Dabble in online business for more than 20 minutes and you will encounter the following piece of advice:
“Charge what you’re worth.”
These four words are usually doled out whenever it’s time to raise prices or break revenue records. The phrase refers to charging rates your clients are able and willing to pay to have their problems solved.
It’s good advice. Usually.
But lately, I’ve seen a different interpretation of this phrase that’s more about your worth as a person.
“Charge what you’re worth!” has devolved into surface-level advice given by amateur business coaches, motivational speakers, and self-help gurus who declare that adding a zero to your monthly income is *all* you need to achieve your true potential in life.
It has me concerned.
You know that, regardless of what happens in your online business journey, you’re still worthy… right?
You are amazing, you are ambitious, you are intelligent, and you are enough. The price you charge for your services, programs, and products does not determine your worth as a person.
It’s easy to commingle the two together. Doing so, however, can be a recipe for disaster.
Why You Need To Separate Worth And Worthiness
Entrepreneurship is not about success; it is about failure and how well you process failure. Entrepreneurship is about tolerating failure — failing, publicly, over and over again — and then dusting yourself off and continuing to move forward.
This is why straight-A students struggle to find their footing as creators or entrepreneurs. They associate failure with being dirty or bad.
That worked in school. It doesn’t work here.
Many people have personal brand-driven business — myself included — which adds an additional layer of complexity.
In the octagon of entrepreneurship, failure is how you move forward.
If your self-worth and identity are too entangled with the success of your business or side hustle, you’ll avoid failure, because failure would throw your identity into jeopardy.
Be ambitious with your business. But don’t try to swirl your identity into the process. Conflating business and self-worth can get you off and running quickly, but it rarely ends well.
“Entrepreneurship is not about success; it is about failure –and how well you process failure.”
Don’t “charge what you’re worth” in reference to your worth as a person. Do this instead:
Charge What The Market Will Bear
Let’s reword this classic advice so that it’s impossible to misinterpret: Charge what the market will bear.
No feelings, no existential crises, no vengeance or Earth-scorching to make up for when you fell off the jungle gym in elementary school and everyone laughed at you.
Charge what the market will bear — that’s it. All the other noise around your pricing is excess and distracting you. If this statement resonates with you, here are a few ways to get yourself moving in the right direction.
- Speak with actual humans. “What should I charge for this offer?” is one of the most common questions I get from clients. Have you asked members of your audience what they would pay? Have you asked them what their problems and challenges even are? Market research is an aspiring entrepreneur’s best friend, yet it’s the step people skip the most.
- Choose your inputs carefully. You don’t need to get advice from everyone on everything. Having too many mentors is a vice (I wrote about this for Fast Company here); decide whose systems or approaches you want to follow, then follow them with rigor and excitement.
- Remember that sales is mostly math. If you want a $7,000 trip to Bali and you close 25% of sales calls for your $1,000 offer, you need to get on… **flicks abacus**… 28 sales calls. (Don’t know those numbers? Sounds like it’s time to start measuring stuff so that you can set realistic goals, hit them, and build confidence over time.) Knock back an espresso and let’s do this. ☕️
Knowing your worth is important. Don’t let online business success dictate your worth; this is a world that will chew you up and spit you out in no time, we don’t need your self-esteem getting swirled into all the chaos.
Cultivate a proactive attitude, embrace hard things, and you’ll find your footing in online business without it determining your identity, too.
Thanks for reading. 🙏🏼
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