When I started my company over two years ago, I had an idea of how much I wanted to charge people for my services; and I created an entire business plan around this idea. Then I started marketing my company and realized that just because I wanted to charge something, didn’t mean I could necessarily make it. I quickly realized that I had to adjust my expectations and offer lower priced packages. Once I did, my business started to grow.
Along the way, though, I worked with a number of people for significantly lower prices than I thought I was worth because I realized that I needed to prove that I was actually worth the prices I wanted to charge. When I started out, I thought I was worth more than people were willing to pay, but without much to prove it, I had to accept less than what I thought I was worth. It was a humbling but important experience.
Over the course of working with clients and refining my own strategies, it hit me that I needed to adjust my prices and charge more. At this point, it was difficult for me because I didn’t want to turn anyone away. It’s funny to think that before I had any clients I wanted to charge higher prices, but now that I had clients, it was tough for me to ask for more.
I think we all struggle with the challenge of wondering what we’re worth and actually asking for it, and it’s not always easy to strike the right balance between what we think we’re worth and what other’s think we’re worth. I think getting what you’re worth basically comes down to three steps.
Step One: Prove Your Worth
You could be like me and know you’re worth it right away, or you could doubt yourself at first, either way, whether you’re an entrepreneur/freelancer or employee of a company, we all need to prove to others that we’re worth it. It’s hard to accept less when we feel like we’re worth more, but if we’re truly worth it, then we shouldn’t be afraid to accept less.
I had to take lower paying clients to build my business, and although it wasn’t part of my plan, I realized that I needed to build a track record of success. I wasn’t scared of taking less, because I knew what I would bring to the table.
Eight years ago, I wanted to leave my investment banking job and work for a hedge fund. I had never worked for a hedge fund before and had no idea what it entailed, but I knew I was smart and could figure it out quickly. When I interviewed with my future bosses, they grilled me on my lack of experience when I finally said, “Yes, there are probably dozens of people with more experience than me who could raise millions of dollars for this fund, but I guarantee you that none of them will work harder than me to raise you millions of dollars for this fund.”
I got the job over the other candidates and my manager said it was because of that speech. They would rather hire someone with a work ethic who was confident she could prove her worth than someone with less drive.
Don’t be afraid to take a financial step back to prove your worth, if you are as good as you feel you are, you will make up for it down the road.
Step Two: Ask for Your Worth “Give it to me I’m worth it.”
Countless studies show that men are better at asking for what they’re worth than women, and I have fallen in this category myself. As my business grew, I was so excited to help every new client that I was comfortable accepting less than what I was worth. It wasn’t until I realized I was making myself sick with work that I had to raise my rates.
At first, it made me uncomfortable to ask for more, but then I had to remind myself that I proved my worth. I know the type of results I can get for my clients, I know the amount of time and energy I devote to their financial health, I know that I am worth it and I shouldn’t be afraid to step up my game.
When you ask for more, you will definitely turn people away and as an entrepreneur or freelancer this is a scary prospect because you don’t know where you will make up for it, but when you’re worth it, new clients will always come along and pay what you’re worth and you want to have the capacity to take them on and make more.
If you’re working for someone else and you ask for more, you run the risk of being turned down, but don’t let that response dictate how you feel about yourself. If you are truly worth it, then you deserve to work for a company that believes it as well. If they turn you down, maybe it’s time for you to look somewhere else. It’s easier to find another job when you already have one; and you may just find something better when you look.
Step Three: Don’t Feel Bad “Uh, huh I’m worth it.”
No matter what, never feel bad about asking for more. You work hard everyday to prove that you’re worth it, and you have every right to achieve your own hopes and dreams. The only way that you can reach your goals faster is when you make more. It won’t be an overnight process and sometimes you will have to take steps back, but don’t let others dictate to you your worth.
The last two years I have continued to work hard and prove my worth and some people are willing to pay it and others aren’t. I don’t feel bad about the ones that don’t, except that I know they’re missing out on the chance to make important changes in their life; and I don’t feel bad for the ones who pay because I know I’m worth it.