Don’t sell yourself short! I read a quote that said, “a workman is worthy of his hire.” You deserve to be compensated honorably for your knowledge, time, expertise and service, although I believe it’s a bit harder for women business owners than their male counterparts. Every entrepreneur finds it difficult putting a VALUE on what they do and know. Rest assured, you are not alone in pondering all the “how do I”, “what do I” questions. How do I price what I do and what I offer? What discounts should I offer? How do I share the knowledge that I have learned with staff, clients or even others in my industry? These questions aren’t always easy to answer.
I think this really is an issue that more women in business struggle with than men. I think women tend to have to “prove” that they are more business savvy than men. I think women often times sell themselves short because they feel they won’t naturally be received as a person of great knowledge. Therefore, they may charge much less or not at all for their services. I do believe that in business there are certain times that you may offer your services for “free.” I think successful companies are great because they do “pro bono” work. This is a great way of giving back to the community. I believe when you put good things out, good things come back to you. What you have to offer your audience is valuable. Don’t allow people to “pick your brain” for valuable advice (constantly) and steal your gifts who are not willing to pay for your wisdom.
You should charge a fee for your expertise. Let me be very clear, I think we get hung up on certain “words” and what they mean. The word “expertise,” simply means your knowledge, skillfulness and your “know-how” in a particular area. This is no different than a doctor or lawyer charging a fee for their services. We all expect them to charge a fee for services because of their knowledge and expertise. I’m certainly not advocating not to help other entrepreneurs with your knowledge, after all, we were once in that same place. However, it’s in my experience, that it’s perfectly ok to occasionally share your knowledge, but it should be with clear boundaries! I would not be where I am today if it were not for women that became my mentors, women leaders I respected and looked up to – that took the time to pour into my life and nurture my gift, because they saw my potential and took me under their wing and lead with clear boundaries. Every leader must have clear boundaries in all areas.