I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 7 years now… and to be completely honest, it has taken me this long to understand my worth.
Over the past year or two, I have been learning that much of my LACK of self-worth has actually come from the “social programming” and “limiting beliefs” that have been imprinted upon me from my parents, my teachers and the rest of society in general. I’ve also learned that this is something that has been deeply ingrained in me for a long, long time… not only from this lifetime, but also from the many past lifetimes I’ve lived.
The people in my life experiences have done the best they could with what they had so I can’t really put blame on any them for what they didn’t know at the time and, therefore, what they didn’t teach me.
The only thing I can do now is take responsibility for my own healing, begin reprogramming my subconscious mind, and shift out the old programs and limiting beliefs that are no longer serving me. By doing this, I will be able to get to a place of more CLARITY which will help me run my business based on a strong foundation of ABUNDANCE instead of LACK, which, in my opinion, will only attract more abundance. 🙂
After working very hard on myself over the past years, I can FINALLY say I’m starting to understand how much knowledge, wisdom, skill, and natural talent I hold within me, and can now see just how much value I truly CAN add to another person’s life and business.
The catch is, whoever I work with has to be able to understand my value FIRST in order for me to even be able to help them at all.
If they don’t understand my value, they will probably do one of the following:
- Ask me for a discount
- Take one look at my prices and bounce immediately
- Tell me they “can’t afford me” and that they are just going to try to do it themselves (the truth is, they can’t afford NOT to hire me, they just don’t understand why that is… yet.)
The Evolution of My Lack Mindset to Abundance Mindset
For 10 years before I started my own business, I worked a typical 9-5 job where all I had to do was just show up Monday through Friday and do the work my coworkers brought to my desk for me. I’d get paid the same amount every two weeks and that’s really all I had to worry about.
When I decided to quit my 9-5 routine at the end of 2012, (you can read my story here) I was super excited for the freedom aspect of entrepreneurship but I was also completely clueless on how to get clients and how to price my my design services as an independent contractor.
Since I used to be a very stubborn person (and had a lot of blocks), I found that I had a really hard time asking for and accepting help. I was literally standing in my own way (too much pride) and didn’t even know it.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was stuck in what I like to call the “Lack Matrix” mentality, which means I was functioning off of my own limiting beliefs and subconscious programming, which isn’t exactly the most fun place to be, as I’m sure many of you have personally experienced or are currently experiencing yourself.
The worst part was I didn’t even know what I was doing wrong, which meant I didn’t know where to begin trying to get help. I also believed I couldn’t afford to get whatever help I needed, which only made me feel stuck where I was even more.
Maybe you can relate to this bullsh*t? 😉
How My Limiting Beliefs + Subconscious Programming Kept Me Stuck in the “Lack Matrix”
I initially started my business with the intention of helping new entrepreneurs and small business owners get started by offering them a deal, I believed, they couldn’t pass up.
My goal was to provide quality design services at low-budget prices.
My mindset went a little like this: “If I charge lower rates, I will be able to out-beat competitors and get more clients.”
I held a special place in my heart for people who also had the courage to break away from their 9-5 thing in an effort to chase after their own dreams, so I wanted to provide the kind of creative support they needed to help them achieve their own success and happiness.
What could be wrong with wanting that for them, right?!
My beliefs came from a place within me that genuinely wanted to help everyone. I felt like I could relate to those who were on a “shoestring budget” because I had struggled financially my whole life as well and I felt this bond with them, like “we were in this together” helping each other create our own dreams of being financially independent.
Since I was a new business, I decided to take on anything that came my way, whether I liked the project or not. I did this because, in all honesty, I was living from a state of desperation and fear. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills, and if I couldn’t pay my bills, this would essentially create a domino effect of other terrible things that would happen to me and my credit score.
Related: Fear is Just an Illusion
Plus, what would other people think of me if I couldn’t pay my bills? What would I think of myself? I couldn’t let myself go down that dark rabbit hole, so I did the next best thing I could think of. Just be super nice to people and prove to them how awesome I was.
I felt confident in myself that I could win clients over with my personality, kindness, drive and talents and because of all that, I would easily be able to get more ongoing work from them. In my mind, all I had to do was just get them to experience what it was like to work with me first, and the rest would be history.
So I ended up taking on any project that came way. It didn’t matter if I didn’t like the project or the client, I felt like I was strong enough and talented enough to handle anything and I was determined to prove my worth.
Because of this mindset, I did a ton of work for free, or almost-free, for years. I also worked with a lot of clients who treated me like shi*t and never seemed to respect me, my time, my energy or my talents in even the slightest way.
