By Elisabeth
Published in

By Elisabeth


The Complacency of Average: An Article That is Definitely Not About $42

How you spend your money says a lot about how much you value yourself.

Photo: Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

One day, a couple of years ago, I received an email from a very polite woman who was considering a membership to The Gorgeous Girl’s Guide. Back then, access to our blogs, courses, webinars, and weekly live streams carried a cost of $42 per month. She had taken advantage of our free trial, expressed how much useful information she found on the website, and that she understood why the basic monthly membership was $42, but that it was too expensive for the “average woman.”

The average woman.

Instantly, I thought about how much complacency there must be in the idea that one is average. I thought about how the woman who emailed me believed that being unable to afford something is so typical for the average woman that she may never try to be, do, or earn more because she believes herself to be average, too. In other words, if someone believes they can’t afford something and that thousands of other people can’t afford it either, then the issue must lie with the pricing of the item, no matter its value, and not in one’s belief system.

The Goop Standard

The email reminded me of articles I’d read about Gweneth Paltrow’s company, Goop, and the thousands of women who were upset because they thought they couldn’t afford the items and experiences available on Goop’s website. Still, while some were critical of the lifestyle brand and touted it as too expensive and not for the average woman, many of Goop’s available products and events were selling out. This proved that Goop isn’t for everyone; it’s for someone in particular, and most likely, it’s not for women who see themselves as average.

Still, a $42 monthly membership is not the same as a $675 sweaterdress. After all, the woman who emailed me recognized the value in our offerings, but what she lacked was the ability to see that sort of value in herself. It was the belief that she was average that kept her from investing in her growth for even just one month at $42.

As for the sweaterdress, it is the value I hold in myself, as well as my understanding of perceived value in marketing, that keeps me from purchasing a garment that may have cost $7 to make but is offered to the public at an egregious rate of inflation based solely on the brand’s celebrity figurehead. A woman doesn’t have to be average to pass on this or know when she’s being taken for a ride and when something of very little value is being offered at great expense.

Adversely, when Goop offered an in-person summit in San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London in 2019, with ticket prices starting at $1500, I jumped at the chance to be at the event in LA, as did thousands of other women craving health and wellness information, experiences, and community. I have never considered myself to be average and none of the women who attended this event were average, either. How do I know? Because what we buy and how much we spend says a lot about value and not the value we put on things, but the value we place on ourselves. This formula is part of what determines how average we think we are.

This Isn’t About $42

When we resign to lower expectations and standards for ourselves, it is easier to think we are part of the average than to admit we are operating at a level below our great potential. Like most of us, the woman who emailed me probably spent $42 on something that month — hair, nails, makeup, eating out, Amazon deliveries, or something of the sort, because that’s where she finds value. There’s nothing strange about that. Where the shift comes in is when someone alters their usual spending or earning habits to invest in their growth, understanding the overall and longterm value of that investment in themselves. People who don’t believe themselves to be average will make this shift, and it is deciding to make this shift that ensures one is not average.

Here’s the point — whatever you do, never settle on the idea that you are part of the average. There are women of all ages, with similar backgrounds to yours, all over the world, who are working and earning and building the lives they deserve, lives in which throwing nearly any amount of money toward personal and professional growth isn’t a burden; it’s an investment.

This is not rare. This is not reserved for other people.

The money you will spend on self-help books, coaching, webinars, and classes is only a waste if you do not absorb and utilize the information given. It is only a burden when opened books and incomplete courses taunt you from your devices, reminding you of how much money you spent just to quit. It is in these unfinished resources that you will find your complacency and your insistence on being average. It is the thought that you are average that will keep you from investing in such resources in the first place.

There is so much complacency in the thought that you are like everyone else, and that your membership in this mediocre social club defines and determines what is too much for you. Here’s what I know for sure: you are who you say you are, and growth is only as difficult as you insist. Invest in yourself because if you don’t, no one else will.



Random musings and wisdom from a New York Times bestselling author with more time on her hands than words.

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Elisabeth Ovesen

3x New York Times bestselling author | Chief Creative Officer at The Ovesen Company