Nearly a year in as my own boss, I’ve learned a few things.
Deciding what you’re worth and then stating it publicly is shockingly hard.
Realizing you’re worth it and deciding what “it” looks like is even harder.
I went out for oysters and pizza the other day with a friend who set me straight. I was confiding in her how I have routinely underbid myself in my business. And it’s been bothering me big time. I can’t figure out why I have been doing it. I’ve been afraid to explore why I am doing this and what I really want to charge because it’s not working out fairly on my benefit in terms of hours vs. work vs. amount (any other entrepreneurs relate to this?).
My friend set me straight. People value what they pay for, you can tell what someone values by what they pay for it.
So, she asked me what I wanted to charge and I said the amount and immediately felt calmer and more confident. I wondered why and she said it was because I was valuing what I was worth.
In the midst of discussing the ins and outs, I had an epiphany as to why I was lowballing myself. I had just written this post about my broke New York years and I realised that despite all the time that has passed, I still keenly recall what spending even a $100 felt like. It felt like stress. I love working with small business owners and finding out ways to grow their business and finesse their business presentation. My ideal clientele is full of entrepreneurs who, sometimes are or could be working on as a tight a budget as I used to live on in New York City. In wanting to work with them and help them, I underpriced my services and ended up not helping myself.
Getting clarity on why I was underselling myself and what I should be charging and then spending time finding out why I should be charging my price (at my friends advice, I spent some time tracking how much time I was putting into a project and realized multiplied with my hourly wage, I was working for free at some points. Realising how work I was putting into something helps me feel a lot more confident when I quote a price for a project now) has been wonderful.
If you’re a new business owner, know what you offer has value. Price your talents and services at the right place for where you are (Reality does have to be considered. You can’t start off at your dream wage when you don’t have the testimonials or experience to back it up). I feel far calmer and in charge, I am running my business not my business running me and that makes for a much happier day to day.