It happens to everyone. You spend time harvesting all your creative energy to create an unrivaled proposal for a project that serves another person or entity. You come up with an amazing plan guaranteed to deliver a high return on investment. Then you reach the point where you’re putting pricing and quotes together… and all of a sudden you think, “Am I worth it? Is this worth it?”

… and all of a sudden you think, “Am I worth it? Is this worth it?”

First off, there’s no price high enough that can be put on your self-worth. Self-worth is something inherent in your being that no one can take away or measure. So, pricing has nothing to do with self-worth (which can feel both relieving and worrisome at the same time).

Price has everything to do with the value that you are offering to the client, and nothing to do with your self-worth.

Giving true value requires listening, empathizing and an ability to intuitively read situations and people correctly.

So, what does that mean? Giving true value requires listening, empathizing and an ability to intuitively read situations and people correctly. This allows you to properly know what would be of value to offer the other party. We do this naturally in our personal exchanges. We listen to our friends and family, know their needs, wants, desires and dreams, and because of this, we offer them the things we feel would be of value to them. Whatever that may be- advice, companionship, a shoulder-to-cry-on, a favor, help with a project, etc. – we offer this because they told us they valued this, or we assessed that it was something that would be of value to them based on what we’ve learned about them.

It’s about the mastery of human connection and listening

At the end of the day, an exchange involves at least two parties and business is about learning how to create exchanges that are valuable (and ideally, transformational) for all parties involved. This is  why the art of negotiation is necessary because the best negotiation is about coming together and taking care of each other. It’s essentially a conversation that involves listening from both sides as well as successfully communicating their knowledge of each of their own boundaries.

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So, how do I know if the value I offer is worth the price?

Think of your price holistically. Think of value beyond tangibles and beyond time. Here are some hopefully helpful questions to ask yourself when offering and pricing something for a client:

  • What are they’re pain points and how does what I offer solve them?
  • What is the lifespan of what I’m offering to the client? How long will they be able to use it or be directly impacted by it?
  • Is what I’m offering specific to what they want/need? Does the offering have any extra items that aren’t necessary?
  • How has my years of experience allowed me to inform how beneficial my offering will be for them?
  • What am I offering other than the work itself? Peace of mind? More time? More money?

This is truly a great practice in practicing listening. It’s a challenge to learn how to really give people what they need, and not our false/preconceived ideas of what other people should want or need. Everyone is different and what is valuable to them therefore will always be different.

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