In 2008 I left the world of having a better than average corporate paycheck. I determined that I was going to charge what I was worth under my terms.
My first opportunities had me traveling outside of the Island and the rate was usually over $140 an hour. As the economy deteriorated I stopped my trips to my U.S. Based clients on the east coast. I also ended up having a hard time finding work.
Clients where cutting their budgets. That meant they could not afford my services plus the heavy travel expenses.
In a matter of time I had brought my rate down to under what I would have made in hourly terms working for a larger corporation. The difference was I also had a hard time finding at least those 40 hours to sustain my lifestyle at that moment.
The Biggest Mistake: Lowering My Rates
I started digging into my savings and lowering my rates. I thought adjusting price might help land new clients and then gradually I could go back to where I started.
So after donating a lot of my time and competing on price on projects, I gave up with some heavy consequences. Not only did I lose my home to a foreclosure, I ended up owing a lot of money to credit card companies and such.
Charging What I am Worth
As I shifted over to more creative projects, I realized that those who wanted my consulting would be willing to pay what I am worth.
Life became easier the moment I started say no to opportunities that did not fit into what I feel is fair and worth my time.
By not competing on price, I was able to land better clients which should be the goal of every business.
Other benefits where being able to hire or contract the person with the best skills possible. Leaving some cash for much necessary operational tasks and giving me more of the most restricted asset we have, our time.
So Many of us are used to Average
As I read Peter Shankman’s new book the “Zombie Loyalists” I realize how we are so use to average.
How so many end up being average because they compete on price. In an unhealthy economy, a lower price seems to be the easiest way to attract the masses.
You don’t want to be Wal-Mart
The problem with lower prices is that you turn into a WalMart and we all know why Wal-Mart survives and how.
I am grateful to have many friends that are always helping me understand the value in what I offer.
I have to keep on working on making sure I don’t forget to value myself.
But one thing I ask you to do and I promise I won’t do is compete on price.