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How much does she make?

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From CNBC (you can read the full article here):

Here's the median income American women are earning at every age:

  • 16 to 19 years: $404 weekly/$21,008 annually
  • 20 to 24 years: $508 weekly/$26,416 annually
  • 25 to 34 years: $727 weekly/$37,804 annually
  • 35 to 44 years: $877 weekly/$45,604 annually
  • 45 to 54 years: $851 weekly/$44,252 annually
  • 55 to 64 years: $869 weekly/$45,188 annually
  • 65 years and older: $800 weekly/$41,600 annually

If you're like so many of the women I spend time with on a regular basis, you probably have an idea in your head of what the people around you are making and what you think YOU should be making and it's a constant game of, "If only..." Would it surprise you if I told you that the numbers you have in your head of what everyone around you is making are A LOT LOWER than what you think they are?

So many women believe "six figures" is the holy grail of personal success and IT IS in many ways, if you're just looking at the numbers. Only 20% of Americans will get there and very few of them will be women, yet we all seem to think we are going to get there at some point and that if we DON'T then we haven't quite reached our potential. The truth is: only about 5% of American women earn six figures. FIVE PERCENT! Why is it then that we all seem to think we aren't successful until we reach a number that most of us will never reach?

Another stunning statistic is that only about 17% of women earn over $50,000 a year. For some reason this has always struck me as fascinating because most of my closest friends earn this or more annually. It skews my perspective so that I can't fathom 83% of American women making LESS than that. In addition, by this standard, women making over $50,000 a year ARE financially successful yet most people I know who make that amount of money don't really feel that's true for them.

There's so much that goes into whether or not a person feels successful or not. It's different for each of us. Our debt to income ratio and living expenses obviously play into our feelings of financial security and "success" (or lack thereof) but so does out general sense of autonomy and joy in what we spend our time doing each day. Some of us feel successful making $40,000 if it means we work for ourselves, don't have to punch a clock, and can pay for our basic expenses. Others feel like they need a fancy vacation every year in addition to all of that as well as someone to clean their home and NO (or very little) debt. Some make lots of money but don't feel successful unless they have robust investments, savings, and emergency funds for a rainy day.

When I ask my clients, "What would make you feel financially successful within the next year?" I get a variety of answers from them with just as many reasons behind those answers. A common thing I hear on repeat, however, is the desire to reach six figures even though they may not even be at HALF that currently. Some of them may not even be at 25% of that currently. If they don't bring up six figures then they will likely mention something in the $50,000-$60,000 range even if their business has only made $5,000-$25,000 annually thus far. In other words: we have HIGH expectations for the financial success of our businesses even when the odds are are not in our favor. Somehow we all think we're the exception.

Does this mean we should just throw our hands up and not even try? Hell no. We need to reach for the stars like the entrepreneurs we are! I just think it's in our favor to keep a healthy perspective while we're doing that so we don't constantly feel like we aren't doing enough.

Additional interesting facts about small businesses in general that may surprise you:

+ half will close before the 5 year mark (here) not "90% will fail in the first year" or whatever that old nonsense used to be

+ about 60% of very small businesses (1-5 employees) don't have websites (same link as above)

+ female business owners earn an annual salary of around $31,000-$71,000 (here)

So here's the bottom line: You are likely more successful than you think you are.

If you have a website, if you stick with it for 5 years, AND if you eventually make at least $31,000 annually then YOU ARE FINANCIALLY "SUCCESSFUL" for a female, small business owner in America. It is entirely possible that you will one day reach that six figure or million dollar goal you hold so dear, but don't let yourself get discouraged if you are nowhere near that right now. Baby steps, my love. Baby steps.

Get a website. Market yourself efficiently. Do more of what you love. Work hard. Know that you are valuable whether you are making $20,000 a year or $200,000 a year and that there's always room for improvement for all of us... no matter where we find ourselves. Don't let yourself look sideways at everyone else and get caught up in comparisons. Comparison kills. Also, some people are really good at faking their success and when you dig in just a little bit you realize they haven't even turned a profit yet... or they're making minimum wage. Don't assume you know what's going on with the shiny people around you. You don't. I promise. You don't.

Keep your head down and your sites high. We are women who have a voice that needs to be heard and, yes we need to be financially supported by our careers, but we also need to be fulfilled in what we do. Success comes in many forms. Of course we want both. We deserve both... but keep perspective and keep the faith.

If you're looking for a strategy to meet your business goals or want to dig into your pricing and your financial projections, shoot me an e-mail to discuss! I love numbers. I love YOUR numbers.

Let's do this business thing,

Meg

 
Meg Witt