This guest post was written by Kelly Gregorio who writes the blog over at Advantage Capital Funds.
There are few things as painful as working for less than you’re worth.
You know your effort is stellar, your product is compelling and that clients are happy with your results, and yet, you’re killing yourself for what? Out of fear, nervousness, or insecurities?
Read on to discover how to stop the undervaluing epidemic now, and bring the love you have for your work back to vibrant, beating life.
Remember Time is Money
While you may be able to pinpoint the value of an hourly, entry-level job, working for yourself tends to be a bit more blurry, especially when you devalue your talent.
Rather than start from your bottom line, consider starting from your top. How much do you need to get paid in order to produce the most compelling and creative work possible (within a respectable timeframe)?
If you go the other route and start from your bottom line, you’ll end up finding yourself stressed, overworked and producing lackluster results.
Don’t demoralize your efforts by setting rates that are beneath your results. Set up honest terms that not only meet industry standards, but that also honor your personal effort and worth.
Find a Balance
Like any aspect of business, people are going to try to haggle with you. Be willing to strike a balance between reality and expectations. Allow people to set up counter arguments like, “well you don’t have much experience”, and then give them the breathing room to set their own limits.
The business world provides a plethora of options, and just because there are other offers out there that are in some ways “better” than you (in your client’s eyes anyway), does not mean that you have to crumble. From hours worked, to the depth of work – turnaround time to rates – everything is negotiable.
Strive to find a fit that feels fair to all parties involved.
Be Willing To Walk Away
For the solo entrepreneur this step is possibly the most difficult, and perhaps the most satisfying. Be willing to walk away from a job that (whether on paper or in your heart) doesn’t make sense for you. It’s a scary concept: walking away from a paying gig; however, the alternative of working yourself to the bone with very little reward is much worse.
Of course you’ll put in the initial effort to negotiate and try to come to terms, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept every offer that crosses your path. The most powerful step to loving your work is valuing yourself.
Jobs will come and go, but your feelings toward work will be molded by the decisions you make and the paths you put yourself on. Be good to yourself when those downright insulting offers come along; if you cant re-work things to create a worthwhile payoff for you, then simply keep on walking.
Fight For Your Clients, Fight For Yourself
Just as you fight for your client’s needs and wants, be willing to fight for your own as well. No one else is going to look out for your better interests, so in addition to the time, effort and energy you put into each client’s case, return the favor – to yourself.
People can go on undervaluing themselves for years, imposing a struggle of stress and self-doubt. Make the effort to uphold your value: set your terms, be willing to negotiate, and if necessary, walk away. You’ll thank yourself later.
How do you keep in touch with your value? Share with us in the comments section below!