I’ve been talking with a lot of business owners recently who are either brand new to their business, or reinventing. They are making one of the most important decisions they make – how to price themselves.
People often have questions about whether they should offer lower pricing while they “earn their stripes.” As I’ve been working people through this, I thought I’d share my perspective with you.
First, here are a few tips on pricing in general.
- Even if you are new to your business, there are things you know from your other life experiences, and things you’ve come to believe in, that have huge value. Even if you are a lifelong learner, like most Aligned Entrepreneurs, you can package your current state of evolution for big dollars, AND continue to learn. (And charging more will help you fund your learning!)
- Defining your process will help your clients to see your value. Teaching them what you know while you work them has huge value. I worked with an amazing event production team for my recent event. One of the biggest reasons I hired them is because I knew I would learn so much from watching them work as they have worked with many people before me. I recently helped a photographer developed offerings. While she was just launching her business, her knowledge of a specific industry and the specialized needs allowed her to create added value from the beginning, as she built the sharing of that knowledge into her process.
- Price based on the life that is calling to you. I coach people to get crystal clear about the lifestyle they want and what that will cost them. (I learned this from my first mentor and it has never steered me wrong). Don’t think about the life you think you someday want with millions in the bank so you never have to worry about money. (For some of you that’s what you want now but for most your true desire is closer in). Calculate the cost of what you actually want… that which will make a marked difference in your life that you connect with emotionally. Using that monthly number, divide it by the number clients you want to work with on a monthly basis, and this is how you set your rate.
- E.g. you want to earn $20,000 /month and you want to work with 15 clients per month, then your pricing would be $1333 per client per month.
Now the question that generally comes up for someone who is just starting out is, “How can I charge that much right now?”
So, a few things about charging what you’re worth out of the gate.
- Where the desire is present, the way to fulfill it is also present. This is based on Universal Law. You wouldn’t be shown the desire for something right now if it weren’t available to you right now. If the $20,000 is a true desire that is in alignment for you, that rate is also in alignment for you.
- Design your packages to command that rate… determine what you have and know and give that can deliver that level of value and then some… even if you’re not 100% certain about your ability to deliver it. Trust your ideas about what is valuable and put them into action.
- Often you’ll need someone outside of yourself to help you see your natural value. Don’t ask your prospects because they will always want to pay less, even when it serves them to pay more.
- Start with the rate you calculated, even if it feels like a lot. It’s easier to become the person who can sell at that rate than it is to get accustomed to something lower and then raise your pricing.
The Introductory Rate
So sometimes it takes time to get your courage up to match your true value, or you want to get some experience and some testimonials or portfolio pieces. I’m a fan of that because you will LEARN so much from your first clients. But I’m not a fan of underpricing. I recommend deciding exactly how many clients you want to bring in quickly to ‘learn from.’
Don’t lower the price of your package, but instead offer a limited number at an extreme discount. Let them know the true value, and that you are offering this rate for the first 5 clients (or whatever number you set). Then stick to your plan.
Clarity is attractive. Charging too little out of fear is not. Having a clear, pre-defined plan for what you will charge and exactly when you raise your rate and to what is powerful way to approach the initial pricing dilemma. When you know where you are going the details of how you get there are just details.
What’s your experience with pricing? Would love to hear your comments below.
Bypassing Interruption Upon Re-entry
This week I recorded a quick video about what generally happens for people after they create a big vision. Don’t let interruption keep you from amplification!
Your Secret Money Maker and Why There is No Competition
I was shaking and my brain couldn’t form a complete thought.
It was time to update my story. And make it current.
I teach about currency, after all. That is the energy you exchange with people. It has to be building and constructive energy (anabolic), and it has to be current, in order to magnetize the right people in your direction.
When it’s not current, it becomes stale. And stale energy is not attractive.
I’ve been telling the same version of my story for years… and as I up my game, I’ve got to up my level of risk, and currency, because that’s the kind of thing that has people stay with you and open up to you long enough to have what you teach sink in.
I’m a horrible practicer. And I truly apologize for that because it is one of those things I wish I could do better for you, but I believe in operating as designed rather than beating ourselves up for how we’re not.
Thankfully, I have learned to be good at some of the ‘secrets’ to engaging an audience that generally makes up for this that I’ll share today.
But today’s article wasn’t actually inspired by my story. Inspiration was all around this week.
