How Much are your Knowledge and Experiences Worth?
This question was prompted today by a musician who requested and expected free marketing services for a concert. When finally pinned down about an approximate budget, the reply was: €50.
While I am always sensitive to people’s financial circumstances, it made me question whether one should reply diplomatically or honestly. As Thomas Paine said, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest”.
It also brings about the question of fees and worth. It’s not too much of a science that one must take overheads, time spent, and the target market into account. The more difficult aspect is valuing one's own worth which is far more complicated. After many years, I have come to realise that when one does not charge ones worth, it impacts everything – from life/work balance, to finances and most of all, self-worth. A vicious circle.
Following research on how to approach this sensitive subject, I came across this formula:
UV + CV + DF = CW
It’s not as complicated as it looks – Understanding Value, plus Communicating that Value plus Discussing Fees equals Charging what you’re Worth.
I found the first step the most difficult as it is something I took for granted – my numerous professional qualifications, continued development and experience in putting everything into practice. After many years, one works automatically and with all the knowledge in ones head. Experience too, is extremely valuable. When I think of my first day in the orchestra or behind the microphone, and what I offer now after 17 years, the contribution is much higher.
There is also the adage that the better you get at your work, the less time it takes you. Does that mean you should charge less? That is simply not logical! Self-worth is at the heart of everything we do, and directs our behaviour.
It’s important to redirect clients who are overly price-focused to see your value. Once this is understood, the price quoted will seem low in comparison. But you have to be comfortable discussing money. I recommend you examine and reflect your thoughts and beliefs about it, otherwise it will be difficult if not impossible to charge your real worth.