Here is why I am a lousy businesswoman, I suck at asking for money that is owed to me. I get insecure and anxious when it comes to asking for payment for services or goods I have provided. What if the person didn’t pay because I did a lousy job and they just aren’t telling me? What if they get nasty or aggressive and refuse to pay me? What if something horrific happened to them and I turn out to be an asshole demanding money at a time when their lives are falling apart? What if I word the request for payment wrong and sound unprofessional, demanding, mean, or just plain stupid? Yeah, I know, I’m an anxiety ridden fool.
Today I was faced with having to send multiple emails to people requesting payments. Thankfully, only one was for a significant amount of money and directly tied to one of the ways I earn my living. (The other two were for very small sums of money directly related to something that became far more complicated than it needed to be thanks to someone who needed to stick her nose where it didn’t belong.) I had known I needed to compose and send these emails starting on Monday. I thought about what I would say in these emails, had mini anxiety attacks, calmed myself down, and then went on with my day…for three days in a row. Today, I finally bit the bullet. I thought about what I would say, I typed it out, I stared at the words, felt my chest seize in the ever familiar way that it likes to alert me to mounting anxiety, took many deep breaths, reread what I had written once more, hit send, and had a mini freak out. I’m very mature about handling adult matters.
Even with all of the anxiety, I survived. And, I will actually get the money that is owed to me. I could go on a philosophical meandering through society’s flaws and how women are taught to be demure and polite and when we ask for what is ours we are more often than not labeled bitches, which makes asking for things, like money owed, hard for women while men just do it, but I will spare you all. The bottom line is, it is hard for me. It is something I need to work on. I need to do a better job of standing up for myself and asking for what is mine, especially when I have worked hard on something. I let my insecurities get the best of me all too often. Sending those emails was a huge step for me. If nothing else, I learned that my anxiety will not kill me (or at least it hasn’t yet).