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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Self-Respect For The Value Of One’s Time

October 11th, 2010 by Bob Burg

Yesterday on Twitter, my great friend, Terry Bean, author of, The Universal Guide To Business Networking posted:

“If you don’t respect the value of your time
it’s really hard to get anyone else to do the same.”

Not only was this retweeted dozens of times but, when I posted it on my Facebook Wall, it received a whole ton of “likes” on both of my pages.

Obviously, many relate to this dilemna which manifests in not charging enough money for one’s work.* And, in this case, I don’t believe that “time” is meant in hours, but rather in the value you provide to others. Money for hours is simply the measurement of the value used in Terry’s tweet.

Question: why do you think this is such a prevalent challenge; lack of self-esteem?…market conditions?…competition?…or something else?

Would love to know your thoughts.

* Of course, Terry’s quote could also be referring to non-monetary related issues. For the purposes of this discussion, however, let’s look at it in the context of business and monetary remuneration.

13 Responses to “Self-Respect For The Value Of One’s Time”
  1. Bob,

    As I said yesterday in my FB response, I wrote a post entitled “So What Are We Really Worth?”. (http://affiliatedwomen.ning.com/profiles/blogs/womens-monday-moment-so-what) The audience was women since that’s our target market. I got a number of responses from one of the Linked In groups to which it was posted. The ‘gist’ of my remarks centered on how men and women differ when it comes to asking for what we want. Whether it’s to get the sale or to get the deal!

    Many of the women who responded agreed that they have a difficult time “pricing” themselves at what they feel they are worth. And that they often cringe when responding to the “what do you charge” question. And a few admitted it comes down to their self-confidence in what they offer.

    As I said yesterday, I do think it comes down to our personal confidence in ourselves – as folks who have something of value to offer. I also think the economy can have something to do with how we put a price on what we offer. But ultimately, if we know & believe inwardly that what we bring to the market is worth every penny – and more – we’ll put it out there and not fret if others can’t pay us what we know we are worth.

    Another thought that just occurred to me is that often we don’t price our commodity based on “time”. We consider everything else (what the market can bear; what it costs in $$$ to provide it, etc.) and only think of the value of our time last. Some of us don’t think of that aspect at all.

  2. Nadia said at 8:34 am on

    I can’t agree more and have experienced it myself lately.
    Until recently, I visited my prospects for a first wellness evaluation fro free. FYI, this evaluation lasts between 45 and 60 minutes and I deliver a lot of value in terms of advice on weight loss and healthy living. It comes also with a professional booklet full of information and resources.
    More and more, even though I confirm all my appointments the day before, I got stood up, arriving at the appointment to find… nobody.
    Since I tell the people that the appointment will cost them money, they show up! The reason I think is that I convey the concept of value to the appointment. In their mind, free=worthless. Actually, I was trying to give more thinking that in this economy I had to give things away for free in order to make customers.
    I’m revisiting this idea and put more value in my service and more care for my customers, but I don’t give anything away for free anymore.
    Still, something I would like to emphasize on though: the most difficult thing is to give a fair money value to your time. I’ve encountered many “gurus” out there who charge much more than the value they deliver. The difficulty lies in finding the right balance between self-confidence in your own value (without arrogance) and low self-esteem.

  3. I think it is more related to market conditions….. and we fail to understand that if we are giving value, we can charge appropriately even if market conditions are not same….. so first reason is lack of confidence that we are delivering more than other players in the market and secondly we doubt that how market will respond to it…..

  4. Randy Gage said at 9:36 am on

    As you know Bob, my work is all about prosperity consciousness. And I think that is the real issue here, both in the monetary and other sense as well. To value your time, to have others value your time, to charge what you are worth and get others to be willing to pay you your worth — you have to believe you are worthy. And worthiness issues are one of the biggest challenges for many people today.


  5. If we have a hard time understanding someone else’s value and being willing to pay what they’re asking, how are we going to be able to set our own? Everyone is looking for a bargain or a deal or the “best price.” If you’re not willing to accept another service person’s price, how can you blame other people for not accepting your own? If we don’t believe other people are worthy, so how can we be worthy?

