05/14/2012 10:47 am ET

3 Things Professional Women Should Stop Apologizing For

While chatting with a business colleague yesterday, she made a statement that I hear all too often from my female friends. As an independent contractor, her client asked her to do a significant amount of additional work that was not part of their original deal. Instead of asking for more compensation, she said she would probably just put in the extra hours, because she felt uncomfortable launching into the money conversation. In fact, she even apologized to me about how she hesitated with her client and was worried there would be repercussions.

Just recently, I finished the New York Times best seller, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World by Lisa Bloom, an insightful read about how women are leading the charge in many areas, such as outperforming men for the first time ever in employment in urban areas, but still spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on the "wrong" things. While the book centers on our obsession with pop culture and beauty, what I took away from it was the need for women to start saying "no" more and to stop apologizing for doing so.

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