Do you know how to charge what you’re worth?
I see this mistake more in entrepreneurs than any other mistake. Entrepreneurs devalue themselves. It is so important that we charge what we’re worth, whether we’re selling a product or a service. We have to make sure that there is enough money built in there for us to have a really nice profit.
I think that, especially when we’re starting out, entrepreneurs feel like they need to compete on price.
This comes from a profound insecurity, I’m afraid. I know it did with me when I was first starting out. I thought that people might find out that I didn’t know what I was talking about or that there were so many people out there who’d done whatever I was doing longer than I had. It’s a version of imposter syndrome. What do we do? We discount ourselves.
We charge less, we work extra hours without charging for them, we round down for our clients, but if we don’t understand how much we’re worth and if we don’t stand up and defend how much we’re worth, we can’t expect anyone else to.
It’s really important as entrepreneurs that we get very clear on our value. I know, particularly for women, that this sometimes looks like we’re just being nice in the workplace. Women tend to be socialized more to be nice, not to be as tough.
We don’t have to be hard-nosed and difficult in order to protect our value. We can offer other things of value without discounting the price. For example, we can be outstandingly friendly or provide excellent service or remarkable communications so that we are communicating with people above and beyond what they expect. This is all important when we determine our value, but we don’t need to discount our prices.
I recently worked with a wonderful young woman who was providing a valuable service for me. At the last minute I had a few changes that were going to put us over the number of hours that she had quoted me. I told her to go ahead and charge me for the additional hours I needed. She was making the changes for me and I was happy to pay for them. She argued with me, however, that she would just do it for the original bid. It was very nice of her, but completely unnecessary. Although there’s a certain honor in it, I think that she sold herself short. I was happy to pay extra.
Get really clear about what you’re worth, and then believe it with all your heart. Never, ever, ever devalue yourself. Stand firm on your value and others will buy.