How much are you worth? That can be a tough question for many of us to ask ourselves, but valuing yourself inside and aligning that self-worth with the actions you take in your life are very important to honoring your spirit and letting your light shine bright.
With that idea in mind, dig a little deeper: Do you think what you do in your life is important? Do you feel that what you charge for the work you do is enough? Are you happy every time you get money from your client, or do you find yourself experiencing guilt or resentment?
In other words, are the actions you take aligning with what you are truly worth on the inside?
I want to share my own personal experiences and feelings about self-worth with you. When I am on stage, I like to know that I am valued – that I am getting what I am worth. When you are a musician, there is nothing more frustrating than getting ready for a show, miserably putting on your clothes and packing up because you know you are giving more than you are getting – that you are giving more of yourself and putting more time and energy into a gig or project than it is really worth.
Have you ever felt like that? You don’t even have to be a performer to understand the feeling of doing a job and absolutely hating it. You might have felt annoyed, and you may have even snapped at people for no reason, when it wasn’t their fault that you took the gig. The truth is, if you have found yourself in that frustrating situation, you have to realize, YOU and only YOU made the decision to get involved. It wasn’t the client’s or anyone else’s fault that you were there.
You might be thinking, “But I need the money.” Sure, we all “need” the money. (And I realize that sometimes we all have had to do what we “need” to do, whether to prevent ourselves from getting kicked out of our homes, or because our kids need to eat.) But what about those times when you do not “need” it? Why are you selling yourself short?
None of us like the desperate feeling of doing work for less than we are worth because we “need” the money. So, in those times when you do not “need” it, try to think about what you would expect if you could “really use the money”; don’t do work for less just because you are desperate for the cash … no matter what! If you do, you are setting yourself up to be undervalued.
Why would you let people think you are worth less when you know you should be getting paid more? That is a dangerous message to send out to the masses, and it will ensure people continuously call you back to do them a $50 favor, whether those people are potential clients, friends or anyone else.
The answer is to be secure with your rates. When you tell someone how much you charge, you have to say it with confidence. Be firm. Be confident. When you stutter or act uncomfortable, you are sending a message that you are unsure of your own worth.
Of course, sometimes it is important for all of us to be flexible. And I love what I do, but I am not going to allow a client to talk me down to a “deal” that is not right for myself and for my musicians. And I would not go to a client’s workplace and ask that client to work for $5 an hour when they are supposed to be making much more than that for their expertise.
A music teacher once told me that he tells his students to charge people for all the years they put into school and learning to be who they are, just like anyone else. And that makes total sense! Whether you spent time and energy on school, or on developing your talent and experience, you need to charge for all those years you put into the work you do.
Believe in your worth … and let that show in everything you do!