There’s this phrase-a phrase I hear often. A phrase that almost feels like it’s an automated response yet the truth is it’s more likely just a very ego attractive marketing message that quite honestly I’m afraid is doing more harm than good.
This phrase most commonly sounds like “you need to charge what you're worth” or “I’m finally charging what I’m worth.” It’s repeated by many self employed women, professional business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s a powerful message. A message even I once believed wholeheartedly. It’s power is in moving women to charge more for their services and create a more financially profitable business. I believe it’s intentions could be good yet the outcomes I see it producing seem to be less than ideal.
It concerns me because it turns business owners away from focusing on their clients needs as a priority and instead allows their bank account to become their top focus. It pushes women into believing the success of their business and their own personal success is only measured by the level of their income. This has caused some women to step away from their truest and deepest passions in exchange for a business niche they believed would be “more profitable” leaving society without many needed and valuable services and products.
Some women business owners find themselves wondering "I charge $300 and you charge $3,000. Does that mean you're WORTH more or MORE WORTHY than I am?" This message is creating a cycle of self doubt rather than the intended empowerment. Another side effect seems to be that many business owners, who get pulled in by this message, are ever increasing the lavishness and luxury of their lifestyle rather than their focus being on creating more and more value in their services and products. It’s become all too common to spend time and money on up-leveling the aesthetics of already existing content to gain more income rather than to focus on creating new and valuable services and products.
I believe that shifting our thinking and perspective back to a client focused, mission driven business plan will keep business owners, self employed professionals and women entrepreneurs out of cycles of self doubt, stop the ego driven thrive for more, more and more. I believe if we spend more time focused on how to achieve better, faster and more meaningful results for our clients we, as business owners, will achieve greater satisfaction in our work, less emotionally taxing thoughts and quite possibly make a more positive energy shifting difference in the world. I believe this shift in thinking will empower women to untie their worth from their wealth and instead find their worth through their value.
So, instead of “charge what you’re worth” I propose “charge in alignment with the value you provide.” I propose that we as self employed women, service professionals and business owners build our pride by speaking confidently “My pricing is now in line with the value I provide.” This most certainly can still inspire women to charge more and make more money yet the feelings this shift in perspective create are feelings that no longer only feed the ego of the business owner but will feed the needs of their clients. It increases the self esteem and self confidence of women because they begin to see themselves as “of value” and “of worth” not someone of “wealth.”
I believe it is more powerful for humans to feel fulfilled than to feel satisfaction. This shift in perspective and mindset will allow us to tap into that place within each of us where we reach personal fulfillment and this feeling of fulfillment won’t fade when our bank account goes down nor will the fulfillment increase when our bank account balance rises. Rather, women business owners, professional entrepreneurs and those who are self employed would be able to achieve a level of consistent and constant contentment in who they are, the services and products they provide and in their business success no matter the number at the top of their monthly bank account statement.