7 Signs You Could Be Under-Earning


Are you Under-Earning?

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You might be under earning – earning less than your worth – even if you make over six figures!

How do you know if you are?  There are several signs of under-earning, some common and some not so common.

Barbara Stanny defines an Under-Earner as “someone who makes less than she needs or desires despite efforts to do otherwise.”

Red Alert! Before you read further, I want you to stop. Even if you already recognize yourself here, be kind to yourself. Do not label yourself as an “under-earner”. Focus instead on the signs of under-earning behaviours. Because you can shift and even swap them out for more self-affirming behaviours that will move you closer to earning your true worth.

I collected quite a list of signs of under-earning behaviour from what I hear from my clients, in my speaking engagements and through informal surveys – and I’m going to share the Top Signs of Under-Earning with you over the next few weeks. I’m also going to share some tips that will empower you to overcome these signs of under-earning.

Empowerment begins with Awareness. Awareness of both your strengths and blind spots – where you may not be experiencing the results you could.

Let’s begin raising that awareness today.

Notice which of these signs show up in your life. You might be surprised!

7 Signs You Could Be Under-Earning:

Checkmark greenYou KNOW you are worth more than you are being paid. You’re just not sure how to prove that. You find it difficult to articulate what your worth is exactly, and are baffled how others seem to do it.

Checkmark greenYour strengths, talents or genius are your “best kept secret”. You often hear others say, “I didn’t know you could do that!” or, “I didn’t know you were an expert in that!”

Checkmark greenYou keep getting passed over for promotions or business opportunities. You see others getting ahead who are less qualified than you.

Checkmark greenYou are not working in your “Genius Zone” 80% of the time. Most of the time you do work that you could delegate or stop doing altogether. You could be leveraging your time doing what you are really good at, that comes easy for you, and has the biggest impact.

Checkmark greenYou sit on the outside ring at important meetings, gravitating to the social crowd rather than the influencer crowd. It’s easier to sit at the back and socialize with your peers, than to put yourself “out there”, sit in the hot seat at the Big Table. You shy away from standing out.

Checkmark greenYou stay in your “comfort zone” and don’t take any risks. You’ve been hurt or penalized before, and you don’t want to experience that again.

Each of these signs of under-earning is a symptom of the #1 Sign of Under-Earning on today’s list:

Checkmark greenYou are not Shining Your Light.

Rather than getting help (coaching, mentoring, training) to boost your capacity to handle difficult of situations that challenge you (having a difficult conversation, standing up for yourself, asking or negotiating for something), you hang back where it’s comfortable and stay small.

By being the Shrinking Violet rather than risking being cut down as a Tall Poppy, you are also shrinking from opportunities for others to SEE you, to see what you are capable of, to see your Genius.

If you are waiting for them to notice you…well, if you are playing small, how can they? Find a way to let them know what you are up to.

If you think this is bragging, and you don’t want to “brag”, then re-think. Re-frame it as “sharing”. You’re already good at sharing right? Share what you are doing, what you are capable of, what you have achieved. HELP them to notice YOU.

Shining your light is not about being alone in the spotlight (although that’s okay too!). It’s about allowing your true self, your authentic self, your one wild and precious* self to shine. It’s about not dimming your own light.

Isn’t it time?

It is.

It’s time to stop under-earning. To start doing something that you CAN do right now.

What is one step you could take this week that would shine your light, just a little bit more?

Share your plans in the comments box below.

If you resonate with one or more of these signs of under-earning, or struggle with negotiating for your worth, I’m offering 10 of my E.A.R.N. Your Worth™ Breakthrough Session right now, on a first come, first served basis. With Gender Pay Day approaching in April, I’d like to help some people who know they’re in this situation and are up for shining their light, asking for or negotiating their true worth.

If you want one of these sessions, shoot me an email and let me know what you’re struggling with. Tell me a little bit about your situation, why you should get one of these sessions and we’ll book it.


*Acknowledgement to the delightful Mary Oliver and her poem Summer: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”