To help women become more confident, Mika Brzezinski has partnered with NBC Universal to launch the “Know Your Value” conference series. These live events will take place in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston, and Orlando. According to her 2011 best-seller, Knowing Your Value, the idea focuses on giving women tips on how to improve their lives and create a new “movement.” She told Fortune this shortly after the book’s release. The conference will focus on coaching, networking, and supporting each other to create a success plan. The tour starts in Philly on April 10th.
This isn’t Brzezinski’s first foray into this landscape – she has teamed up with Arianna Huffington on her “Thrive” work, as well as authored books and hosted a daily news show, Morning Joe, on MSNBC. So why does she put in extra time to help? Because Davis sees an issue among women, from interns to CEOs, that requires improvement. At Levo, we were lucky enough to speak with her about this incredible movement.
How did you come to the decision to start this tour? What was your reasoning for wanting to go on this journey?
When my book Knowing Your Value came out in 2012, I was surprised that even today, women approach me to tell me how the book improved their work life. Everywhere I go, women from all walks of life come up to me and say, “I read your book and I got a raise.” I have come to understand that the issues I experienced are not unique to me, but instead affect all women. This made me realize that I need to do more with my Know Your Value message.
What do you hope to achieve with it?
I want to empower women by teaching them how to fix the problems they have control over. I want to show women how easy it is to communicate their own personal values. Removing the mental roadblocks that we put up during negotiations benefits everyone, but especially women who are often socialized to undervalue their worth.
Why is it more difficult for women to successfully negotiate a pay raise than men?
For some reason, we’re much bolder when advocating for other people than when it comes to discussing money in relation to ourselves. We put ourselves down, apologize too much, and underestimate our value simply by the way present our cases. Too often, women allow unimportant details to cloud their judgment during negotiations. I want to help them learn to move past those roadblocks.
What is the most common mistake young women make when it comes to their careers?
When you don’t yet know your worth, it’s tough to ask for more. I understand how this feels–I’ve been there too. Instead of worrying about the next promotion, focus on doing your current job exceptionally well. By being still and excelling at what you do, eventually, your value will shine through.
What are your three favorite negotiation tips?
Never say sorry.
Being “liked” is not important.
Only enter the conversation armed with data that will support your argument.
When you trip and fall, what’s the best way to get back up?
Never be afraid to fail; in fact, wear your failures as a badge of honor. I have failed many times publicly, and it has only made me better. Failure is an incredible learning tool because it is often more honest than success.
What is your secret for being able to wake up early and be full of energy for your videos?
Though it’s hard to admit, what I do is extremely stressful. To cope, I try my best to take care of myself both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution or magic fix; this requires a lot of dedication and effort on my part.
What are your thoughts on the recent comparisons to Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah?
Like Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah, I am proud to be a woman who brings attention to the issues that we face today. These conversations are important if they can help women in some way.
In the next few weeks, we’ll announce ticket sales for our upcoming event. Tickets will be affordably priced so that all women, regardless of their age or career stage, can attend if they wish to do so. Most conferences these days are a ripoff; you pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend, and at the end of it all, you have nothing to show for it.
With this new alliance, women will receive useful advice, tips, resources, and a compassionate network to guide them in comprehending their value within work settings, at home, or in any other area of life. By the end of the tour, they will have learned how to achieve success and what steps they need to take to get there.
Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal