Combating the Doormat Syndrome-No Free Speaking Engagements
We women know that giving away our services for free is bad for business, just as we know saying yes to every invite and project at work is bad for our career. Both practices perpetuate the doormat syndrome.
While we’re developing our businesses and ramping up our careers, we speak at professional associations and networking groups for free because, as author and women’s leadership expert Selena Rezvani writes here, the gold-standard belief is that our generosity will benefit our reputation and our pocketbook somewhere down the line.
In the course of a year, I’m asked, usually by women, to do a lot of these events at a rate of – you guessed it – zero dollars. “We’re a non-profit,” some groups will say. “Our budget is miniscule,” others explain. Still others apply pressure with, “We’ve had years of speakers who were willing to do it for free.” Even so, “something” for “nothing” does not equate to a deal and these organizations need to take a closer look at what they’re asking of women.