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Money Jedi: What’s Your Self Worth?

What do you think of your worth?

What do you think of your worth? Source: Images_of_Money at Flickr Commons

How much do you value yourself?

Generally, we like to think we value ourselves pretty highly.

But generally, most of us don’t. Not really.

How good would you say you are at what you do? Are you the best? Well, maybe you’re not the best–I mean, how many people are in your field? A lot, right? You can’t possibly claim to be the best. There is always going to be someone better than you, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s important to be comfortable with that, because otherwise you’ll be caught up in competition and trying to stay on top all the time.

That’s exhausting. And then when you make a mistake, you feel like the biggest ass. The Best does not make mistakes.

But if you’re not the best, you’re definitely not the worst. Just as there will always be someone better than you, there will always be someone worse.

That’s comforting, in an “I feel kinda bad about feeling good about this” kind of way.

But if you think you’re only “medium” at what you do, you also think you’re worth medium compensation.

Do you know that most people have what can be called an “upper limit” when it comes to making money? We make our own glass ceilings. If we get a financial windfall, or pay off a credit card, that’s the moment a big expense comes up. The car breaks down or we need a new laptop. So much for that extra money we were looking forward to, huh? Somehow, that money goes somewhere, and we’re left at our usual income level. Most people have a very specific “upper limit,” and never surpass this. Or at least, not for long.

We have what we believe we can have. We have what we believe we deserve. There’s something subconscious or spiritual going on here. This holds true for more than money, but it’s particularly clear with regards to money.

If you’re going to make and have more money, you need to believe you’re worth more. You also need to get accustomed to having more.

You need to be able to ask your boss for a raise because you believe you deserve it, and you’re worth the extra money.

You need to be able to market yourself, because you believe in your own quality.

You need to be able to charge high rates to your clients, because you know you’re worth it. I guarantee there are people out there charging more than you, who provide the same quality of services. Maybe you’re even better than them.

It’s interesting that the more we charge for our time or work, the more respect people give us. This is true pretty much across the proverbial board.

When I raised my writing rates, I began attracting the kinds of clients who paid those rates. And know what? They respect me much more than the clients I worked with at lower pricing points. I enjoy my work more, have better professional relationships, and make more money. All because I said I was worth it.

People treat you the way you teach them to treat you. And the more you value yourself, the more others will value you.

I taught my early clients that I wasn’t worth that much. And the only clients who have ever ducked out on paying my invoices have been at lower pricing points. They are also the only ones who have ever claimed my services cost them more money than they recouped.

When we say we’re worth more, we attract higher quality clients, paychecks, relationships, opportunities–you name it. But we have to stop believing we deserve to be underpaid, overlooked or pushed around.

The trick here is believing we’re worth more. It’s hard to change a belief about something, especially if we don’t have the experience to back that up.

If you want to value yourself more, one trick you can try is changing the things you spend your time and money on. Take the $150 a month you spend on coffee and those three hours of TV a week, and put them toward a class that hones your professional skills.

We’re conditioned to believe authority figures when they judge our value. If you need a teacher–someone who’s been working in your field a long time–to tell you you’re worth more, take a class and get a teacher to tell you that. Develop your confidence. (Making and having more money can help develop your confidence pretty well, too–but first you have to get there.)

Another trick you can try is keeping track of everything you do at work. Every project you initiate and complete. Every client you cold call, every roadblock you overcome, every office spat you smooth over, and every menial task you accomplish. Every way you contribute. Seeing that all written out is usually a pretty impressive list. Not only can that boost your confidence, it can paint a pretty clear picture for your boss of just where your company would be without you.

And if your boss won’t pay you more? All that stuff looks very valuable on a resume and profile.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a cosmetics commercial, repeat after me: “I’m worth it. I’m great at what I do.”

***

L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.


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