Have you noticed how certain self-employed individuals work incredibly long hours and never seem to get ahead while others breeze through life – effortlessly attracting clients, earning really good income, and (gasp) even going on holidays! If you find yourself in the first category, you might be an underearner.
So what exactly is an underearner? An underearner is someone who earns less than their potential despite their need or desire to do otherwise. Underearning is rarely a conscious choice. It always involves self-denial- not only of money, but time, freedom, impact, and joy; denial of your value, your power, your needs, and your options.
- Underearners talk as if they’re trapped: They feel stuck, as if they have no control over their lives or their time. They justify, defend or rationalize their situations with excuses that block out their options.
- Underearners give their power away: They blame other people or outside conditions for causing their problems. Or they wait, hoping someone or something will come in and save them. Prince Charming is a favorite for women: the lottery ranks high for both genders.
- Underearners underestimate their worth: They give away their time, knowledge, skills, experience for free or bargain prices because they don’t believe they’re worth more.
- Underearners crave comfort: Stepping out of your comfort zone is rarely comfortable. Underearners will often unwittingly sabotage their success rather than endure this discomfort.
- Underearners are self-saboteurs: People who underestimate their worth tend to undermine their success. That’s why so many bright, talented people can’t seem to get ahead. They unconsciously do things that make achievement impossible. They procrastinate, take on too much, become scattered and distracted.
- Underearners are codependent: People who don’t value themselves easily slip into codependence, putting everyone else’s needs before their own.
- Underearners live in financial chaos: Underearners tend to live paycheck to paycheck, struggle to make ends meet, go from one financial crises to another, and rack up debt.
- Underearners are vague about money and success: They often have no idea how much money they have, how much they earn, how much they owe, or even how much they need.
- Underearners are anti-wealth: They’re ambivalent or negative about money and/or people who have it.
- Underearners are controlled by fear: They’re afraid of success. They’re afraid of failing. They’re afraid of rejection, of being judged, of people liking them (or not) because of their money. They’re afraid of the responsibility of having more, and the possibility of losing it all.
Can you relate to any of these traits? For me, there was a check mark around #5, I have a bad habit of taking on too much and being scattered and distracted.
The good news:
Did you happen to notice what these ten traits all have in common? Every one of them is self-imposed. Every trait is something we do to ourselves. If we create the conditions for underearning to occur, we have the power to change them.
Journal Exercise, ask yourself : “What’s your payoff for underearning?”
Talk to the Underearner in you. See what it has to tell you. Ask that part of yourself questions such as: “Why is it there” “What’s its purpose?” “What have you gotten out of it?” Write about this in your journal.
In my next article, I will help you find your internal barriers around earning what you deserve and show you how you can break through them. So be sure to sign up here to get on the list and get your free copy of “5 Money Magnet Tips for Conscious Women Entrepreneurs”.