This week I’ve been reflecting on the tension many feel about making money. It’s easy to feel guilty about charging for what you do, especially if you love doing it. Whether you’re afraid of ‘conning’ your customers, doubting the value of what you offer or feeling guilty that you have what others don’t, money issues can seriously impact your ability to build a successful business. How do you uncover the narratives you’re running about money and ensure you’re being honest with yourself about how you feel? How do you charge what you’re worth?
“Money is a great servant but a bad master.” Francis Bacon
How do you feel about making money?
Most people have struggled at some point with their beliefs around money. Whether it’s fear that your work’s not good enough or somehow that you’re being unethical by ‘taking’ from others, many business owners do not charge what they’re worth. We each have a financial ‘comfort zone’, the lower and upper bounds of income and wealth that we feel comfortable with. A perception of having money that we don’t deserve, or having money when others don’t, is a signal that we might be above our financial comfort zone. Receiving a windfall can push us above our financial comfort zone. Spending money to try and purchase a lifestyle that we can’t afford is a likely sign that we’re below our financial comfort zone.
I meet a lot of people who are undercharging for their products or services. They cut their prices and accept poorly paid work but justify it to themselves by focusing on what they believe their market can afford. Often they are covering up beliefs they hold. Maybe you believe that there’s a limited supply of money, that you’re in a zero-sum scenario. When you win someone else loses. Or that your customers are stupid suckers and somehow you would be conning them if you were to charge more. Or, most common of all, maybe you believe that you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy and you don’t deserve what you have or what you could be charging.
All of our behaviours around money are driven by our beliefs. We all have ‘narratives’ around money that we don’t necessarily know we’re following. Maybe you tell yourself I don’t deserve money, or perhaps you should never spend money on yourself. Some people have narratives that say I deserve to spend money and I should always spend money on myself. Others tell themselves money is bad, rich people are bad people, you should always save for the future, things would be better if I had a little more money, or my self-worth equals my net worth. Without understanding our own money narratives , we cannot access the source of our feelings and therefore behaviours around money. And if we can’t get to the source, we can’t change our financial situation.
Here are my Top 10 Tips on how to charge what you’re worth:-
🌟 Gratitude. Shifting your focus from guilt to gratitude is not easy but it is worth the effort. Once you feel grateful for what you have, you can figure out how you want to serve others rather than feeling guilty.
🌟 Make a decision. Decide not to be that person who’s doing it cheaper. There will always be competition. It’s your choice where you pitch yourself within your market and who you decide to serve.
🌟 Motivation. Get clear about why you’re building your business and what your motivations are. Understanding why we do what we do helps us stick to our plans rather than beating ourselves up and feeling guilty.
🌟 Understand your value. Take some time, do some research and really try to figure out what your experience and skills are worth. How long did it take you to learn what you know? How much did you invest in gaining your skills?
🌟 Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Objectively what value does your customer get from you and your solutions? What is it worth to them to have their problem solved? What makes your solution right for them?
🌟 Honour your client. You don’t get to decide what other people find valuable. If they are receiving value, that’s what is important. They are not stupid so don’t dishonour them by believing they’re being conned by you.
🌟 Focus on win win. You give your client a great value solution to their problem and in return you get rewarded. The more you charge, the more you will be able to help others who need it.
🌟 Choose your customers. It’s easy to feel that we need to take on any and every potential customer, but choosing to work with people who really value your services enables you to charge what you’re worth.
🌟 Look in the mirror. The first person you need to sell to is yourself. Overcoming limiting beliefs is not easy but it can be done. Building a business starts with believing in yourself and your value.
🌟 Get help. This is a challenging topic to deal with alone. Get some support from a coach to work through this with you. It will take time and effort but the results will transform your business and your life.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – August 2021