I’m not a parent. Not yet anyway.
But I’ll own up to extreme parental tendencies.
My parental tendencies are what make me (usually) actively watch Ben 10: Alien Force with my nephew so we can talk about it later, instead of plopping him down in front of the TV, then running off to watch Vampire Dairies in the other room. My nephew sometimes struggles with “using his words,” and I find discussing something he enjoys helps him practice.
My parental tendencies are what make me cut my nephew’s apple into finger-friendly pieces instead of just handing him a honeycrisp the size of his head and telling him to “man up and eat it.”
My parental tendencies are what made me spoon-feed him when he was younger, instead of letting him go head-first into his oatmeal.
I don’t know about you, but parental tendencies give me the urge to sacrifice myself and my happiness for my nephew’s sake, because I’m concerned for his well-being, development and happiness.
These same tendencies like to sneak up on me when I’m working on my business and suggest things like “You should be nice and reduce your rates,” “Just settle for what they are offering,” “Give them what they want for free” or “Forgive that debt. They are struggling in this economy.”
In business, sometimes you need to crush those tendencies into a powdery mist, especially if they are leading you down a path that will jeopardize your business.
This is a problem particularly with money.
Don’t “be nice” about your money. You kinda need it to survive.
Get rid of that “I’ll just charge enough to get by” mentality.
It’s tough. Trust me, I know. Especially when you’re just starting out. But who wants to just “get by?”
I doubt you started your business thinking “Yeah, I’m going to start this business that I need to work full-time, just to make barely enough to survive.”
Chances are, you aren’t charging enough for your products or services right now anyway.
Think about it.
You’re charging people $200 for an awesome website that took you 30 total hours to create AND giving them email support and free updates when they need it for free?
You’re making less than $6.75 an hour with a $1000-mortgage and you want to do this full-time?
Think about what your product/service is worth!
And don’t give me that “no one wants to pay more” BS.
Of course no one wants to pay more. People want shit for free, but you can’t indulge them.
Deliver quality work and charge what you’re worth.
Cool tool to try: Freelance Switch’s Hourly Rate Calculator. Set your prices based on your actual needs and goals, not some sense of low self-worth.
If you don’t think you’re worth more…well, you may be right or you may be basing that idea on the fact that YOU don’t need whatever product or service you’re selling because you can do it yourself.
Think about the products or services you pay for. If you knew how to do or make them yourself, would you pay that much for them?
And yes, it’s true, some people don’t care about the value you offer, they care about cheap. Those aren’t the people you want as customers.
They don’t care that you’re not making enough to feed your kids. They just want stuff for unreasonably low prices. They’re like spoiled children who have the “gimmes.”
*taking a deep breath”
My point is:
Don’t let your concern for everyone else’s well-being, development and happiness cut into your own.
Business isn’t about being nice all the time.
I’d like to say, too, that business isn’t about being a heartless bastard all the time either.
You have to have a healthy balance of business sense and care for your customers. Giving too much to one or the other can be detrimental.
Find your balance.
Create awesome products or services. Charge what you deserve. Be happy.
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