The most common reason prospective clients reach out to me for help, is that they don’t understand why they’re working their asses off and still have no money to show for it. How is it possible, they ask, when they’re hustling ‘round the clock that they’re still broke, or at least feeling like there’s just not enough. And in case you were sitting there thinking this was YOUR dirty little secret, surprise! You’ve got a lot of company.
On the amount of work/hustle you’re putting in, allow me just to point out that some of us — non-male and non-white and perhaps non-native, aka non-members of the Old Boys Club — learned young that it was never gonna be enough for us to to just show up if we wanted to do well. No, we learned it’s on us to have to work 2x, 3x, 4x harder, just to earn a spot at the starting line, let alone to vault the hurdles in our lanes not present in others’. So there’s that. That factors in. It’s not nothing, so it’s worth acknowledging its impact here.
But there are 3 things which are actually on a scale that we, on our own, can alter. Three things that help explain why our hustle is not getting us where we want it to.
Three Possible Reasons Why Your Hustle is on 11, Bank Balance on 2?
1. Your prices are too low.
Again, this is one of those areas where you may think you’re the only one with this issue. Learning how to set the right prices for the right work for the right customers is something we’re all figuring out on the job as we go out, making adjustments and tweaks as we build and grow, getting better at it all the time. But assuredly, generally always starting from pricing too low, pricing by the hour, undervaluing our own creativity, genius, impact. I totally get this.
Pricing is a confidence game.
Know this, too: Your pricing bone’s connected to your schedule bone. If our schedule is insane, if we’re running around like mad / task-switching constantly / working all hours / having no work-free weekends, 99% of the time is because we’re placing too low a value on what we offer, how we serve, meaning that we have to serve more clients at that low price, just to get to where we most minimally need to to cover our costs, fund our lives.
The more you push your comfort-zone around pricing, the more you collect those raving testimonials from your happy clients, the more confident you’ll be in the value you’re offering & pricing accordingly.
Ask yourself now:
- If you’re selling services, are you pricing by the hour? Is there some other way you could charge for what you do — could you move to a package or flat-fee or value-based price that puts the emphasis on the outcome, rather than the elapsed time of the engagement?
- When’s the last time you increased your prices, and by how much?
- What’s holding you back from increasing your price right now? If it’s fear that you’ll lose clients, yes, that happens. But a fear that ALL of them will go is probably unfounded. And honestly, fewer clients at a higher rate IS what you want. Less hustle, more return. Scary, sure? But you do hard things.