Episode 50: Starting a business

October 20, 2014

“Stepping outside of your comfort zone is really, really hard…I did not want to raise venture capital at all. But I did want to have a big successful business. And I got to the place where I realized I’m going to have to go pitch all those guys in suits.” - Julia Pimsleur

"One of these days Mark Zuckerberg is going to hit me, but I believe that if I grew up in a household where I was told to do what I was good at and go after my talents, I would have created Facebook or something even better than that.” - Denise Barreto

24 minutes.

Female entrepreneurship is rising fast. In the US, a third of businesses are now owned by women. But look a bit deeper and you find nearly all these businesses are 'solopreneurships' - they don't have any employees and they don't bring in much money. This is sometimes by design, but not always: many women are unprepared for the inequities that still exist in entrepreneurship. Julia Pimsleur

In this show we meet two ambitious entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies: Julia Pimsleur and Denise Barreto. They have advice about how to survive in the male-dominated world of fundraising, why hiring other people is a must even when you can barely afford it, and how passion for your work isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Denise Barreto

Further reading:

Julia Pimsleur is CEO of Little Pim. She has also founded Double Digit Academy, which holds regular training sessions for women who want to raise money for their companies.


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Episode 33: What is success?

January 27, 2014

"The women I work with are what I call 'perfectionistic over-functioners' - they need to get an 'A' in everything, they do more than is necessary, more than is appropriate and more than is healthy."
- Kathy Caprino

"When your success is based on getting the goal you’re never happy. So you’re happy when you get the goal, for a moment, but then the bar gets higher. Then it’s like, OK, what’s next?" - Emily Bennington 

Kathy CaprinoAt the start of a new year people's thoughts often turn to what they can make of the clean slate that lies ahead. We're asked what our new year's resolutions are. Some of us (not me) actually make them. We see countelss headlines urging us to work on a newer, better version of ourselves - to make this the year we become truly successful at something, whether it's landing a better job or losing weight. 

Emily Bennington

In this show we take a closer look at what success means. I spoke to career and leadership coach Kathy Caprino and mindful leadership coach Emily Bennington. Both women are also authors, and both have corporate careers behind them. Kathy and I discuss why some of us seem to expect success to come almost instantly when we launch a new project or entrepreneurial venture - and what the reality of such a launch entails.

Emily talks about her entry into the work world as a wildly ambitious twenty-something set on corporate domination. She wanted the title, the promotion, the money. What she hadn't bargained on was just how stressful she would find her ascent. After years of striving she had a change of heart, and changed her definition of success. You can comment on and share the piece below, or weigh in on the show's Facebook page. Full transcript below.

20 minutes.

Show notes: Kathy Caprino is the author of Breakdown, Breakthrough.

Emily Bennington's latest book is Who Says It's a Man's World.

Here's a link to the video Kathy Caprino made to answer that reader's question on whether she should give up her new endeavor because it was proving so hard.

And for another take on success (the more traditional kind), here's a piece by 'tiger mother' Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rosenfeld from the New York Times. 


Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show… what does success actually mean…and what does it take to get there?

“There are an awful lot of messages that if you’re doing it right you’re just going to attract wealth and fame and recognition and ease, and it’s just not accurate.”

“My success at the time was defined by what I had, it was defined by my position on the org chart, it was defined by the amount of money in my bank account.”

Coming up on The Broad Experience.

We’ve just begun a new year and that means we’ve all seen plenty of articles with titles like ‘7 ways to a new you’ or ’10 ways to be more successful in 2014’. It seemed a good time to consider what exactly success means for different people, and why some of us expect it to come so quickly.

Recently I came across a video career coach Kathy Caprino had posted on her website. Some of you will remember Kathy from episode 14 of the show. She talked about the difficulty so many women having fitting into the typical corporation. She now counsels a lot of those women.

In this video she was responding to an email from a reader. The woman had a corporate career and wasn’t enjoying it. She’d started a side project she was passionate about – a travel blog. But despite several months’ worth of effort the blog wasn’t getting much traffic. She wanted to know whether to give up. I wanted to know why so many of us assume endeavors like this will be successful right away.

