Know Your Value
Career coaching: Value. We do not know how to value ourselves professionally. As I was staring this enterprise I was given this piece of advice. “Set your prices higher than you imagine you could ever charge – you will grow into them” Of course, I ignored this guidance. I felt I was ‘too newly qualified’, ‘too new at this’ and ‘too inexperienced’. What I was ignoring, of course, is that even though my coaching qualification was fresh, my life, work and leadership experiences we not. These were where my value really lay. The coaching interventions are mostly merely the bridge to access that wisdom and compassion I had gathered over nearly 4 decades. That be bit I refused to see.
“Set your prices higher than you imagine you could ever charge – you will grow into them”
I really only increased my prices out of desperation. My business coach gets a call every now and again to say ‘ I have too many clients and not enough time and I can’t do this anymore’. At that point what I have in mind is a complete change in business structure and the need to employ people to help me take the load. What she kindly and firmly reminds me is that if I merely raise my prices and contract more tightly. I will get more money for doing fewer hours…
At this suggestion, even after a decade, I am usually filled with terror that my business will implode. I think nobody will come ‘due to austerity, or Brexit’. I can find a million external reasons to invalidate my own value….. And then tentatively I do risk raising them. I raise them on the site, I let my clients know this is what’s happening and when…. and then there is a frightening pause. I hold my breath, believing that I have broken thy business entity that I love… And then …. new clients still flow in the door… and I exhale and life goes on. I am indeed earning more, although I’m not doing fewer hours as the clients continue to flow in the door.
Career coaching: Value
There is a second benefit to valuing myself financially too. The clients that arrive are more coaching-ready and value this process too. When people are willing to invest in themselves in time and in money, they are SO much more committed to that process. These are the people who are courageous and will try new ways of valuing their professional selves. They will take the risks we have explored. They are ready to reap these outcomes. This makes the Coaching process more committed, collaborative and constructive. It means that both of us are ready and willing to do the deep-dive and see what gifts we can find in the process.
So, setting my prices well does not only benefit me. What I see as a risky send selfish thing to do, has a huge impact on the quality of the coaching process and that Means the clients get real value too. This means we can do excellent coaching together.
This is symbiotic. Who knew that something that seems so selfish was actually valuable to those I wrote with too.
Want my advice? Value yourself, DO set your prices higher than you ever imagine you could charge. You will grow into them. When you value what you bring, it leads others to value you too.