Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski

This is hands down one of the most important books I have read regarding how women can close the wage gap.  All thanks to a remarkable friend and client whom I met by being a Best Buy Omega (Chapter 5).

Before you consider this to be way off topic for an image consultant/personal shopper, know that the number one reason I decided to start Fabuliss was to create more diversity at leadership levels. I am so over the status quo having all the power and money.  Got it?  OK, let’s continue.

If you are like me and do not know who Mika Brzezinski is, she is the co-host of MSNBC’s highly successful Morning Joe, a high speed daily talk show that sounds like a TV version of an op-ed column.  And in case you are wondering, no, I am not a regular viewer.

Here are 11 learnings from the book:

1. “If we can’t quantify and communicate our value with confidence, the achievements of the tremendous women before us will have all been for nothing.”

A.K.A. Don’t you dare think about being lazy…and keep reading!

2. “You can’t sit around waiting for people to recognize your work, you have to ask for it” and “Men ask for it all the time. Women never do. Women expect that if you do really well, someone will recognize your performance and will reward you accordingly.”

A.K.A. Your boss and co-workers don’t know what you don’t tell them.

3. “…women must get over feeling lucky” and “…if you think it’s just luck that made you successful, then if you ask for too much, the luck might just run out.”

A.K.A. You’re smarter & better than you give yourself credit for.

4. “If you’re good, you should know it and own it, and always be ready to walk. Always be aware of your ability to walk.”

A.K.A. If you’re not getting the respect you deserve, don’t be a victim.

5. “A woman can only be powerful when she doesn’t need the money, otherwise she can’t be powerful.”

A.K.A. Empower yourself with options.

6. “Anna Quindlen says, women ‘have to be tough as nails AND warm as toast.'”

A.K.A. Be aggressive. Be a bitch. Be persuasive.

7. “You make them totally dependent on you–and then you’ve reversed the power.”

A.K.A. Become irreplaceable.

8. “You are not prepared unless you know the market value of your contributions.”

A.K.A. Do your homework.

9. “Really, what’s the worst that can happen? We are told no and we’re no worse off than we were before…asking for what we want results not in the realization of our worst fears but in getting what we want.”

A.K.A. “No” is just a word.

10. “When men in a position of power decide to clear that path for you–make sure you get the right exposure, make sure you get to the right meetings–that means a great deal. And there are not that many women to do that for you, frankly. A lot of the women at the top reach back, but there’s just not enough of them.”

A.K.A. Men can be an important key to your success, which will enable you to be an important key to other women’s successes. And there is an important distinction between mentors, who show you the ropes, and sponsors, who use “their connections and their influence to advocate for an employee.”

11. “Assuming power is everything. You have to assume it, and I don’t think that women do. I think they wait to be asked…the way to shift the balance is not to try to change existing workplace dynamics but to take matters into your own hands.”

A.K.A. Just do it.

The quotes above–in addition to more insights from Sharyl Sandberg, Nora Ephron, Joy Behar, Nancy Pelosi, Valerie Jarrett, Suze Orman and Mika Brzezinski–are numerous, motivating and exhilarating.  So much so that I highlighted, underlined and starred throughout the book, which I haven’t done since forever.

My copy of the book

Learn more about Mika’s book Knowing Your Value on >

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