“You know I was thinking about why do we assume it’s going to be easy, and I think there are three key reasons for that: social media and internet marketing gurus sell to us by saying it’s all going to be a split second, blink of an eye, drop of a hat, and it’s just not true… the second is, our level of experience: what I find is people who have launched things in the world, in the corporate world, entrepreneurially, otherwise, creatively, they know how much effort it takes, how hard it is, so your level of experience in doing this will gauge, it informs you. Third is, a lot of people try to do this stuff by themselves, alone, in a vacuum, you should reach out and get some form of expertise, so you do need not necessarily to pay a lot of money, but you do need expert help when you’re launching something like that.”

I prodded her on the gender factor. Could a man have written the exact same email? Are women more easily discouraged by an apparent lack of progress? Kathy says there’s something in that.

“The women I work with anyway are what I call, often, perfectionistic over-functioners. They need to get an A in everything, and they do more than is necessary, more than is appropriate and more than is healthy. I see it over and over and over again, and there is a reluctance to reach out and get help, and there is truly a reluctance to invest in yourself. I know how hard that is, having my own business, you have to pay all the bills, sock away something in savings so you can invest later, and in order to grow you have to pay for things, a new website, whatever. I do feel from my experience that women struggle with that more than men.”

Some of you will have heard me talk about this in the show I did on women’s relationship with money. Many of us are happy to splurge on some indulgence like a new shirt, but balk at paying for services that could have a much longer-lasting effect on our lives. But back to what it takes to build a new endeavor from scratch.

“You know there’s another thing we didn’t talk about, that build it and they will come belief – and some people, it’s a new-agey believe, a spiritual belief, and I am a spiritual individual, I believe in spiritual principles, but this build it and they will come, and do what you love and the money will follow, I don’t believe in either of those, necessarily. But there are an awful lot of messages that if you’re doing it right you’re just going to attract wealth and fame and recognition and ease, and it’s just not accurate.”

So Kathy offered her correspondent some practical advice about what it means to keep going with an entrepreneurial project.

“Realize that everything we create of meaning and value requires work, it doesn’t fall in your lap. But the question is this, what does the work feel like? So when I look at what I’m putting out in the world, writing for Forbes or my new Amazing Career Project…it’s an incredible amount of work, but it’s enlivening work - not every minute, let’s not kid ourselves, but in general I’m excited, enthralled, I can’t wait to interview someone else. If it feels terrible, debilitating, demoralizing, if you procrastinate and want to do anything but that work, then something’s wrong. Then you need to look at what is not happening that should be. The second thing I mentioned to her was we often overly attach to how something should look and the outcome. I see this with people who write books…’I should be able to sell 30,000 books overnight.’ We overly attach without realistic expectations, and that makes us suffer. And the third thing that’s important to look at is, with this blog this individual is doing, is that really the right form for the essence that you’re trying to create and feel and experience? So for her for instance, she loved travel, but I didn’t know is blogging about travel the right thing? There are a million ways we can we can honor our passion for travel, and blogging, which requires content creation, editing, editorial calendars, it’s a vigilant process, maybe that isn’t the right form for the essence she’s looking for.”

She says it’s not that surprising this woman should search for an outlet when she’s so fed up at work. And at least she’s doing something on a trial basis – she hasn’t left her job. Yet.

“What I see are many, many midlife women coming to a true crisis. They wake up and say I don’t want to continue doing this one second more. They’ve been hurt or downtrodden or thwarted or suppressed, they’re not happy in their careers so they fantasize about a new direction. And I call it the pendulum swing because it’s like ‘joop’, going to the opposite side of the world in terms of what they want to do. And that was me, I had an 18-year corporate career and there was a lot of pain in it.”

After she was laid off just after 9/11 Kathy knew she wanted nothing more to do with corporate life. So she trained to become a therapist. But she discovered after a while that while it might be miles away from company life, it still wasn’t the right role for her.  It took more years and more training to develop her role as a leadership coach.

“I think we have to be very careful if we’re in careers that are causing us pain and suffering. The answer is not to leap into another direction without doing what I call the five steps of career change, and one of those is explore it and try it on and know before you leap that it’s the right direction.”

Kathy Caprino. Kathy is the owner of Ellia Communications and the author of the book Breakdown, Breakthrough. I’ll be posting links to her information under this episode at The Broad Experience.com

A quick note here before we go on. The Guardian recently featured The Broad Experience as one of its ’10 best lesser-known podcasts’. I was the only woman on the list. This was a huge thrill for me because as some of you know, building a show like this takes a lot of time and work, so to be recognized by a publication like the Guardian feels great. I also want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all those of you who’ve taken the time to write a positive review about the show on iTunes or who’ve given a donation – or both. It all adds up. Thank you.