I would then complain about them, but also wouldn’t make any moves to fix this (mostly because I didn’t know how.) I essentially did the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results, yet never getting them (and, umm, isn’t that the definition of insanity?) 😉
What I Learned
Charging low rates was definitely a way that helped me attract more clients.
The problem with this was that I didn’t always attract the kind of clients that brought a pleasant working experience.
I found myself feeling stressed out, unappreciated and miserable most of the time. Plus, I felt like they were defining my worth and telling me what they thought I should be paid, and I didn’t think that was fair, especially since they didn’t know what it took for me to acquire all the skills and knowledge I had.
I knew something had to change…
My Turning Point
I knew what I was capable of and I knew I was meant to charge higher rates, I just could not seem to understand why my clients couldn’t see that or why they wanted me to keep giving them more, more, more, but without having to pay more.
It was like they felt entitled to my time, talents and energy and I just didn’t know how to convince them that if they wanted to me to do more for them, they needed to pay me more (I mean, what was so hard about understanding that concept?)
All I knew was I was fed up with the bullsh*t and felt ready to start making whatever changes I needed to make.
What I Wanted
I wanted to attract quality clients who saw my value, loved me for who I was, showed me how much they appreciated me, and made me feel happy whenever I worked with them.
Who doesn’t want that?
Looking back, I see now that I was basically volunteering my time, talents and energy and, in turn, I found myself severely struggling financially because of it.
Where I Felt Stuck:
I felt like I couldn’t ask for higher rates because people were already complaining about the rates I was currently charging.
I would think to myself, “Who would actually pay more? I can’t even seem to convince my current clients that I’m worth what I’m currently charging.”
Because of this experience, I believed I had to put up with their bullsh*t, at least for a little while until I gained more experience as an entrepreneur. But then again, I already had over 10 years of experience as a professional graphic and website designer, so I’d then ask myself “Why do I have to continue suffering like this?”
Then I would tell myself, “Hey, at least I’m getting clients!” and just try to be grateful for that in itself.
The problem with this was, I was being “fake happy.” And I personally don’t do well with fake shit – in both myself as well as others.
The TRUTH was, I wasn’t enjoying my work AT ALL and I could hear my inner voice yelling at me, “Stop lying to yourself! You are CLEARLY NOT HAPPY!”
I just didn’t know what I could do to break out of this… which only continued to keep me stuck in my own limiting beliefs.
Ugh. My life was such a mess!
By the way, I’m literally laughing at myself right now as I write this because I’ve grown SO MUCH since I first started… I can’t even believe I used to be like this!
It really is comical.
Anyways, moving on with my story…
Sometimes I’d barter my design services with another business (who’s services I didn’t even need) only to discover at the end of the month, I didn’t have enough money in my account to pay my bills.
So here I was, working something like 80 hours a week, yet still never, ever seeming to have enough.
My health was suffering, my finances were suffering (I actually put myself 40k in debt!) annnd my life seriously felt like a train wreck.
And worst of all, I could not seem to figure out how to dig myself out of this deep hole I found myself in.
Related: How Hard it is to Stay Strong
Letting Go Was the Key to My Success
Two years into entrepreneurship I hit my “rock bottom” and decided to give up on entrepreneurship… I just couldn’t handle all the stress and pressure anymore, it was too much.
The weird thing was, once I started to make plans to go back to a 9-5 job, some things started to shift for me.
I had just taught myself SEO and started applying what I learned to some of the blog posts on my blog. My goal was to share what I was learning along my entrepreneurial journey as a way to help others succeed as well.
Almost immediately after doing that, my website traffic started to increase and I started to experience a hell of a lot more passive income coming in… enough to freakin’ TRIPLE my income within two months time!
Needless to say, I didn’t end up going back to a 9-5 job, and instead started blogging more because I realized that was where the money was coming from… plus I loved to write. 🙂 It was like therapy to me to be honest… therapy that paid me well!
As time passed, I started getting more and more results, so much so that I ended up creating a few separate niche blogs to help keep the content more focused on a specific audience.
During this time, I stopped taking on any design projects because I was already making more than enough to support myself and live a very comfortable lifestyle. I would say that about 90% of my income was passive income so I didn’t really see a point in working with clients… especially with clients who treated me like shit, didn’t appreciate me, and basically paid me pennies an hour.
I decided I’d rather put my time, talents and energy back into my own businesses rather than other people’s businesses because I could clearly reap much higher rewards that way and without all the extra stress.
So, that’s what I did… I stopped doing client work and just focused on creating content for my three other blogs.
