First, let’s get the definitions out of the way:
Entitlement: the fact of having a right to something or, belief that one is deserving or entitled to certain privileges.
Deservedness: something rightfully earned because of something done or qualities show; merited.
I have a Facebook page for Healthybeing which has nearly 5,000 “fans” on it. I work hard to provide service and to the people who visit my page. I consider this part of my giving back. There is a lot of interaction on my page and in my inbox. I once had an “inbox” message from someone who was ranting that “spiritual women shouldn’t charge people who don’t have enough money. They should help them for free.”
At first, it pushed a button in me that said, “Yes, I have a gift that I can use to help people who are struggling.” But quickly, I realized that was the old me talking – that was my false belief system saying, “You don’t deserve to receive money for your gifts.”
“I do a lot of pro bono work,” I justified to myself. Then I realized that I was justifying.
This is the perfect example of deservedness vs entitlement: I struggled with feeling deserving to charge my value and she felt entitled to have the world give her for free what someone took away from her somewhere along the line. The world must pay for her suffering.
Now, are there people who are starving, poor and deserving? Of course! No one “deserves” to be hungry, homeless or abused, in any way. The distinction I am making is between those people deserving of their basic human rights and those we all know, and many of us have been at times in our lives, who “feel entitled” for no apparent reason.
And as women entrepreneurs, we are compelled to give back. In fact, that is the reason many of us went into business to begin with. Our “why” is to help the world in some impactful way. That is why the Dalai Lama said, “the world will be saved by the western woman.” Because we have the capacity to make money AND make an impact. And we care, deeply. For most of us, it’s not about the money, but what the money can do. While you can make many changes in the world without money, the reality is that money can be used to make a big impact.
And besides, remember, money is just an energy exchange.
The deserving piece: The money wounds so many women have essentially stem from the question of feeling worthy and deserving. We self-sabotage, feel guilt, fear what others will think and even worry how making money will interfere with our relationships with our partners. We feel that if we possess “gifts” that spirit granted us then we don’t deserve to charge for them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “But it’s so easy for me. How can I charge for this?” or, “Anyone can do this. No one will pay for this.”
Cover your ears, but, that’s bullshit, my friends.