Next I spoke to Emily Bennington. Emily teaches and writes about mindful leadership for professional women – and she came to that via a whirlwind of an early career. When she entered the workforce about 14 years ago she didn’t so much hit the ground running as racing. She thought she knew exactly what she wanted from life – to be successful in the sense of having the right title, the right clothes, earning a lot of money. And this was for good reason. Her mother hadn’t had a career.

“She was basically beholden to the decisions that the partners made in her life  for her. And that didn’t always work out so well.”

She stuck in some abusive relationships because she couldn’t support herself otherwise. She did find happiness with Emily’s step-father but after almost 20 years he died of a heart attack and again, her mum was left alone with few financial underpinnings. All Emily knew was that she was not going to let the same thing happen to her.

“I started my career working for a marketing agency, and I was a ball of ambition. Actually it came across as ambition but what was driving it was fear. Again, watching how my mother was and knowing that wasn’t what I wanted for myself…I was just pushing, pushing, pushing, and it resulted in burnout very young. But one of the things that got me so interested in leadership and mindful leadership in particular was after pushing for a year, my first year in the workforce, I had first performance review with my boss. One of the things he said was, ‘Emily, I think your technical work is great, and I want to see you succeed in your career, but here’s the problem – I know you want a raise, I know you want a promotion, but I can’t promote you because no one on this team respects you.’


“One of the tings I learned walking out of that meeting was my success wasn’t just dependent on what I brought to the table, my success was dependent on the support and the encouragement of my team…it was the whole, a rising tide lifts all boats, right? After that meeting it became very clear to me if I was going to succeed, I was going to have to learn how to be a team builder.”

OK, but why didn’t anyone respect her?

“Well I was the classic, I like to refer to it as Devil Wears Prada archetype, it was the highly ambitious woman, who at the end of the day – and I don’t want to categorize it as just women because obviously men fall into this trap too. But my success at the time was defined by what I had, it was defined by my position on the org chart, it was defined by the amount of money in my bank account, and it was all of those external factors that really contributed to how I saw myself…and you know what? I thought that because that’s what we’re taught success is. When you got into the bookstore and look at the leadership section or career section that’s basically how success is defined.  And so I fell into that. And what I learned after a few years was that that’s a trap, and that actually makes you pretty unhappy, and so I had to flip it upside down on its head.”

Emily and her husband have two little boys who are now 8 and 6. She says when she had them she was at the height of her corporate career. Striving, getting her first book published, being head of a young professional’s group, sitting on a board, always comparing herself to her colleagues. She was exhausted and crying a lot when she got home. She says stepping away from corporate life, thinking about who and what really mattered to her, changed her whole idea of what it is to be successful. She’s still ambitious, but says she controls that drive rather than the other way around.

“A magnificent career comes from being a magnificent woman first. And it’s a really flipped upside-down paradigm of success. And it goes against judging your success based on what it is that you have and what you have achieved. It bases success on the only thing in your life that you can control, and that’s yourself and how you choose to respond to the world around you. So when I talk about what it is to be successful now, success is showing up every day as the best of myself, as the best of who I am and who I want to be and letting the chips fall as they may as a result of that.”

This was starting to get a bit Oprah for me. I asked Emily to drill down and give me some examples of how this mindfulness plays out in her daily life. For one thing, I knew she had an interesting approach to goals. We’re often told goals are vital to move us forward in life and work. I find them useful motivators.

“I have a very love/hate relationship with goals. Because the most unhappy I’ve ever been in my career is when I was 100% goal-driven and viewing my success based on whether I achieved the goal. That is really a system designed to ensure we’re perpetually unsatisfied. Because when your success is based on the goal you’re never happy – so you’re happy when you get the goal for a moment, but then the bar gets higher. Then it’s like, OK, what’s next? So what I’ve discovered is you can’t rest in achieving the goal, there’s always another step to be made afterwards, and if you don’t get the goal you feel like a loser, so that process, getting the goal or not getting the goal, is just this emotional rollercoaster.”

One that was making her miserable.  Ultimately, she decided to focus on the way she carried herself each day.

