Here’s the truth I want you to hear today.

Unless you are a straight white man, you’re already undervalued by society.

Then, on top, you undervalue yourself.

“It’s ok to undervalue and underpay me. I undervalue myself, too,” you say with your behavior.

Here’re some ways in which you are doing that:

You undercharge.
You don’t ask for a raise.
You are not visible on LinkedIn.
You don’t seek media coverage.
You don’t ask for what you want.
You have a hard time saying “No.”
You ask for permission to speak up.
You don’t invest and grow your finances.
You accept to speak/train/facilitate for free.
You don’t get your voice heard in meetings.
You don’t act on your big dreams and desires.
You don’t share your stories and achievements.
You don’t seek out public speaking opportunities.
You don’t invest into coaching to empower yourself.
You live paycheck to paycheck, despite working hard.
You don’t self-promote and don’t advocate for yourself.
You put your needs last and don’t prioritise your own needs.
You’re more concerned about pleasing others than being true to yourself.
You don’t pivot professionally, even though you lost passion for your job a long time ago.

This list is not exhaustive – I am sure I’ve left a few items out.
But I bet you’ve recognised yourself.

It’s time to stop this toxic pattern.

I want you to claim your share of recognition, fame and fortune.
Rather than wait for it to come to you.

There’s plenty of it to go around.
When you decide to make it happen.

When you get equipped with the right mindset, strategies and support,

The sky’s the limit.

I know well what I am talking about.
Because I am a former you.

Just like you, I was conditioned to undervalue myself.

I turned those habits around.
You can do that, too.

Here are a few highlights from my life:

Girls in the Muslim culture where I grew up were expected to listen and obey.
Not to be seen or heard.

I didn’t like the idea of being quiet.
So I looked for ways to get my voice heard.

At the age of 10 I disrupted the norms.
By writing and publishing an article at a national newspaper for school children.
I dared to be bold and to speak up.

At the age of 20 I did it again.
Only in a bigger way.
I ran away from Uzbekistan and the family pressure to marry me off.
By setting up as a freelance reporter abroad,
I chose my career and freedom.

At the age of 30, I disrupted my “normal” life again.
When I left the thriving career as a senior editor at the BBC in London,
and moved to Paris in search of a new career path.
I chose courage to reinvent myself.

At the age of 35, I used the power of my voice
To be seen in my new city and country (NY, US)
I shared one of my personal stories in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
I dared to stand out and be vulnerable with the world.

At the age of 40, my life was disrupted externally — by divorce.
I took the lemons that life threw at me,
Deciding to run my new coaching business from Paris, my favourite city.
where I had neither professional network nor family to support me and my 2 boys.
It took courage, determination and hard work to succeed.

I had to break through my own inner ceiling to get to the place where I am now: the founder of Visionary Voices, a fast-growing global practice helping women executives, managers and founders around the world to grow their personal brand, thought leadership and visibility.

I have now over 13K followers on LinkedIn, get invited regularly to speak at conferences, podcasts and youtube channels, and I empower women like you to smash your inner glass ceiling and reach your big goals.

Are you feeling inspired?

I’ll be talking about the basics of Personal Branding this Friday, April 6, at 5pm CET in a live call on our Facebook Elevate group. Join the group and come along to the Zoom call if you’re tired of undervaluing yourself.

Wishing you an impactful week.

With love,