Believing in the value of your work attracts the kinds of people that you want to be working with. The kind of people who also value things … important things like, oh I dunno, your time, your expertise, the truth and other random stuff like that (aka the MOST important stuff).
As my pal, Paul Jarvis says, “you deserve the clients you get.”
If you are attracting the kinds of people who don’t value your work then chances are you don’t value your work. And if you don’t value your work, then what is even the point of all this, dude?
You have to believe that you are worth it. If you don’t believe it, you’ll never be able to get a client to believe it. You are not going to be able to get on the phone or Skype with a potential client, quote a high-end fee with a straight face and unquivering voice and have them agree. Instead, they’ll try to negotiate with you because they can tell you are the kind of person who negotiates your fees. In the face of this negotiating potential client you will stand no chance if you don’t value your work and know your worth.
Because by attempting to knock down the price, this potential client is validating what you truly believe in your heart: that your work isn’t worth it.
Which is a really sad place to be. Not only is it sad, it’s also a dangerous place to be. Especially as a service provider.
Undervaluing yourself will lead to being underpaid (which again validates what you truly believe), but that isn’t even anywhere near the worst part.
Undervaluing yourself will also lead to dealing with nightmare people who waste your time, buy things from you that they shouldn’t have, ask for refunds, threaten to sue you, threaten to tell everyone they know that you are a beady eyed monster, and other assorted fuckery. Some of these people will make good on these threats, which will waste your time and money; which, again, will keep you on the road to Underpaid Land.
I am fairly certain that you didn’t start your own business so that you could deal with assorted fuckery all day. For that you could have stayed at your old job and at least be rewarded with a guaranteed paycheck every other Friday.
Wrestling with your feelings of unworthiness is worth your time.
Because it’s the only thing that can change your current state of affairs (if your current state of affairs is a full roster of clients that should be paying you twice the fees they are).
So how do you move from Underpaid Place to Worthiness Street?
Ask yourself, “what would make me feel worthy of the high dollar price I want to command for my services?”
Maybe you just need to show up more. Maybe you are holding back on your true gifts and talents and you need to be willing to fully give up the goods for your clients.
Maybe you need to get some additional training. Maybe your lack of confidence comes from a lack of experience in a particular area. What can you do to up level your skills so you can feel worthy of the fee you want to charge? (Notice I didn’t say so that you are worthy, I simply said so that you feel worthy. Huge difference because you’re already worthy, you’re just not feeling it.)
Maybe you just need to make some good old fashioned business decisions, like investing in your customer service, user experience and/or design so that your clients have a luxury experience worthy of a luxury fee.
Only you know what will make you feel worthy of the fees you need to be charging to serve your clients at a high level and to have a healthy, profitable business. Whatever it is — focus on it, figure it out and deal with it.
Do what you need to do to feel how you need to feel.
That is the only thing that is going to change what’s happening in your business and your life and allow you to finally be at peace with your value and your income.
Are you undervaluing your work? What do you need to do to feel worthy of the income you want to earn?