“So I sat down and thought of different virtues I wanted to personify and embody: for me these were things like discipline, these were positivity, mindfulness, so what I focus on instead of, ‘Did I get everything done on my task list today?’, what I focus on at the end of the day is did I show up as who I wanted to be? And what I’ve discovered is that as I continue to show up as the best of who I am, I get the things done that need to be done and I do them well.”

So the goals tend to happen anyway.

“And I tell you what, I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been as a result of just saying, you know what, it’s not that I don’t have goals, like you, they’re incredibly motivating, but you have to detach from them if you want to maintain some sort of peace in your life.”

So she keeps them there but she’s also able to let them go if she doesn’t hit them. As for what she calls ‘virtues’ like positivity, she says sure, it’s easy to say you want to remain positive in a dysfunctional work environment. But you have to pair that positivity with a true intention to carry it out at all times – even testing times…

“If you set an intention, so you’re being proactive about who you want to be, then you tend to be that person versus just allowing the emotion or whatever it is you’re feeling in the moment to guide your behavior so you’re kind of blowing in the wind like a flag. But if you have an intention it’s almost like you set your sail, this is who you’re going to be, and you tend to stick with that. So if you do that over and over and over again, what starts to happen is you get the little things right each day. So as you get the little things right time and time and time again what happens is, you look back and go, oh, I’ve got this great reputation at work, and I’m happier too.”

OK, it was time for me to put on my cynical journalist’s hat.

AM-T: Because it sounds really encouraging and I love this different way of thinking about success and the way we do things, it certainly suits me. But the fact is we live in a society that largely still places the other value on success – you know, the title, the org chart version, and when you’re a woman in a corporation, I don’t know, what do you think, have you heard from women in corporations and they’re saying your advice and your methods are making a difference to them? I just know how dysfunctional companies can be and I wonder if women can really make this change from the inside, and how long it’s going to take.”

“Hmm, yeah, and that’s where business culture itself needs to change. And that’s one of the reasons why I love speaking to women because women really seem to get this idea of conscious leadership. By conscious leadership I mean not just looking out for yourself but looking out for the team around you, and using that to propel your way up. I mean I love the quote that great leaders don’t have to claw their way to the top, they’re carried there. And that’s what I mean by conscious leadership. And that’s what I think leadership needs to be and that’s where business I think needs to reform in some ways to support leaders who rise in that way.”

She says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post are two top dogs she admires who are exercising conscious leadership. If you have a job at either of those places, I’d love to hear whether you think it’s working.

Emily still reminds herself of different ways to think about success.

“Usually when you first meet somebody, at a cocktail party or whatever, the first question you ask aside from what’s your name, is what do you do? That puts us in a position where we evaluate our success based on again, the things we have and the things we don’t have, the job we have and the job we don’t have, but I had friend of mine ask me how do you serve…and I just thought that was such a fantastic question. It really put things into perspective for me to think about OK, well I may not be as accomplished as I want to be, but I can always serve, so whether you’re serving clients, or students, whoever you’re serving, if you are serving well, if you’re doing that well, you will have satisfied students, satisfied clients, whatever, and that will propel your career, it will advance what you do.  And so I just keep that in mind right now all the time. If I’m serving well I will get where I want to go.  And so it just once again shifts the perspective to something I can control. I can’t always control how advanced that I am in my career…” 

Office politics…

“Exactly…but I can always control how I’m serving. And I think if you bring that mindset to work with you every day, you’ll really find what I call the snow-globe mind, the monkey mind or whatever, begins to settle, because again, you’re re-claiming your power by focusing on what you can control.”

Emily Bennington. You can find out more about Emily at her website and I’m putting a link to that and her book, Who Says It’s a Man’s World? under this episode at The Broad Experience dot com.

That’s the Broad Experience for this time.  Next time on the show we look at the different ways men and women use humor in the office.

“Men were using it more often and were using it in a way that produced a laugh whereas when women used it less often, they often didn’t get a laugh.”


The Broad Experience is supported by the Mule Radio Syndicate…which hosts other great podcasts including the investigative show Muckrock, and Impolite Company.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte. Thanks for listening. 

Episode 29: Show me the money

November 4, 2013

Natalia Oberti Noguera

"We're an angel investing bootcamp for women...but people hear ‘women’ and ‘money’ and they think philanthropy, donation, grants. I have to change the conversation...and bring in the investing focus." - Natalia Oberti Noguera

"If you don't feel 'worthy', that’s going to show up in the prices that you charge, in the way you negotiate or choose not to negotiate.”

