Do you know your worth? This may seem like a simple question with a simple answer of “yes”, but what do you do about it? I recently asked one of the girls on my team to help me with a new project. To be quite honest, her response surprised me. “Yes, but being that this is more than the traditional scope of work, can I be compensated for more?” I immediately responded with HECK YES, and I also commended her for asking. It took me a loooong time before I understood my worth, and even longer to be able to confidently act on this. Looking back, I think a lot of it had to do with my conditioned thoughts about money that stem back to childhood, coupled with general limiting beliefs, and a strong desire to avoid the dreaded imposter syndrome.
When I began LW Branding, my first few clients hardly paid me anything. It was that point of desperation where you are just trying to get work to prove yourself and build a portfolio, to then land more work and clients. I eventually got to the point where being overworked and underpaid led me down a path where I resented the very thing that I had worked so hard to create. I was still telling the story that I left my corporate job working 65+ hours a week to gain more freedom and chase a dream, but in all reality, I was completely trapped and held captive by my clients’ endless requests, and not enough hours in the day.
Throughout my entrepreneurial career, I’ve done more work for free than I can count, and I’ve always struggled with saying yes to any sort of counter-offer from a client simply to land the business. There is a degree of biding your time that has to take place, but understanding when the right time to “level up” is so, so important.
Today, my standard rate is 6x what I charged for my first retainer client. My roster is strategically small (quality over quantity) and I’m not afraid to walk away from anyone and anything who doesn’t see the value that I provide. At the end of the day, you have to remind yourself that people aren’t just paying you for your time, or that final deliverable that you’re hired to produce. It’s really a combination of years of experience, time spent in school, endless hours spent perfecting your craft (training, seminars, and courses) and every little hill and valley you’ve had to overcome along the way. That is where the value comes in.
You’re worth it, and don’t let anyone tell you differently; especially yourself.