We met because he had a question to ask: ‘Lucinda, I have a company that provides private chauffeurs for both men and women but we notice that only men are making use of this service. Why do women rarely use my service?’ I smiled and realised that I loved the question. I love it because it could really only have to do with a few elements. And this is what I shared with him.
Women value themselves less than men
Women value themselves less than men. Defining their own value might be a puzzle with badly matching pieces. Men don’t have this problem. Without blinking or thinking men – generally speaking – choose the luxurious part of life. The private chauffeur… they are worth it, naturally. Women ‘feel’ that they don’t deserve it. What might others think of her? And what about her self-perception… succumbing to luxury. Comfort, time and efficiency, men don’t have to think about it twice.
Shaking his head the limousine guy continued: ‘Women even prefer to take the night train and a taxi at a dark train station. They arrive at the airport by plane, walk through an inhospitable dark parking lot and drive themselves home even although they are really tired.’ I nodded.
I say women are – generally speaking – not able to allow themselves this luxury. Actually really sad and we should change this by being role models for the right approach. By being role models for our daughters because there it starts.
The challenge of being a woman
I detest walking through dark garages at night and I hate taking the train and bus. He said all the right things and I smiled as I saw all these women come home totally exhausted and even when it is late and she is tired, she still chooses for discomfort. Another horror crossed my mind. High heels. When I’m invited to speak or invited at an event there usually is a challenge. My high heels are caught between the cobble stones paving the street to the building or in the holes of the metal stairs in the garage. Not with a private driver.
Women in top positions
I smiled again; there are lots of women in top positions who have never felt the freedom of a private chauffeur. I explained to him that these women are all around us. Even most women in top positions will not easily turn to the private chauffeur if they don’t have the utmost senior position… and still then. This should change. I am convinced that women in those positions (and other) should allow themselves to be driven just because they are worth it. And…if companies can facilitate this for men, they can certainly facilitate it for women.
A healty mindset and efficiency
Women are always thinking about the other person and that’s okay but you can only look after the other person once you have learnt to take care of yourself. And no, this service is certainly not about the costs or a lavish lifestyle, it’s about comfort, safety and efficiency. About getting to your destination in a relaxed way.
‘Price is what you pay and value is what you get’
Concerning to me the obvious things people with a healthy mindset and look on their own lives should treat themselves. The nice thing about the limousine’s man question is that it confronted me once again with the position of women. We just don’t seem to be able to find ourselves worth the private chauffeur.
‘My husband thinks…’
In my new book ‘Smart & Savvy Leadership’, I write about this topic: value and the implications of feeling less. Women actually told me: ‘Lucinda, my husband might just think that I am worth more than he is if I would be fetched by a chauffeur so I put on unsexy clothing, never wear heels and wear very little make-up so that I can keep him at his level.’ What about that! Tradition has taught us to behave, be modest, never to splash out and certainly never have the chauffeur to take you places. Okay for a party or an event but for business…
‘Well done, woman’
Well, I can assure you, since having this conversation with this man, the look at myself has changed even more. I will be using his services more often, I will be valuing myself more and as long as I live I will invest in myself so that I have enough to give the other person as well. I want to come home relaxed and give myself a smile and a pat on the back.
As a speaker and performer I often have to drive to my destination. My preparation happens while in the car. I sometimes have no idea how I got there because I am so concentrated. As of now I am going to allow myself a private chauffeur. Why? By writing and realizing this and understanding who I am, I know that I am worth it! When I come home I say: ‘Well done, woman.’ My question to you is, are you worth it?