- Jacquette Timmons

Jacquette Timmons on my sofa after our interview

In this show we tackle a question that continues to fascinate me after reporting on it on and off for years. Why do so many women have a tricky relationship with money? I start out by talking to Pipeline Fellowship founder and CEO Natalia Oberti Noguera - she's striving to get more women entrepreneurs the funding they need to make a go of their businesses. Along the way, she's come across some interesting - and confusing - female attitutes to money. In the second half of the show I sit down with financial behaviorist Jacquette Timmons to try to tease out why women have a hard time pricing our services when we start our own businesses, and why we don't always like to pay full price for other people's services (but have no trouble forking out for a piece of clothing we've fallen in love with). I candidly admit my guests and I don't have all the answers - if you think you do after listening to this, please post a comment below. 20 minutes.

Show notes: For more information on angel investing, here's the 2012 report from the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. The Kauffman Foundation is a repository of information on entrepreneurship in the US and they've produced a useful, fact-packed book on female entrepreneurship called A Rising Tide. The post I wrote on women and money that I mention in the show is When Women Work for Free. Jacquette Timmons' book is Financial Intimacy.

I also mention Jodi Detjen and the show she appeared in, Killing the Ideal Woman.

Also, be sure to check out the selection of glasses at this week's sponsor, www.WarbyParker.com, and use the code BROAD when you check out, to get free, expedited three-day shipping. 



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show we explore women’s relationship with money.  We start out talking to the young founder of an angel investing bootcamp for women. Then we delve into why some women have such a hard time valuing themselves and charging for their services.

(:11) “’Cause there’s one thing to increase the price and then there’s another thing to be comfortable with asking for it and like really feeling like yeah, darn it, what I’m delivering, it’s worth this.”

Some of us aren’t that keen to pay full price for other people’s services, either. Coming up on The Broad Experience.

Women-owned companies start out with far less outside investment than male-owned firms. Debate about why rages – many say investment networks and venture capital firms are boys’ clubs that can only relate to people who look like them, others say women do a lousier job of pitching or just don’t ask for money in the first place.

Natalia Oberti Noguera is on a mission to give more female entrepreneurs a good start. She’s the founder and CEO of The Pipeline Fellowship, which trains women to become angel investors in small, women-owned companies. An angel investor is someone with a fairly high net-worth who invests their own money in a company and like any investor, hopes for a good return. The idea is that if more women become educated investors, more female-owned companies will get the funding they need to make a go of it. Natalia says the Pipeline Fellowship focuses on funding women-owned companies with a social mission, and getting them into the public sphere…

“Tom’s Shoes, Ben and Jerry’s, Warby Parker…who are the people i.e. social entrepreneurs who are making the headlines? Once again, white guys.”

Actually Warby Parker is sponsoring today’s episode – more on that later. Nothing wrong with white guys. She’s just saying…

“That’s why I’m so super-committed because guess what, I do see the women social entrepreneurs and women of color, as a queer Latina it’s so important for me to not just talk about gender, there are different types of diversity out there – age, race, ethnicity, different sorts of backgrounds, professional backgrounds. That’s something I’m committed to doing. We have the Body Shop, Anita Roddick, we need more stories, we need more people, because guess what, the women social entrepreneurs are out there, they’re just not getting the funding, and that’s what we’re looking to solve.”

In the two-and-a-half years since its first bootcamp, The Pipeline Fellowship has trained more than 70 women investors. The year it started women made up just over 12 percent of angel investors. Last year, women were almost 22 percent of the total. 

Natalia says the problem isn’t just that there aren’t enough women investors who may see more potential in another woman’s idea… but basically entrepreneurs who aren’t white men just don’t have the same confidence to put themselves forward in the first place…

“In 2012 out of all the companies that pitched to US angel investors only 16% were women-led and only 6% were minority-led. From that 16% of women-led startups that actually pitched about 25% secured funding, from that 6% of minority-led startups that pitched about I’d say 18% secured funding. So the other issue I see when I talk to women entrepreneurs is this hesitation to step up to the plate. So I have this motto that is, this current agenda is getting out the call to action in the sense that telling people it isn’t a zero sum game. I know so many entrepreneurs who hesitate to go out to pitch because they’re coming at it from ‘I’m not ready yet, I might not secure the funding’, but what they don’t realize is even if they don’t secure the funding that day the feedback they might get from these potential investors, might get them to a business model that might better meet market needs. And maybe the investors at that event might not be interested in agriculture or food tech or pet tech but might know someone who is… and for a lot of entrepreneurs, particularly women and people of color entrepreneurs, first we don’t have access to capital, we also don’t have access to networks.”