The World’s Shortest Story
Your story is your moneymaker in business as entrepreneur. Whether you are a service or a product business, however unique your offering is, in today’s world we want to buy belief. The first thing I look for when I evaluate a website is ‘who are the people behind this thing and why do they care?’
In a client call last week we worked through the key points of her story that make her perfectly designed to do the work she does. (That’s the picture you want to paint). She was excited, and went to work.
When I received the recording of her story to review for feedback, I didn’t know where to begin. It was very short and to the point, almost reading a laundry list of things that happened. They were really cool things that could make sense, but the delivery was very off.
I took a step back to look at the big picture. Because to give feedback on the details wouldn’t serve her. Something was off in her BELIEF about telling her story.
I determined there were two things.
1) Be Willing to Take Up Space
Many of the entrepreneurs I work with have had some experience in their early life that caused them to decide not to take up too much space. To keep it down, that they weren’t important, that what they wanted didn’t matter, etc. Often we don’t realize that our experiences, when shared, are deeply fascinating.
She was making her story as short as possible, and I could see that was coming from a place of not wanting to take up space.
Let’s hurry and get to the content so I can make sure I overdeliver!
But people won’t even hear your content if you haven’t first gotten them bought in to why YOU believe YOU.
“People will never listen to what you have to say or believe what you have to say. They will always listen for whether YOU believe what you have to say.” – Larry Winget
This is why you’ve got to share your story.
I was moved by Jared Leto’s acceptance speech at the Oscars on Sunday, for many reasons.
If you missed it, it’s HERE
Talk about taking up space. In a time when most people rush to thank everybody, he stopped to tell a story about his mother. And we were all on the edge of our seats to hear about this pregnant teenage girl in Louisiana. And after talking about his mother, he then went on to talk about the importance of his role and the movie (Dallas Buyers Club).
It really didn’t take that long. And in that short time, we learned something. And we believed him.
There is no competition
I’ve seen lots of Facebook threads this week about competition – is it good, is it bad, how do we handle it, etc. When you take up space with your story, competition is irrelevant.
Your story is what makes you unique. It makes you, in the words of Joe Calloway, “a category of one.” I promise you, no matter how you judge where you’ve been and what you have and haven’t done, your story can make you millions. And when you own it, there is no competition for being you.
2) Be Present to The Story
The other piece of advice I gave my client was to be present to her story. You need to tell the story as if you are there.
When you are actually present to what was happening, you are seeing it and reliving it in your mind’s eye, that is the difference between engaging your audience in being there, and ‘talking about’ something to them.
This is what makes creating a new, or current, story, so anxiety-producing.
You must find the right combination of pieces of your story that allow you to really re-live that story time and again in your mind, and be moved by your story and the Truth of your own experience, without melting down, breaking down, or otherwise losing your cool. And you can’t be detached and be present. And this is why it feels so damn risky. And makes us shake.
And this is a good thing. And it’s also why practice is helpful, as much as I don’t enjoy practice!
When you know your 3 main points that build upon your story’s theme (we tend to think and remember in 3’s), and you can relive them in your mind and with your words, while feeling the experience of them and not breaking down, you’re golden.
Keep It Current
Don’t let your story be stale. Also don’t rethink and overthink so much that nothing ever really gets done. To create that magnetic currency, you want to keep it current.
One of the exercises we’ll do at Align It LIVE is to craft your story and create a safe space for you to practice the power of it.
Two Things Entrepreneurs Create that Others Don’t
This week’s article is a video blog… what can we create as entrepreneurs that most people never will? Check it out:
The Courage To Be the Type of Person Who…
I’ve talked to three types of people in the last week.
- People who are so courageous that they are willing to see and admit their Truth, and move through it, making the changes they need to make to have a happy, peaceful, inspiring, thriving business.
- People who have no awareness of their Truth – they can’t and don’t want to see what’s blocking them and continue to look for a magic pill so that they don’t have to change anything. They are frustrated and blame circumstances (some times in the form of people) for their results.
- People who have gotten an insight about what has been blocking them, and they know what they need to change to make their business work, but they are not willing. The unknown of what will happen when they act is more than they are willing to explore.
It’s the third type that can break a person’s heart.
I was there for many years, with many intuitive signals about what I was meant to be doing with my life, but I didn’t know how to interpret them or how to act on them. So I would dream up a business, and instead of acting on it, I’d find another job.
I had some very clear hints about what was calling to my heart, but I was afraid, and I had no clear model for how to put them into action, so I did what felt safe and ‘normal.’
