If you’ve been at this “working for yourself” thing for any length of time, the odds are good that you’ve come across more than a few gurus, idols and million-dollar coaches.
They all have (or so it seems) the super-double-voodoo secret that you MUST have in order to a) make more money b) attract more clients c) align your work with your passions or d) find peace while getting wealthy.
You are soo in love with them. You read all their freebie goodness and you open their ezines as soon as they arrive in your mailbox. You think if you could find a way to hook up an IV to their brain and soul you too will be living in Hollywood, performing a side-plank without breaking a sweat and you’ll be invited to all the cool parties.
You screw up your courage and you skimp and save because you desperately want to get into their ‘entry’ level program. Whether it’s private work with the guru of your dreams or it’s being a member of their brass mastermind (right now you just don’t have the skimping and savings to begin to dream of their platinum mastermind), you want in.
You willingly hand over your money because you know you’re worth it and if it wasn’t a stretch you wouldn’t get anything out of the program.
One of the first things you learn is that you must raise your rates and create a multi-figure program of your own. You cringe a little bit when you hear this. Your heart melts a bit thinking about your current clients – the ones that scrimp and save to work with you and get the results that you’ve promised. Although your rates are considerably lower than those of this guru, they aren’t the lowest in your industry. You’ve always felt good about what you’re charging.
The guru insists that if you don’t increase your rates you’re not valuing yourself and the work you do in the world.
Is it true?
I’m not a believer in giving away your work any more than you’d give away your house when you were ready to move. There is value in what you do and the results your clients receive. Without you they’d probably be able to succeed, but it would definitely take them longer than when they work with you. Besides your years of training, certification, study and clinical practice are all part of your unique contribution to the world. Don’t ever undersell what you deliver.
I am also a believer that most of us undervalue who we are and the work we do in the world.
But I’m not sold on the idea that simply charging more will create a deeper belief in your own value.
The work of finding and leaning into your value in the world comes from the inside. The by-product of standing in your power and believing in your worth is the ability to charge what you’re worth – whatever you deem that to be. Simply raising your rates without doing the inner work will backfire. Every. single. time.
This isn’t a question of acting “as-if” and making it a reality. This is the challenge of knowing where you are right now, what you value about yourself and what you doubt. It’s about accepting where you are so you can do the real work to absolve yourself from doubts and move into your true value.
Then, and only then, do you get to raise your rates.
The challenge I see with raising your rates and creating your massive platinum programs before you’ve done the inner work is that you don’t actually BELIEVE what your clients are receiving is actually worth what they paid. You run around either over-delivering things that they don’t need (those dreaded fake ‘bonuses’) in order to ‘up the value’ or you sabotage yourself from the inside – missing appointments, under preparing or trying so hard to impress the client with your worth that you neglect to listen to them.
When you don’t believe in your value, your ability to sell those big programs is nearly non-existent. You may get a few people to sign on in the beginning by following your guru’s script, but eventually, word will get out that you are a) disorganized, b) a little ‘out there’ c) inconsistent or d) some other less than stellar adjective to describe how you’re leaning into your DISbelief.
I believe in you. I know your work is worthy. I know you were born worthy. Until YOU know those things, only charge what your heart feels is right and fair. Your heart is your truth – it won’t lead you astray.