That's kind of a loaded question.
Because I've gotta tell ya -- the answer is always "no."
Why? Because we are all priceless!
(Or at the very least, we're worth trillions of dollars, right?)
So...why is this something I'm writing about this week? Well, for one, it's Mental Health Awareness Month and money is really a source of stress for a lot of people. It's the #1 reason couples fight and the #1 reason why people get divorced.
So, I want to take some of the pressure off of this very silly question that we are constantly being asked, in the media, or elsewhere.
I'm speaking at my Business Coach Dallas Travers' retreat next week, and I'm going to dive more into this topic.
If you work for yourself, especially in a service based capacity, the question takes on a different meaning.
You're forced to look at what you're worth because if it's just you in the business, and you're providing a service, it feels very personal to price your rates.
When I worked at an art gallery as a college student, I had the somewhat unfortunate job of asking the artists how much their art was worth, and then I would type up the price sheet that would get laminated and placed at the front desk for patrons to pick up.
I say "unfortunate" because most of the time, it was a headache to get a number from an artist. One artist would say "I don't know. How I can price my art?" And when I suggested typing "NFS or Not For Sale," the artist would go on about how he needed to eat and this was his only source of income. Other artists would turn to me for advice on how much to price their art, and this one would be tricky. It's like when a woman asks a man if she looks fat in a dress.
There's really no right answer.
If I priced the art too low, they felt de-valued. If I priced it too high and it didn't sell, they can't pay their rent. It was lose-lose, so I generally stayed out of those conversations. I would tell them that I did not know and that they would have to make that decision for themselves. After all, I was just a college student trying to work 3 jobs to get by, so what did I know about pricing art?!
Well, if I were asked today, I would have some very different answers.
First, look at the marketplace. What are the highs and lows?
Next, look at your experience. Where do you fall between the highs and lows?
Then, take a look at your efforts and add in what it took with money or time to do what you're doing.
Finally, say the number out loud. Practice saying it. Feel it in your body, as you say it. What does it feel like? Does it feel exciting, exhilarating, a level that you can proudly say out loud and yet, still a tiny bit above that number?
Let's say it's a a work of art. And between the marketplace, your experience level and adding in your time and the money spent on supplies (the canvas, the paint, brushes and the studio rental), you believe your work of art should be priced at $1000. Now, I want you to practice saying $1100 or what about the magical number of $1111?!?!
How does that feel?
I hope it lights you up. Because babe, you deserve it.
You deserve to charge what you're worth (said tongue in cheek but with a hella swagger).