And the more I made decisions that kept me safe, the more my heart broke inside. I made decisions that distracted me, like planning a wedding, getting married, and focusing on building my spouse’s business (which was branded beautifully, by the way).
Then luckily death and divorce hit me in one fell swoop. I say luckily because while I miss my stepfather all the time, his death got my attention. And while everything that felt solid was changing for me, I saw my opportunity to start making decisions on my own, just for me, for the first time.
And I started way back then to become the type of person who could lead this business.
See, we are bombarded by messages about how business can be easy, and how we can make a ‘quantum leap’ and make tons of money while we sleep.
Now all of these things are true. I’ve experienced greater ease than I imagined. The work I actually do is easy. But being the type of person who can lead a business is not. I’ve created quantum leaps in revenue – I doubled every year for the first 4 years. And I’ve gotten orders in my inbox overnight.
But a quantum leap doesn’t happen just because we decide. It happens because we decide, and then become the type of person who…
- Has complete faith that the quantum leap is a done deal and begins to act as if. That means if you want to have a 6 or 7 figure business, you invest as that type of business NOW. From the beginning. This takes courage.
- Is willing to be the type of person who can operate at that new level. When your business goes in the direction you truly desire, you will come face to face with all kinds of ways in which you were not yet prepared for that outcome. If you are resistant to, or afraid to change, you will shy away from the desire for this very reason. Your subconscious knows what’s coming, and it’s terrified.
Courage and the Subconscious Mind
Your subconscious mind will give you every reason not to do the thing that you desire. It has spent a lifetime keeping you safe from risk, in it’s own, highly customized way. It will seem like a good idea to:
- Wait until the kids are older
- Stay with the spouse who is completely unsupportive
- Plan a wedding
- Take the kids to Disneyland
- Take this good-enough job
- Keep working with the business partner you don’t agree with because it’s safer than going out on your own
- Try to save the money to pay down the debt first (making an income you can hardly live on)
And the reasons will REALLY make sense. And it takes nothing but courage to make the decision to move your business forward. But once you give yourself an experience on the other side of the fear, that belief no longer has power over you.
That is what makes an Aligned Entrepreneur so special.
Their faith in their own reason for being on the planet is stronger than the fear of the unknown. It is the source of their courage, and I stand in admiration. Are you willing to be this type of person?
This week alone I’ve seen this type of person:
- Enjoy the fun and ease that has come on the other side of making a courageous decision to close her business that was out of alignment. In two weeks she’s attracted every opportunity she could imagine supporting her new direction!
- Navigate the storms around her with grace and ease and a new awareness of her role. When people in her life got sick, experienced tragedy, and brought both real and imagined drama her way, she was able to be a safe and gracious space for them without taking on their pain. Giving generously while staying focused on her business.
- Experience loss of life, both giving herself the space to experience the full range of her emotions without shutting them down, and also allowing her higher self to see the gifts in the loss at the same time. It will fuel her business in a whole new way, and she’s not putting any pressure on herself about that.
- Take bold action in her marketing, get a result, and look honestly at what worked and what didn’t, quickly adjusting the plan without taking anything personally. The adjustment required her to give up a pattern that worked for her in her former life, but wasn’t fulfilling her now.
- Travel to be where the ideal audience is, even though traveling isn’t the most natural thing for her, and the investment involved was scary. She allowed it to be a fun adventure that grows both her and her audience! (And had her highest grossing month ever!)
- Communicate boldly and authentically to a skeptical spouse, with a firm commitment to finding place where they could each hear and honor each other’s perspective, and finding the space from which they could each have what they really want.
So here’s what I’ve found. It is not easy to be this type of person. But when you learn to think about yourself, the mission you’re called to in your business, and the people around you from a higher consciousness energy of Truth, it actually becomes very simple. The stuff that stops the average person no longer stops you. And you know deep down you’re not meant to be average. You’re an Aligned Entrepreneur at heart. That’s what brought you here to these words.
Do you have the courage to be the type of person who can lead the business you’re meant to lead?
If you’re not sure and you’d like the committed space to find out, OR if you are sure and you know you’re called to step into the higher level of your business you couldn’t even imagine at the beginning (like me with my amazing team), I invite you to join me at Align It Live. It’s a special week to register this week. Here is the link: http://alignitlive.com
We’ve got two special bonuses, and you can bring a friend for free. It’s my honor to hold a courageous space for the bigger you to show up.