Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Get What You're Worth

A while back I created a website for a family friend. I made the mistake of  not stating clearly what I would charge him. I said I'd do it for "a few hundred". Basically, I took a one-page flyer and turned it into a five page site. He gave me $100 and thought that covered all of the work I'd done plus unlimited updates. I was insulted. However, I had to admit that it was more my fault than his.

I didn't state what I needed objectively. I left it open and vague. I can't really blame him for taking advantage of that situation. I've learned my lesson. Now I state my fees and my expectations right up front. I even ask for a percentage to be paid before I begin working.

Next, I had to admit that part of the reason I didn't state my fee upfront  is because I might not have gotten the job. In retrospect, would that have really been a bad thing? I've had to learn that it is okay if people say 'no' especially when a 'yes' is going to take up an exorbitant amount of time, cause a number of headaches or end up being far too much work and effort.

I have to know my own worth and recognize that people who don't recognize it are people I don't need to be bothered with anyway. It's one thing to offer someone a deal or a discount. It's another thing entirely to give the cow away for free.

I've found that recognizing my worth goes far beyond the occasional freelance client. It applies to my career, my family, my friendships and my romantic life. It starts when I recognize what I'm bringing to the table. You'll pay more for a filet mignon than you will for a hamburger steak. I need to know my worth and be confident when it coming to knowing what I have to offer and what I still have to learn.

Once I became aware fully of who and what I was, I had to dispel the fear that it wouldn't be enough or that maybe, on the other side, it might be too much. I realize now that not everything is for everyone ... and that is okay. There are people who want more than I can offer and there are also people who think that what I'm offering might be too much for them. ... and that's okay too.

Water seeks its own level and, I've found, so do people. Eventually, you meet the people who connect with you right where you are.

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