
Chapter 44: Creating an Inspired Plan with P3 (Know the Salaries in Your Field and Industry Inside Out), 195,
Chapter 45: How to Ask; Strategy 1: Start by Having a Strategic Plan for Your Career, 202,
Chapter 46: How to Ask; Strategy 2: Setting Expectations for Yourself and Your Manager, 206,
Chapter 47: How to Ask; Strategy 3: Building the Relationship; Getting to Know Your Manager inside and Out, 210,
Chapter 48: How to Ask; Strategy 4: Creating Powerful Win-Win Situations through Collaborations, 213,
Chapter 49: How to Ask; Strategy 5: Seeding the Conversations and Testing the Water, 216,
Chapter 50: How to Ask; Strategy 6: The Big Ask!, 220,
Chapter 51: How to Ask; Strategy 7: The Asking Conversation, 226,
Chapter 52: How to Ask; Strategy 8: Key Tips to Asking, 237,
Chapter 53: How to Ask; Strategy 9: The Outcome — Yes/No, and How to Deal with It, 241,
Chapter 54: How to Ask; Strategy 10: Feedback Forever More!., 249,
Chapter 55: Final Words — Owning Our Worth and Power, and Continuing the Journey, 253,
Epilogue: Join the Movement, 257,

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