So go out and meet people and pitch even if you’re not sure you’ll make the cut. Something that came up during our conversation was the psychological side of money, which really fascinates me. Natalia told the story of one woman who had tried and tried to get funding for her company with its mission of doing good…but it was a for profit. She simply couldn’t persuade enough funders, most of them women, to give her money…

“Finally she decided to throw in the towel in terms of the concept of the for profit social venture and she started a nonprofit. And she went back to all those people she was talking about, primarily women, and these same women who had trouble writing a check for her for profit social venture, they started writing checks to her non profit. And this brings up a lot of issues that we’re talking about women and money even that I deal with…as you know, the founder and CEO of the Pipeline Fellowship which is an angel investing bootcamp for women. People hear ‘women’ and ‘money’ and they think ‘philanthropy’, ‘it’s a donation, it’s grants,’ so it’s almost like I’m doing the heavy lifting in terms of getting more women to become angels and also in changing the whole conversation society as a whole has regarding women and money, and bringing in the investing focus. So backtrack to this woman social entrepreneur who decided to start her non profit. The other issue, and this is very hetero-normative, and I do want to bring this up, that came up was for a lot of these women they were married, and charity, that was something they owned as individuals in this relationship, if they wanted to donate to a cause that’s, you know, something they did on their own time. As soon as it became about an investment, it was a conversation many of them felt they had to have with their spouse.”

I don’t even know where to start with that – why do women need to consult their husbands if it’s the same amount of money they’d otherwise give as a donation? Does this come down to the commonly cited reason of too many women not understanding enough about investing? Or is there some other reason? If you have theories about this, please post a comment under this episode at The Broad Experience dot com.

[Warby Parker sponsor announcement here.]

Next I sat down with Jacquette Timmons. Some of you may know her from her media appearances or maybe you’ve read her book Financial Intimacy. Jacquette started working on Wall Street in the late 1980s. She eventually managed other people’s money, but soon realized what really interested was the way they behaved around money – what motivated them to do, or not do, certain things with it. Now she’s a financial behaviorist with her own business, coaching people around money.

I started by talking about something I’ve discussed on the show before and as a radio reporter…

“I’ve done some stories in the past on women and negotiation and many women don’t like negotiating, they find it extremely uncomfortable, and frankly a lot of women have a problem valuing themselves…there’s this issue about, how much am I worth, oh, am I really worth that much? This is a big deal, isn’t it?”

“It’s a huge, huge deal. I don’t recall the statistics off the top of my head of when a woman graduates from college, and the diff in income between she and a male counterpart simply because he asks for $5k more and she didn’t and it nets out to something like $750k simply because he asks for more at the very outset. It’s not something we’ve been taught at least my generation…the other thing though is that translates to when women create their own businesses. I know even my own self, I’ve had friends tell me, you’re not charging enough. And for me to go through the inner work that was necessary for me to get to the point where I was comfortable – cause there’s one thing increasing the price and another feeling OK asking for it – feeling like OK, darn it, what I’m delivering, it’s worth this! So I think that’s it too, but I know I wrote a piece for another publication and I talked about how we have to work out our family stuff in therapy and not in our businesses, because we don’t realize a lot of your family stuff plays out in how you feel about yourself and if you don’t feel quote-unquote worthy, that’s going to show up in the prices that you charge, in the way you negotiate or choose not to negotiate.”

These feelings women have about money can get complicated. In early October I wrote a blog post on The Broad Experience site called When Women Work for Free. I asked readers to talk about their own experiences of doing something for nothing in the hope it might help their career in some way.

