Along my business journey, there have been some harsh lessons. One which which comes to mind is:
No one will ever pay you what you’re worth – they will only ever pay you what THEY THINK you’re worth – and ultimately, you have the power to shape their thinking.
Im not meaning in some voodoo, brainwashing manner. What I mean is by clearly defining and communicating your value – which is essential to be paid well for your excellence. Essentially what I mean can be broken down into a basic equation:
Definition of Value + Clear Communication = Earning what you’re worth
This concept has universal applicability. It’s true if you’re a business owner, an employee, a job seeker – regardless if you’re a man or a woman. I found this out the hard way as I was uncomfortable in communicating my value, especially earlier on in my business ownership. I always held onto this idea which went along the lines of “I don’t like to toot my own horn, I want my work to speak for itself, I don’t need to justify my value”. But ultimately – this way of thinking didn’t serve me and it was keeping me small and safe.
The way I overcame it was to change the narrative by delving into what sets me apart from others within my field. It’s only just recently that I saw the profit increases that my clients were experiencing in working with me and I then realised I needed to revaluate my pricing. I was REALLY underpriced relative to the value I was delivering, especially in relation to what others in my field are charging by comparison.
I went about this be evaluating my own value through asking value based questions:
- What is my unique value?
- What are my clients needs and how do I meet them?
- What is my unique skillset that makes me better qualified
- to serve my clients and deliver them results?
- What problem do I solve for my clients?
- What value do I add?
After doing this exercise and calculated my clients return of investment and I quickly realized that I needed to double my price. Double it. And I confess to you – that TERRIFIED me.
All sorts of questions flooded my head.
- What if no one would pay me that?
- What if my clients said – that’s ridiculous.
- Was I really worth that?
- Not my work mind you, but me, was I worth that??
- Im the mother to a little boy who depends on me – what if my business fails?
What if I fail?
But I did my homework and knew that the value was there. So I went about preparing our new price list and sent it out to clients – and what happened? Clients continued to hire me and recommend me and IM STILL HERE.
I share this story because doubts and fears are normal – but they don’t define our value. It’s also important to find your own voice. A voice that’s authentic and true to you. It’s important because being authentic and true to the “real” you – is probably one of the most liberating and empowering things you can do for your self worth.
Don’t try and channel your friend because she is a great sales person, or your family member who tells a great joke if that’s not who you are. It will come across as disingenuous and people will know that you’re not being authentic. Give up this notion that it’s about tooting your own horn and make it about the other person. Focus on serving your client and adding value and it won’t feel like bragging. What do you love about what you do? If you connect with that, communicating your value will come naturally.
In my own business journey – it took me a long time to be ok with who I am and realising my opinion matters. It has been a gradual evolution, but now I find that it has massively impacted on my relationships with my clients. Instead of being scared or panicky or feeling small (which is what I used to feel), instead I now feel “ok – I’ve got this” – I know what Im doing, I’m confident in my own abilities and knowledge base and how my skills directly influence and contribute to the success of my clients.
This transition has meant a lot with my relationships – not only with my clients, but with myself as a person and my personal relationships. The more you feel like you’re in alignment with your values and communicate authentically who you are – the more people you will attract as you are being genuinely and authentically YOU.
And nothing can be much more real and rewarding than having the strength to be yourself and be paid really well for your unique skillset and the value you add to your clients business.