The founder sitting across from me is deadpan as she talks about revenue on the project she just pitched to another company that morning. She doesn't blink an eye as she names the high six-figure amount she'll request, following it quickly with the reasons why her services are worth the number. Half way across the country, the same type of discussion takes place frequently via phone with good friend and fellow entrepreneur, Paulina Glater, as we talk about business. Glater's stance is so solid when it comes to earning what she deserves, I often refer to her as "the money girl."
If there is one trait I admire most about the women entrepreneurs I have met and know, it's their inherent ability to not just recognize the value of their companies, but also, their refusal to be shaken from it.
Power Girls know what they're worth, and they're not afraid to stand on it.
It's a chorus heard among countless numbers of today's successful women. From shopping experts and media consultants to internet start-up founders and retail store owners, the new era of women in business know what their companies have to offer -- and they champion for it.
"Determining value is all about having faith in your own ability to execute," said entrepreneur Meghan Cleary, of Miss Meghan Media. As America's go-to expert for footwear insight, she's frequently courted for speaking engagements and appearances throughout the country and tapped for her insight as a business consultant, often requiring intense business negotiation.
"Never partner with people who don't understand your value!" she adds.
For Echoage.com co-founder Debbie Zinman, it's a matter of others grasping why she'd invest time and money in concept that benefits others. Blurb.com"s Karen Hartline, a highly sought after event planner in the internet business, has learned over time to recognize and stand on her worth -- even if it means letting go of a partnership where the other party is difficult.
"I have to realize that my time and expertise is valuable for what I do," she shared over email.
It can be a tricky balance. As the founder of my consulting and content production company, 9 Group, I often have to set a competitive price for services, demonstrate to prospective clients that it's worth it, and adhere to it as we continue negotiations. Fees are created with market prices and the recession in mind -- and often highly reasonable. Yet, once while in talks with a company, the owner continuously badgered me to reduce 9's fee, despite that it was already below market price as a favor to the friend who introduced us. Each time I tried to reorganize his service plan to fit his budget, he'd balk and demand that he be given all of the service he wanted at the price he could afford.
In the end, I walked away from the table. After exhausting every avenue to try to adjust our work to his budget, I felt the time spent on the project would have been better allocated to other clients and new business development. To this day, my company still thrives.
It's a characteristic every person should have, regardless of gender. Today's modern women entrepreneurs know their worth -- and they earn it.