Embrace your value

March 20, 2013

Women entrepreneurs are not new. But the one thing women business owners still struggle with is being comfortable in setting their prices and worth.

Women entrepreneurs are not new. In fact, women are entering entrepreneurship at break neck speed with technology leveling the playing field and shaking up the way we conduct and run business. But there is an age-old problem that a lot of women are still hung up on. For all our smarts and gusto in setting out to create our own destinies and economies, it’s still hard to embrace our own value.

Starting a business and figuring out what we want to do is the easy part, believe it or not. And even getting customers to take notice of us is getting easier these days. But the one thing women still struggle with is being comfortable in setting their prices and worth. Sure, it’s easy to tell a woman “just model what other people are doing”. But it’s not fair to do that because the other person (that you’re modeling) has figured out their value.  And what they are getting from clients is determined by what their clients are willing to pay them. You have to determine your own value and set your prices accordingly. No matter how many degrees or acronyms we have after our names, the market ultimately dictates what people are willing to pay you. And that’s scary for a lot of women.

Well I have good news. It doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it doesn’t have to be difficult. All you have to do is take a deep, long look at yourself, measure your accomplishments, and tell yourself “I'm worthy”. OK, I know you’re reading this thinking “this chick is crazy. It’s not that simple. If it was, I wouldn't be worried that clients don’t want to pay me what I'm worth”. True. But did you know that you hold the power?

Your attitude about what you offer and confidence in what you are worth speaks volumes. If you don’t value your knowledge, time, expertise, experience and education, nobody else will and that’s a fact. Too often I see women negotiate themselves out of dollars or opportunities because they are more concerned about what other people’s wallets look like. It’s not about what they can afford. It’s about what your results are worth. Believe me, if they truly need what you are offering, they will come up with the money. You do yourself a disservice when you set your pricing based on what you think other people can afford. Take a look at doctors, attorneys, and top consultants. They stand confident in what results they deliver to their clients. They stand firm and are proud of the value they provide. There is no discount rate, bargaining or negotiating rates down. So why do you allow that in your business?

Every time you lower your price or undercharge, and not because it’s something you want to do, you devalue yourself. When other people see you are willing to accept less or can be talked down, they will take advantage of that every time. Give yourself permission to charge what you’re worth. Allow yourself to say “no, you won’t devalue me”. Give yourself permission to take all of your experience, training and knowledge, and the results you bring to the table, and put a fair price tag on it. Resist the urge to operate from a place of emotion and suppress the urge to play a nurturing role. Men are unapologetic about what they believe they are worth. It’s time for you to be as well.

Keep this in mind. You must assign your own value, otherwise someone else will do it for you. And trust me when I say, you won’t like the value they assign. You are worthy. You put a lot into educating and grooming yourself to give the very best of yourself to your clients. Isn’t it fair to get paid for that value? Let me answer for you. YES, it is.

Do you like this article and want to reprint or share? You can, as long as you include this in its entirety: Adrienne Graham is the Founder & CEO of Empower Me! Corporation (www.empowerme.org), a Growth Strategies consultancy with brand extensions in media, publishing and small business & entrepreneurial education. She provides Strategic Business Growth consulting services to companies with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively run, grow and position their business for success. She helps clients get paid more by giving away less for free, allowing them to be more profitable and NOT be a broke brand. She is the host of Views From the Top Radio Show the publisher of Empower Me! Magazine, and the creator Empower Me Institute, Empower Me! Radio, Empowered for Growth TV & Next Level Business Strategies. Her writing and shows focus on Career Management, Networking Strategies, Entrepreneurial Success and Small Business Management. Check out her new company The Red Shoe Agency.