#7 Power Plays for Women: Value Yourself

Posted on January 26, 2011 by


By Kathy Korman Frey

Hold onto your hats and muster a couple of brain cells to rub together because in this post I am going to show you how a stay at home mom contributes a near six-figure of value to a household.  Of course most of us logically realize it’s far more than this, but, this post is to demonstrate the concept of the Value Spreadsheet.  We need this now more than ever as young women are graduating from college making less right out of the gate. So, let’s get started. By the end, you’ll be able to quantify YOUR value on a spreadsheet or piece of paper.

This is about women, money, and knowing your value.

Q: Dear Hot Mommas Project: Why do we need to a value spreadsheet? Because women initiate negotiations two (2) to (3) times less often than men according to very awesome Professor Linda Babcock.  This, combined with our documented tendencies to NOT promote our abilities is partially responsible for the wage gap.

Let me be clear: This does NOT exonerate employers from fair pay practices. But, you’re out of mommy and daddy’s house now and it’s time to put on your big girl panties and have a negotiation. Here is one of THE most effective and straight forward tools to do it.

Q: Why use Monica, a sample Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) as an example?

#1. Stay at Home Moms present a “value challenge” in that they provide MASSIVE value, but it’s almost always overlooked and undervalued in our society. So, let’s assume quantifying this value is the MOST challenging, and then you’ll find quantifying YOUR value comparatively easier.

Ever heard of the saying, “Easy as falling off a log?”  

That’s how easy it will be by the end of this.

#2. To me, Stay at Home Moms are a kind of royalty. They are the toughest broads around. Do you know what kind of nerves of steel you need to stay at home?  There are so many levels. So, SAHMs, I bow down to you. You could run a small country, or a big one, and you do every day. They deserve a major shout out, and they don’t get it enough.

A shout out here to the emerging crop of dads, too, we love you “guys who get it.”

Example of Value Spreadsheet for Monica

Monica provides $74,000 in value (minimum) to the household each year based on only two factors. Here’s how (below).

Explanation and how to do your OWN Value Spreadsheet:

Summary: List an action or skill, the impact of this, the MONETARY value, and then the NON-Monetary value. That’s it.

Detail (below)

STEP 1.  Action. On a piece of paper make four columns. In the first column, write down something that you do really well in your job, as a student, or as Home CEO.

  • Example1: In Monica’s example, she is adept at placing a routine around their home life.
  • Example 2: They also eat at home more frequently, which has benefits described below.

STEP 2. Impact. In the second column, write the impact.

  • Example 1: Monica’s skill at providing a routine around the family’s home life provides the following benefit or impact: Emotional stability.
  • Example 2: The impact of  more meals at home is two-fold: First, there is a flat-out savings on eating out. Second, there is a nutritional benefit.
STEP 3. Value.
  • CRITICAL STEP: The MONEY! In the third column, calculate the monetary value. You can do this by the month, the year, or both.  Think in terms of VALUE (making money, adding value) SAVINGS (reducing spending).
  • Tip:  Do not look for “the right answer.” Use your judgement, estimate, and move forward. You can always tweak later.
  • Example 1: Monica calculated the value of the emotional stability as follows:

Example of non impulse buying
$500 per month x 12 = $6,000 per year savings

  • When Monica and her partner both worked, there was a high level of stress and the feeling of more of a financial cushion. They would spend more on impulse buys which actually built up credit card debt a couple of times. Now,  Monica and her partner never felt the need to spend money this way as a stress release. She decided this was a legitimate monetary value ($500 per month). Sitting and talking about it actually felt great and very validating. Each day they would have more and more examples.
$2,500 x 12 = $30,000 per year
  • The other part was a dollar value she and her partner put their heads together on and agreed: “Let’s say it’s worth $2500 a month to us.”
TOTAL: Routine/Emotional stability savings + value is $36,000.
Your example. If you helped save your department vice presidents 50 hours per year because of a process you developed, calculate that time, then add the additional value you provided by bringing in a client, sales, etc. Savings + value.
  • Example 2: Monica calculated the value of the emotional stability as follows:
$300 per week eating home (1,200 per mo) x 12 = $14,400 per year savings
  • On the nutrition line item,  Monica estimated she saved $50 about three times a week eating at home for the kids, and doubled that because she and her partner started having more dinners at home too instead of eating out /take out for their grown-up dinners.
$2,000  x 12 = $24,000
  •  For the value part, they assessed the focus on the kids’ health and nutrition that resulted from the home meals at $2,000 per month.
TOTAL: Nutrition savings + value is $38,400.
Other: There are “other” areas which Monica could flesh out in terms of things she fixes around the house (saving handyman expense) and leadership positions in the community and the kids’ schools. These are NOT in the spreadsheet above as monetary values, but are listed at the bottom as considerations.

Step 4. ROH (Return on Heartbeats) Value – Return on Heartbeats is a term I learned in my work with Entrepreneur’s Organization. It acknowledges the value here (point to heart). In the last column, see if any of the value you’re providing matches up with the family’s top three ROH priorities.

  • In Monica’s case, they did ROH priorities for the whole family and then just for the parents. Many of the things she did overlapped directly with the family and parent ROH values.

Getting started on your Value Spreadsheet.

Think about what YOU do better or faster. Were you key in bringing in a sale? Do you support others who sell? Are you a student leader? What impact have you made? How can you quantify it in terms of impact on campus? These are all things you can calculate. When you hear in movies “Everyone has a number” – this is just a different spin on it.

Have fun, and enjoy defining the snapshot of the value you provide everyday to yourself, and the people around you.


Want more?

  • This is part of the “Power Plays for Women” series delivering tested, high-value facts based on research. To learn more, sign up for our newsletter by emailing us here.   (Other posts in this series)
  • Other ways to get involved: Know a dynamic woman over the age of 18? Nominate her to share her story and lessons,  and have a chance to get published in a major Prentice Hall Textbook. Nominate a dynamic woman HERE. Browse winning cases HERE.

ABOUT: The award-winning Hot Mommas Project is housed at the George Washington University School of Business, CFEE.  On January 31 of 2010, the project became the world’s largest women’s case study library providing free, online, global access to stories of female role models and mentors.  The result? Measurable increases in self-confidence and success among women age 18 and older. Get on our mailing list by emailing us (periodic updates, no digital harassment). We teach women all around the world both in and out of GW. This this the inside scoop on our latest teachings.