“Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.” -Henry Ford
One of our mentorship clients laid some realness down on us the other day:
“Every time I raise my prices, I feel guilty.”
WHOAHHH, if that isn’t something to write about in your journal at summer camp. And this gal isn’t alone– don’t we all start with this feeling that somehow, deep down, we don’t deserve to be charging what we’re charging? Even if we know that we’ve got the goods to back it up, there’s some little twinge of guilt at asking for what you’re worth. If you’re in this mental space right now, keep it moving sister, because there’s nothing good for you in this zone and you need to get out, stat.
Sometimes I look at S&S and shake my head in awe that people will hire us without blinking– not because I don’t think we’re 100% worth every freaking penny, or even that I don’t know a half dozen other people in our field who charge twice what we do, but because I AM NOT MY OWN TARGET CLIENT. And because my own money stories, for a long time, limited me from feeling comfortable asking for a rate that was one cent higher than what I had arbitrarily decided was appropriate (and I cannot reiterate enough that this price was SO arbitrary).
I’ve got good news and bad news here. I’m like Christian Bale circa 1992 in Newsies, standing on an apple crate in a jaunty hat, here to tell you today’s breaking story:
GUILT IS NOT HOW YOU RUN A BUSINESS, MY GOOD PEOPLE.
Remember when we talked about money stories? How every tiny thing your parents and teachers murmured in your ear about what things were worth, what money meant in your life, how to use it all added up to your personal money story, which may or may not be rooted in any kind of reality? I cannot stress this loudly enough: until you separate your emotions from your money, you will be forever chained to an idea of what you’re worth– and it will be way lower than you deserve.
Of course, separating our emotions from our prices must must must begin with doing work that you are 100% proud of in this world, so as you begin the process of extrication, start here:
- Create the most beautiful work you can and always strive to be better.
- Serve your clients first and wholeheartedly. No matter what rate you’re charging, focus intently on giving each and every client MORE than they bargained for.
- Keep your eye on the prize: you want your legacy to be one of generosity and beautiful things, not of tight-fisted focus on money.
In short: focus on doing the best possible work FIRST. The money will eventually follow, but it can’t be the other way around. As you begin to take more pride in the product you’re creating, the vibes you’re putting out into the world, the service you’re offering, and ways you’re benefitting everyone around you, the less your focus will be on money-based guilt. Sure, your rates will increase, but only because you won’t be able to keep up with demand. Hell yes all around. Henry Ford would be proud.
And if you’re having trouble finding the right words for your growing business, stay tuned next week– we’ve got something good for you and we’ll open the doors on Monday.