“I’m afraid if I raise my rates, my clients will disappear,” is something I hear a lot. Actually the opposite is true. When you don’t honor your work and the value you provide, clients won’t either.
We know this, yet we constantly undercharge. Why? Because we decide in advance (and make assumptions!) about what the other person is able to pay. We discount our services to accommodate them, but it’s to our own detriment and theirs. Consider that money is energy, and energy is abundant. That exchange of energy between the provider and the recipient is a sacred act. By undercharging, we diminish the sacredness of this energy exchange.
This leaves a lot of us feeling resentful. Instead of enjoying the work we do, there is a heaviness and a feeling of obligation. We are no longer serving from a genuine place because we didn’t honor ourselves. Not standing in our value creates a block in the energy flow.
To authentically stand for our value and command the fees we deserve, we have to look at our relationship with wealth. We all have money beliefs–many of which are formed when we’re young. They may differ from person to person, but they exist nonetheless. Some examples are:
Money is evil
Money is for other people
I have to work hard to make money
The accumulation of money is a shallow pursuit
I can’t “do good” in the world and also make money
I’ll lose my identity if I make a lot of money
People will think I’ve sold out if I become successful
I don’t have what it takes to become wealthy
These are very common beliefs, and there are a lot more. The key is identifying your own beliefs, and where they stem from. Then you can replace them with more empowering ones that are in alignment with your birthright. It’s not an easy process, however, and it takes some deep digging. To start, close your eyes and allow yourself to be still for a minute. Open your eyes then ask yourself the following questions and write your answers:
- When I think about “money” what words come to mind?
- What beliefs do I have regarding money? (See common belief examples above)
- How do the beliefs I hold about money show up in my life? For example, do you limit yourself and what you think is possible because of money? Or do you miss out on opportunities because you don’t seem to ever have enough money?
Do you see any patterns? Are other areas of your life impacted by these patterns? Awareness is the first step to changing beliefs that don’t serve you.
You can try different pricing tactics and arbitrarily raising your rates, but if you are not in complete alignment with your increased rates, those actions won’t stick. They also won’t feel right because you have a contrary underlying belief that you are not really worth it. When your fees are in alignment with your value and your new empowered beliefs around money, clients are more engaged, and both you and your client show up in an energized way. It comes from a powerful place for both of you.