Vestpod Event: Know your worth (Jul 2019)

Vestpod Lauren Armes Carmel Dickinson Bola Sol

This event took place on 17 July 2019 at Huckletree Shoreditch.

It’s almost time for your annual review, or perhaps you’re an entrepreneur and you want to raise your rates with a client. How can you establish your true worth, ask for what you want and negotiate so that everyone comes out a winner?

At a recent event at the Huckletree Shoreditch, Vestpod rounded up three amazing money experts and financial feminists to answer those questions.

The advice is clear: before negotiating, you need to figure out what you want to ask for and why.

“Be clear on your desires – they’re different for everyone,” says Lauren Armes, who quit her corporate job over four years ago and started up WELLTODO, a business coaching service for female entrepreneurs in the wellness industry. “And if you’re honest about that and the amount you want to make, then there’s some reverse engineering involved to figure out how many clients you need, how much you need to charge and how often you should take on new ones – it’s a pretty simple exercise you can do in an Excel spreadsheet.”

But how do you know what you’re worth, beyond what you want and what you need to make ends meet? 

Lauren says we should ask ourselves some key questions. “What am I good at, what problems can I solve, what does the market want, what skills can I attach to that and how can I make money?”

Carmel Dickinson, the financial feminist and Head of Sales and Industry Relations at Boring Money, says once we’ve figured out what we need and the value we add on top, we should be prepared to prove it.

“Log your achievements – as I work in sales, the numbers speak for themselves,” says Carmel. “Get testimonials from clients, or talk to your colleagues before asking for a raise and ask them what they like about working with you.”

Hearing nice feedback from your colleagues may be the easy part. Now it comes to walking into the room with your boss or client. Be confident, however - you have prepared for this!

Bola Sol, the founder of Refined Currency, host of The Bola Sol Show and #RichGirlChronicles, vividly remembers asking her old employer for a raise. Although her boss said yes, they kept delaying, so she decided to leave the company. Within days, many of her colleagues had been made redundant, while she was on a much higher salary at a new job.

“I’m so glad I stepped up in terms of realising my worth for myself,” she says. “At times life can happen to you, not for you, and there’s such a difference. You want to say that you took the position of power and that even when someone said ‘no’ to you, you decided that wasn’t the end of your worth and you went somewhere that aligned with that.”

The financial experts recommend several tips for negotiating, including mirroring your employer or client in how they dress, “like dating”, and remembering that this process is a much longer one than just the 30 minute-meeting. 

Ultimately, the Vestpod panelists agree that the negotiation should not feel grubby - everyone should walk away feeling they have benefited.

And what happens if you feel impostor syndrome - like you don’t deserve what you want? Bola says we should acknowledge that feeling, and use it to our advantage for future generations.

“I always flip it on its head and think about how we’re moving towards a new day - I want to be part of that legacy,” says Bola. “It’s important you have faith in yourself so that women who come after you have the upper hand.”

Check out more photos on our Facebook page.

Lauren Armes, Carmel Dickinson and Bola Sol joined Vestpod founder Emilie Bellet for a discussion about knowing your worth, getting paid and negotiating at Huckletree Shoreditch on 17 July, followed by networking and drinks.

Check out future events here, or sign up to the Vestpod newsletter about women and money at this link.

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