One reader, a longtime career coach in Europe, wrote back and after answering my initial question she sort of turned it around. I read part of her response to Jacquette:

“The incidence of women not being prepared to either pay the market price for services or expect something for free generally in my experience is higher than men. Yet the same women would think nothing of spending €250 on shoes or €150 on getting their hair highlighted. Women have to stop expecting someone to take care of them and to invest in their careers. When they understand the value of other people’s services and time then perhaps they will then start to have an idea of value of their own…”

JT: So here’s my thought on that. I’ve gotten to the point now where I’ll do selective pro bono speaking engagements but they’re always for a strategic reason…and if it is more than, you know, a one-time, well typically it’s never that, but if it’s a full blown workshop I’ll only do it for a faith-based organization. I’ve told people, if you don’t fit a faith-based profile, I’m not doing it for free. When I speak sometimes it’s paid and sometimes it isn’t, if it isn’t, it’s a platform that’s going to be greater than probably even what I would have gotten for a monetary standpoint for that particular speaking engagement. Each person has to come up with what the boundaries and parameters are for them. I don’t negotiate my fee. My fee is my fee. If someone is unable to afford it I’ll put together a payment plan but I don’t discount my fee at all. The person who wrote in said – these aren’t her words – someone may nickel and dime you and then go out and spend $150 and I know, because I’ve experienced that. Someone asking me, oh that’s too much, and then you hear them going out to, and I live in New York City…they tell you the place they’re going to and you know hey just dropped $150 on dinner, so it’s just like where are your priorities?!”

I asked her to unpack that a bit. What is going on there? One thing, she thinks, is what she calls the culture of immediate gratification – dinner, for instance, gives instant, pleasurable results. A single coaching session may not.

“One of the things I speak to in my book is this whole idea of how we live in a microwave society. You can put something in the microwave and it can be hot in a minute. That has translated into so many things in terms of what we expect. Including from relationships, so I think people expect the same thing – that mindset translates into when it comes to doing business with somebody else. They don’t realize you’re cultivating a relationship, or that’s the goal, you’re just paying for the person’s time in that moment, you’re really paying for their expertise, knowledge, experience, insights, and all that has been cultivated over the entire lifespan of their career, not just that 45 or 60 minute time they are spending with you. And you are paying for their ability to kind of think about all of those things and come up with a solution that is targeted just specifically for you. And I think people need to think of all that goes into it and they might respect the price more.”

Then, going back to what my correspondent said earlier about women’s stinginess with some things but not others…I brought up a friend of mine who has her own internet services business. She told me a few months ago something she said she’d never admit publicly. Her female clients are cheap. She says men never quibble over the price of her services, women always do. She finds it incredibly frustrating.

“You know what I’d be curious to know is if those same women do that strategy with men. So is it an issue of I’m speaking with another woman, so we should have this immediate affinity and of course she should be willing to give me a discount, is it that mentality? Because if so you are looking at the woman’s solidarity in a very negative way… because you’re assuming that because we’re of the same gender then automatically you should hook me up…”

I’ve no way of knowing if my friend’s clients try to bargain with men as well but if you have theories on this, again, please let me know on the website.

Jacquette also brought up something I feel is almost taboo for a lot of women to talk about.

“I had to work on really wrapping my head around it’s OK to make money with ease. I think we all grow up around some conditioning around money and one of my conditionings was you had to work hard for it, and if you didn’t work hard for it, you didn’t get it.”

And because her work came so naturally to her…it took a while not to feel guilty about doing a four-hour job and being well paid for it.

“The other thing I don’t really think we grasp is we’re now really steeped into a knowledge based society but that wasn’t the case – we were still in the early transition of that in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and I think that the mindset, and the mentality and approach of how we did business and how we valued the time it took to do something was very much entrenched in that, you work an 8 hour shift, you work really hard, that kind of thought process. So I think even though I never worked in that kind of environment, the fact that culturally that was what was surrounding me…I think I just picked up some of these beliefs about the correlation and relationship between the dynamic of work and what you get paid for the work that you do.”

Finally I brought up something that came from a few podcasts ago – you may remember Jodi Detjen who was in show 25, which I called Killing the Ideal Woman. One of the things she talks about in her book is many women’s need to be nice – or be seen as nice, anyway. She believes this puts not all, but a lot of women in a mindset where effectively they think of earning a lot of money as almost dirty. Doing good was more important to many of her interviewees than earning a market rate.

