Does the idea of making money make you uncomfortable? Do you say things like “I just want to help people” and “I hate putting my prices up”. Do you know that you’re not charging what you are worth but you can’t seem to do anything about it?

Money mindset is a big issue for the self employed, and particularly amongst women. If you know that this is you, I would highly recommend buying this book by Denise Duffield-Thomas because it’s a game changer and it will make your life easier.

For some quick ideas on how to tackle this though, here is what I would suggest:

Calm down.
When you think about money, prices, chasing invoices, asking for payment, do you start to panic? Do you feel your stomach clench, get a lump in your throat, start to feel agitated?
Take note of that. Take a deep breath right now and find your calm. No one is going to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But take note of that. If thinking about money brings on that reaction then this is a big issue for you, and it is important to own that.

Get clear.
The first step to tackling a problem is to get clear on what the problem is. Grab a piece of paper and answer these questions. Answer them honestly, no one is going to see the answers apart from you:

What does a rich person look like?
How does a rich person act?
People who want to make money are:
Having more money than I need to live on would be:
People who don’t have much money are:
If I want to be rich that means:

Chances are you have just written down a lot of value judgements about yourself and other people, purely based on the number in their bank balance, and whether or not they would like to have more money than they need.

Look at that full in the face. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to change anything, but allow yourself to be clear about the judgements you are making, and the beliefs that you are carrying around. None of these things are concrete truths. They are beliefs, and beliefs can change.

Find your confidence.
So often when people find it difficult to put a value on what they offer it is because they do not feel confident within their working lives. You can read more about my tips for finding confidence here but it is important to remember that there is no World List of Appropriate Prices carved into stone somewhere. What something is worth – anything – is based on what people will pay for it. A diamond is a lump of rock that doesn’t provide hydration, nutrition, warmth or love but it is worth a fortune because that is what people will pay for it.

It doesn’t matter what somebody else online is doing. It doesn’t matter what Millicent in the networking group opined. It doesn’t matter what your mum thinks of your pricing structure. All that matters is what your customers are willing to pay – because that is your market value.

When thinking about getting an income from our businesses here are the questions on which I would focus:

  1. How much money do I need?
  2. If I had more money than I need, what would I do with it?
  3. How could my life be improved if I had a higher income?
  4. What will potential customers think if my prices are too low?
  5. Whose decision is it to buy my products of services?

I cannot answer the first three questions for you but I can give you some hints on 4. and 5. I cannot think of many areas of my life where the cheapest product is what I will go for, because cheap means badly made, likely to break, not up to scratch, not as good as other options and not something of value. Those are my value judgements.

You might want your customers to think of your products or services that way, but I doubt it.

As for question number 5, it is of course your customers’ decision. You are not duping anyone, conning anyone, taking advantage of anyone. You are stating what you offer and how much it is, and other people will make the decision to spend their own money on it. Accepting that decision and saying “thank you for your business” is all that you have to do.

Make some progress.
If this is an issue on which you would like to make progress then definitely get hold of Denise’s book, and if you would like to chat through these issues further please do come to me for a Headspace coaching session where we can get to the bottom of this problem for you.

In the meantime, go over to the mirror. Take a look at yourself, in your sweatpants or your jeans, with your lockdown hair and your winter skin. An ordinary person. Now tell yourself: this is what a wealthy person looks like.

Because if ever you are wealthy, you will still be, and always will be, you.

Helen Calvert
Coach and Director of Clear Day
February 2021