Here’s why you should stop doing work for free.
If you don’t value yourself, why would others value you?
Do we ever figure out what the heck we’re going to be when we “grow up”?
I’m 40 and things are just starting to fall into place. But am I 100% confident in what I do? Nope, and not sure I’ll ever be.
But here’s the thing: not being 100% confident in what you do does not mean you should de-value yourself… (yes, even if it’s just a little bit).
Man-o-man did I ever used to de-value myself! As a result, I would do a LOT of my work for free. Ironically, I would then wonder why I couldn’t get paid the way my friends and family thought I should be paid.
Fast forward quite a few years.
I’m still often asked to give free talks, consultations or just meet up with people so they can ‘pick my brain’. And don’t get me wrong, I love helping people! My heart beats happier when I help people! But unfortunately, in many cases, people expect my time to be free, perhaps they think the time and effort I give comes easy or the things I’ve learnt came to me ‘easy’…. easy? Hmmm.
· Was doing 12+ years of school where I worked my a$$ off for scholarships easy? No.
· Was trying several business models, feeling like a continuous failure easy? No, it was not.
· Was living through multiple eating disorders and body images issues easy? Nope.
· Was going through suicidal ideation and coming out of it with rose coloured glasses easy? Absolutely not – it was the hardest work I’ve EVER done.
Need I go on?
Fact of the matter is, while on the outside it may look like all of a specialist’s knowledge comes easy, it’s likely the stuff that nearly broke him or her that made them so good at the work they do.
So here’s something to remember:
If you don’t value yourself and your abilities, why would others value you?
“But what if I’m trying to do a business that’s never been done before?”
Yep, I hear ya.
I provide services (online education, talks, consultations). Each of these has no physical assets. You don’t get a shiny necklace, or a new hairdo as soon as you press ‘pay now’. You don’t get to take home anything in a pretty box. You don’t receive anything in the mail.
Added to that, most people don’t understand what work I do, or what I can provide. Heck, even after I spend time with my clients still can’t describe what I do!
And perhaps this is how you feel too – that no one really ‘gets’ what you have to offer… and it’s frustrating the heck out of you.
But that’s the thing – do you really want to provide something obvious? Something that everyone could have thought of? All I know is that I want to be different… because I want to make a difference. And if you’re reading this blog, I think you do too.
As Jim Carey says:
“People who are different have a shot at being original."
So baby, let’s be original!
Fact is devaluing yourself doesn’t get you anywhere, nor does it enable you (or your work) to help others. Nor can you grow a business without charging fees.
As Oprah once said,
“You can’t help people if you’re broke."
So the next time you tell someone what you charge, remember it isn’t out of disrespect for them, it’s out of respect for you.
Written with only love and caring,