Now I’m thinking aloud here, but this may actually relate back to what Natalia Oberti Noguera was talking about where women feel it’s OK to give money away to a social entrepreneurship venture – but investing it? That means they may actually make money back…and perhaps that’s what makes them uncomfortable – the idea of making money from a venture that’s trying to do some good in the world. Maybe this is all tied up with our perceptions of ourselves as nice people, or people who should be seen to be nice. As I said earlier, it’s complicated.

Jacquette says she’s seen this ambivalent attitude to money in plenty of women, and she’d like to change it if for no other reason than that women don’t save enough for their later years.

“And so I think this whole notion of it’s not cool to earn a lot of money, or if I earn a lot of money that means it’s materialistic of me, has to do with the way capitalism, and I’m going to use the word, has been pimped. Because I don’t think capitalism in and of itself is bad. I think it’s what people do with it. And I think if people recognize, if I do well that allows me to have more resources to help others so the greater good can do well…but so often people want to make doing well seem like a bad thing, so this whole idea of I shouldn’t earn this much or it’s too materialistic of me to do that…whoever is thinking that has a lot of inner work to do on their own relationship with money.”

Jacquette Timmons.

That’s The Broad Experience for this time.  Again, if you have thoughts about this show please post them under this episode at The Broad Experience dot com or on the show’s Facebook page. I’ll be posting some show notes as well.

The Broad Experience is supported by the Mule Radio Syndicate, which hosts other intriguing podcasts. One of those is This is Actually Happening…first person stories about what happens when everything changes. Also Everything Sounds, which explores the role sound plays in art, science and culture.

And if you can kick in a few bucks to support what I’m doing please go to the support tab on The Broad Experience dot com. And if you like what you hear please write a quick review on iTunes – it helps get the show noticed, and I definitely want the show to attract more ears.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte. Thanks for listening. 

Episode 21: 50 Shades of Em and Lo

June 24, 2013

Em (left) and Lo (right)

"We have the independence and freedom of being freelancers but without the fear and horror of being out there on your own."

- Em and Lo

Entrepreneurs - and sex and relationship writers - Em and Lo began working together at Nerve.com in the late '90s. They left the mothership to form their own 'sex writing empire' (or close enough) in the mid 2000s. Many entrepreneurs are advised to take on at least one partner. These two women did that, and the partnership is still going strong many years (and four children) later. In this show they talk about the advantages of working with a partner, how they suffer from some of the afflictions common to professional women (they may be able to talk openly about sex, but asking for more money from an editor is another matter), how a brand like theirs has to evolve as they, and their kids, get older, and why their music teacher's husband can't look them in the eye. 15 minutes.

Their latest book is - ahem - 150 Shades of Play.

Feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter, etc. using the 'share' button below.

Episode 17: Female in Silicon Valley

April 29, 2013

"In this one particular conversation I had with an angel investor...he responded, ‘Well, I don’t want to say the wrong thing and call you a meek Asian woman, but I wonder how you will lead a group of about 100 people?’" - Elizabeth Yin, co-founder, LaunchBit

Raising money for a startup is a tough proposition for any entrepreneur. Elizabeth Yin (left) and her co-founder set out more than a year ago to raise a first round of funding for their company, LaunchBit. Along the way, they became more conscious of their gender than they'd ever been before. 18 minutes. 

In part two of the show, we meet Janne Sigurdsson (above), an Icelandic director at Alcoa, the mining company, who talks about how much work her employer has done to make the firm more appealing to women. Smelters aren't known for their allure, but Alcoa upped its female workforce by more than three percent during the recession.

And we meet a couple of executives from Coca-Cola, who explain what the beverage behemoth is doing to make life better for women inside and outside the company.

Show notes: Elizabeth Yin wrote this piece for Women 2.0 about her funding experiences, which prompted me to interview her for the show. This piece from The Verge is also very revealing about just how hard it can be for women business owners to get male investors to take their ideas seriously. 

You can read more about Catalyst's honoring of Alcoa here and Coca-Cola here. Oxfam's Behind the Brands report came out in February.

Sponsorship notices: Do take advantage of Audible's and Squarespace's offers! You can get a free audio book and a 30-day Audible trial by going to Audiblepodcast.com/broad. As I said in the show, Bossypants really is great. For the Squarespace offer go to to Squarespace.com/broad and use the code 'broad4' if you decide to sign up - it'll get you a 10% discount. I built this site using Squarespace 5 - but they're now on 6, which looks even better.