Let’s just say it: Most women entrepreneurs struggle with pricing. We adore helping others, but when it comes to asking for compensation for that help? We fumble.
Sometimes we charge too little out of fear, sometimes we position ourselves in a way that doesn’t show our true value, and sometimes we accidentally trap ourselves in a not-so-profitable business model.
Does this sound familiar? Most of the women I’ve worked with over the years are undercharging when we first start working together. I’ve found that we as women tend to default to being the helper and the nurturer. We undervalue ourselves and this leads to under charging. Let’s work on that!
Here are 3 mindset solutions that will give you the tools to start charging what you are worth:
#1: Watch your language.
Women entrepreneurs are just as susceptible as their clients when it comes to those persistent yet subtle mindset issues and traps. Time to do some house-cleaning and find the thoughts that are holding you back.
First of all, make sure you own a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed and set. Be aware of the possibility for growth in every area – especially those you consider yourself already an expert in, as well as the areas where you’re sure you will never be able to grow.
Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the importance of having a growth mindset in her powerful, ten-minute TED talk, “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve”.
She is applying it to the area of teaching children, but her observations and examples of the effect of changing negative messages with the two little words, “not yet,” is a potent reminder of the power of words.
You can apply a similar strategy to banish stubborn thoughts that keep you stuck by reframing negative self-talk that begins with statements like “I can never,” “I can’t,” “I’m no good at, etcetera, to: “How can I do this?”
In fact, you may have even given your own clients similar exercises! Now it’s time to sit down and do those exercises for yourself.
A growth mindset sees problems as challenges, where a fixed mindset sees them as the end of the road. Failure.
- Where in your own thinking, have you sabotaged yourself with fixed-mindset thinking?
- What fixed thoughts do you need to change back to a growth model?
- What do you find yourself still saying, “I can’t” to?
- Your answers will act as indicators to tell you where you need to do mindset work next.
#2: Own your expertise.
Imposter Syndrome (feeling like a fraud) is common for everyone once they step outside of their comfort zone. If you feel like a fraud, how can you even begin to charge higher prices?
If you find yourself regularly comparing yourself to others in your field, and coming up short, then the odds are good that you are letting Imposter Syndrome run your self-image. No wonder you are under charging!
Tackle this problem by becoming aware of self-talk that sneaks in to tell you that you are “less than” those around you. When you notice those thoughts, replace them with positive and true statements about your unique strengths. You know why you got into this business, so take time every day to remind yourself of those qualities.
#3: Shed your embarrassment about earning good money.
Somewhere along the line, we may have gotten the message that nice people don’t earn money. Or, are not rich. Or, should not ask to be paid. It’s usually one of those issues that you may have picked up in childhood which can be difficult to drop.
Some of us go so far as to impose our own money anxiety on our clients.
For example, you may be assuming that your prospect can’t possibly afford to pay the fees you would like to be charging. So you don’t charge that much in hopes of getting a “yes.” But really, you’re not a mind reader. You can’t possibly know what your prospect can afford, or is willing to pay, for your services. Don’t assume.
In fact, what your client can or can’t afford, is really none of your business. If you are providing value for your services, then price them accordingly. The right clients will say yes. The ones who don’t see and respect your value, won’t. It’s really that simple.