Is Your Brain the Reason You’re Underpaid?

Michael O. "Coop" CooperRight BrainLeave a Comment

Right brain entrepreneurs and executives are consistently undervalued and underpaid. I've written before about the reasons why right brain entrepreneurs and executives are overwhelmed, overcommitted and overworked, but today  I want to talk about where the rubber meets the road - in our wallets.

As with other patterns that tend to hold us back from living and working in a way that brings us joy and fulfillment, being undervalued and underpaid are managed by three primary factors:

  • Our Brains
  • Our Beliefs
  • Our Habits

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (OK, I'm really dating myself here) these three factors are so powerful they direct virtually every part of our lives. Being undervalued may seem a bit innocuous, but it's really just the symptom of a much larger issue.

We are often undervalued by others because we undervalue ourselves, we have difficulty articulating the value of our contributions, and most business is organized as a left brain activity so it's a challenge to get others to understand the value of the way we take in and process information.

Being undervalued leads to being underpaid - whether because we don't ask for compensation that matches the value we deliver, or because our specific organization isn't set up to reward right brain expertise.

So how does the brain fit in?

First, as right brainers, we have a tendency to make things - anything, really - more complex. We actual revel in the complexity because we can see all the parts at once and are excited about finding the connections and patterns between seemingly disparate parts. This tendency toward complexity interferes with our ability to quantify our contributions. Simply put, if we can't value what we do with a simple explanation, then few others can truly value what we do. 

Second, our brains are wired to make leaps of logic that are astute and insightful, but to someone who can't follow our leaps, we appear flighty or frivolous. We just don't make sense to them. If we don't make sense, and we can't explain how we came to our conclusions or ideas in a step by step manner, is it any wonder we are undervalued, and hence underpaid?

Third, we tend to crave variety and flexibility. In fact, we get bored without it. We generally have multiple projects going at one time, multitask on a regular basis, and are always looking for the next new thing that will capture our attention. This makes it hard to identify which activities are using our real gifts. This inability to organize around doing just what we're good at prevents us from valuing our gifts. We are actually good at many different things, but zeroing in on what we are particularly gifted at can be a challenge.

And fourth, we have a deep seeded fear that others won't respect us if we aren't doing everything they expect us to. We strive to meet others' expectations, ignoring our own needs and not focusing on our gifts. We like to be helpful, so we end up spending time focused on things that aren't all that helpful to us our our businesses. This fear of lack of respect drives us more than any belief or motivator ever could.

So the answer to "Is your brain the reason you're underpaid?" is "Yes, and there's more."

In the upcoming teleclass, "Why You're Undervalued and Underpaid - And What To Do About It" we'll explore more about how our brains can hold us back, as well as how our brains, along with our beliefs and our habits create a triad for being undervalued and underpaid.

I hope you'll join me! Register below:

"Why You're Undervalued and Underpaid - And What To Do About It"
November 7, 2013, 12noon PT (3pm ET)


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