  6. Excellent Blog. The challenge of many people who do “Free” things is that they give away too much, assuming that what they are offering is SO VALUABLE that everyone who hears about it will now want to pay to get more of it.

    There is nothing really WRONG with giving free initial consults, but you need to:
    1. Get them excited about what you are offering before the in-person meeting;
    2. Be CLEAR that you are going to ask for a buying decision…Get a “Yes” or a “No.”
    3. Only say enough in the meeting that they MUST invest to REALLY learn something.

    People cancel if the initial appointment set-up has not gotten them thinking about their pain and how you might solve it. And this must be on the emotional level. Strangely enough, asking someone to pay for an initial meeting gets their emotions involved because now they justify to themselves that you must be valuable.

  7. Steve Boyett said at 12:21 pm on

    Great post! As one who makes a living helping non profits raise money, I am constantly being asked to justify our company’s fees. One constant in this industry is “penny wise-dollar foolish”, which often adds to the client’s difficulties. The most valuable lesson I have learned-lowering your price for services only increases the liklihood that a client won’t value your time. Furthermore, you will end up investing more time trying to help those clients who don’t value your time, because they will demand more, and it will be your human nature to work even harder to gain their appreciation of what you are giving them. All this typically leads to a frustrated relationship, and a negative return in your “time investment.”. My advice to each consultant on our team is to give the prospects who want discounts enough information to try and succeed without us, at least that way, we have added some value, and we won’t end up with a negative relationship, and most of the time, they will realize our value on their own, because 100% of our clients raise more with us (even including our fees) then they can raise without us. Some people just have to learn the hard way!

  8. Joel Ungar said at 12:24 pm on

    Bob – this is an issue I run across constantly. For me it was reading the outstanding book Value Pricing by Ron Baker of the Verasage Institute. He had a chapter on accountants and self-esteem that hit me right between the eyes. I think Terry hit upon the same thought that Ron has been promoting and I ascribe to, just from a different angle.

    Outstanding post.

  9. Steve Dorfman said at 12:38 pm on

    This one hits home since Maggie and I were just having the conversation last week.

    I find that many of us do what we do and while it may seem effortless to us, others often look on in awe.

    Your product or service is worth whatever price tag you place upon it (be it $10 or $10,000) … given the appropriate audience. Choose to look for the $10k audience 😉

  10. Kathy Zader said at 2:42 pm on

    Bob, thank you raising these important issues. I agree with Randy. I think it is an issue of self worth. If you do not value yourself, other people won’t either. I know this issue well. Once I recognized that it was a core issue for me and started addressing it, I have seen my business and personal life flourish in ways I never imagined.

  11. Dr. Mollie said at 6:29 pm on

    Terry got it right. It begins with you valuing your time (and your self) – if you don’t, few others will.

    It’s a mindset.

    To communicate the VALUE you bring to others (and as your work does such a fabulous job of showing — this and your reach are what determine how much money you make), you must own it. Really own it. Believe it at a core level so your actions are congruent with it.

    One member of my mastermind asked another today (after witnessing major progress), what changed for you? Her answer, “I finally decided that I was worth it.” Yep 😉

    Connect these dots, provide exceptional products and service…and the money follows.

  12. Bob Burg said at 7:59 am on

    Hi Everyone, I’m so thankful for you taking your time (which I value to an extremely high degree!) and sharing your wisdom with us. Your thoughts, suggestions and words provided exceptional value and I plan to refer back to your comments whenever discussing this very important topic. Thank you!!!!!

  13. It’s so easy to ask for what your competition in the market place is asking. It does little to challenge ourselves or our clients. Asking for slightly below your competition’s rates makes it easy in the beginning to gain market share and gain momentum. If you decide to implement that strategy, make sure you have a time table to consciously change your strategy as the momentum builds. You’ll eventually move up in markets and fire your old clients. Its easier to change yourself than to change your clients. I’ve found that only 20% of my clients stay as you move up in the fee structure. So get some momentum and market share then move on.

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