This is my first official blog post after changing the domain from rjgs123s to risewithrebecca and I’m excited about it’s new direction! I began the blog in 2016 to share my insights about business and life. I wasn’t sure where it would be going because when I began it, I was staying at home with my children and running a side-business. I still run the side gig and love it, but now with the new consulting business about to launch this fall, I want to take this blog more in the direction of business. But as a working mother, you can’t always separate them. I’m sure I’ll have a few rants about life sprinkled in! (I am unable to keep my mouth shut unless its full of homemade almond balls. I devour them like they’re my first meal after returning from the desert.)
Today’s blog is about an experience I recently had with a fellow female and it sent alarm bells going off in my head. That’s usually the sign for me to stop and write a blog post. And it’s about owning your value and not apologizing for it.
Here’s what happened: She helped me with a business-related issue and I was happy with her services. I needed help and we had briefly talked about what she would charge me without signing a contract. When it came down to discussing how much I would pay her, she paused and didn’t know. I had assumed she would charge me X amount and she threw out a number well below that. I jumped up and hugged her. She saved me hours of time and now money! But this is what she said, “I feel bad charging you because I want to help.” Isn’t that a quintessential female response?!?! We want to do good and be valued but we don’t want to look greedy. And she’s not the only person or female to ever have had that thought. She was just really honest about it.
I’ve read countless books on the subject over the past decade. I’ve seen women give endless discounts on products and services to their friends because they “want to be nice.” I’ve done this. Women do not ask for raises or charge what we should while men do. It’s not men’s faults women make less money if we won’t ask for it in the first place. You will never get what you don’t ask for. But why is this simple fact so hard?
My (personal and un-scientific but probably right because now I’m spending time writing about it) opinion is that women, like my friend, want to help first and foremost. We’ve been conditioned to think that we are taking advantage of someone by charging for a service that seems so simple to us, but foreign to our clients. But this is the ENTIRE point of the services industry. You have knowledge about a particular subject and others pay you for your experience. Men for the most-part do not feel bad about charging for their expertise. It’s just business to them. And it’s time for us women to stop being apologetic about charging what we really are worth.
So how do we figure out what we should charge? First, look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re a badass and your clients are lucky to have you. Second, figure out what your time is worth. (If you spent 10 hours on a project for $500 would you be happy? Would you be able to pay your bills? Is $50/hour what you think you are worth?) Third, go back to the mirror and tell yourself you deserve it. Fourth, think about how much time and money you are saving your client. Ask for that. Ask others in your industry! Do a little research online. Whatever you ask for, be definitive with the price and don’t apologize. I’d rather lose potential clients who didn’t think I was worth the investment than do a job for less than the value I’m providing.
Here’s what will happen: You’ll start getting more money for your projects. People will take you more seriously. You’ll take more pride in your career. Confidence will increase and you’ll get some swagger in you. (Possibly in the form of the new shoes you just bought yourself with your excess income.) You’re going to feel so empowered that you stood your ground and that others see the value in you. Ladies, own your worth.