Name your price

Do you know the Universe’s favourite joke?

It’s a one liner. Told ad infinitum. Even though I don’t seem to find it hugely amusing.See if you recognise it!

This little routine goes something like this:

Me: I want to write a book (teach a course, paint a picture…)

Universe: Great, let’s get to it.

Me: Ta -da! Hurray! Get me! I just wrote a book!

Universe: congrats! Now name your price!

Me: But oh, I don’t want to make it too expensive, it’s not really worth much!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But I’ve spent hundreds of hours on it. If I priced it on a per hour basis I’d need to ask for a lot more.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: Look, this is the going rate. I’ll charge that.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But I’m not that good. I’m only starting out.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: OK, this is my price…. (A few minutes/ hours/ days later)…. Ummm, no I’m worth more than that!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: Yes! I am going to charge my worth. This is great product. I am a good person. X charges X for theirs, and they are rubbish. Up it goes!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But then everyone will think I’m greedy. And that it’s over priced. They’ll see that I’m a sham. They’ll feel ripped off. They’ll hate me. Yes, that’s it, they’ll hate me, and they’ll tell everyone what a bad person I am. And then no one will buy it. And then we’ll never have enough money…

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Do you recognise this?

And so with a mixture of deft research, bravado, self undercutting, guts and terror, weeks of sleepless nights and feeling sick you name your price.

And then the world ends. Everyone hates you. You never work again…

Oh no, scratch that! What really happens is this… Your customer buys, and pays. Or doesn’t. They come back. Or perhaps they don’t. End of….tell me again where the drama is?!

Right now I’m here, pricing paintings and invoicing for the blogging course I’m teaching. I’m stewing in self doubt. Wanting to be fair to everyone. Want to break my chronic habit of undercharging. Especially now I am working for a client who really can afford to pay me fairly. And who sought me out…

So, enough waffle, you want a simple equation, for charging your worth? Yup me too!

It goes something like this:
Costs+hoursxstress-goodwill+profit+?!&= your price.

Do you struggle more naming your price, asking for money or collecting money owed to you? Do you have any insight into why? Or are they all equally torturous to you? If YOU have a secret formula, or just a working one, do share it with us.

PS – A random couple of thoughts

You know what comes to me? That on an unconscious level we women balk at putting a price on our service, because it feels like a form of prostitution. We are selling our services to the highest bidder.

How does that sit with you? Had you ever considered it?

The other thing that many of us are aware of is that our creativity, our gifts are not really ours – so who are we to sell them? Mark Silver spoke really well on this in his talk on Molly Gordon’s self employment summit. Check out his work on Heart of Business.com

This is part of the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on…

Naming Your Price

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