Over time, however, I started to miss doing design work (branding and website design really is one of my absolute favorite things to do) so I decided this was the perfect time to raise my design rates and see what happened.
I ended up creating a few packages that offered a LOT of value (everything I knew my clients needed, even if they didn’t realize it yet) and then began writing blog posts that educated these potential clients on the benefits they would receive from my services.
After doing this, I naturally started to attract in higher quality clients who magically already understood the value I offered, lived in a more abundant mindset themselves and were absolutely amazing to work with! That’s when I realized a major part of this mindset shift came from the fact that I got to experience first-hand, for myself, what I was truly capable of.
I was sourcing ideas from the ethers, taking inspired action to create from these ideas, and manifesting physical results that gifted me with a whole lot more freedom and financial abundance in my life.
And because of that, I finally understood my worth.
Now I feel like I can choose who I want to work with because I am no longer desperate for money. I am already living in abundance and simply want to spend my free time doing more what I truly love, which, a lot of the time, is being creative in some way. 🙂
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned that it’s not worth the energy to get upset when people don’t understand the value of a product or service, believe they can’t afford it, or ask for discounts. There’s also no need to write them off so soon. Instead, I can drop into my heart and take a closer look at where they are coming from.
Maybe they are a new business who is currently where I was when I first started and who still has a lot of learning curves to get through. Maybe they don’t yet understand anything about design and online marketing or the value a brand built from a strong foundation can provide. Maybe they haven’t yet experienced trying to do everything themselves and the stress, headaches and loss that usually comes with that.
Maybe they are asking for a discount because they are still living with their own programs and limiting beliefs and haven’t had enough experience in business to learn why they really need to shift those out of their energies. Who knows, they may not even know what these are or that they even have them!
As someone who has almost quite literally been in their shoes, I can truly relate to their struggles.
But does this mean I should discount my rates and play with them in their realm of self-inflicted limitations (I say this with love)?
No. I’d honestly rather not even get involved, simply because it’s not good for my energy, nor is it fair for me to have suffered for so long in business… then learn how valuable I am… then allow myself to continue to suffer.
I know my worth because of all I have been through. I also know what I did to turn it all around for myself. If someone doesn’t see that, that is okay. I am not going to spend my energy trying to convince or explain myself to anyone. I have nothing to prove to anyone.
I will admit though, there was a year or two in there where I used to get angry whenever someone asked me for a discount.
You wanna know where that anger led me? It led me to a piece of paper where I wrote out all the reasons why I was valuable.
After that, every time I’d feel pissed off about something, I’d just write it out.
You know what happened with those things I wrote out? They became educational blog posts and social media posts that helped people better understand the value of what I was providing.
So essentially I was turning my pain into my POWER by creating a whole bunch of content that helped clients and potential clients understand the value my services were providing for them.
This is exactly what has helped me attract higher-vibe clients who pay me my full rates without asking for a discount and who also bring me happier, more positive experiences all-around.
How Do You Help Someone Understand the Value You Provide?
You Create Content that Helps:
- Educate others why a product or service you offer is valuable
- Educate others on the individual benefits of your products or services
- Show others the amount of knowledge + wisdom you hold within you
- Show others the results of what you created from the work you’ve done
- Educate others on how to do some of the things you already know how to do (which usually helps them learn what you do or what you create takes time, talent and skill and isn’t exactly “easy.”)
My favorite way to add value is through blogging, which is a form of content creation that can continue to work for you long term.
By creating SEO and social media optimized blog posts that are packed with information, I can educate people, help my business get noticed more organically, and potentially create more passive income streams that help supplement my income.
When you create content that not only helps open the minds of others but also helps them get to where they want to be, you will start to attract more clients who are completely happy to pay you your full price.
Business Mindset Tips
Coming from a more abundant mindset, the key thing to keep in mind is that we never want to take away from anyone or anything, as this just leaves them or us feeling empty.
Instead of taking away, we can put more focus on adding value.
Educate your clients and potential clients in any way you possibly can, without giving away too much at once (save some stuff for your paid products or services)!
If you get a question that comes up often, this could be something you take INSPIRED ACTION on by creating a blog post, an automated message in an email, an ebook, an FAQs section, or some other kind of resource they and other clients can turn to get answers.
This way you don’t have to spend more time explaining something or answering the same questions over and over again.
Related: Business + Blogging Resources
With clients who ask for discounts… you gotta look at this person as someone who just needs to be educated. Or, they could be someone who just needs a little more time and experience running their own business to truly understand (I’ve learned it could be their ego, an energy block from a trauma, a subpersonality, karma, or a mindset limitation that’s getting in the way).
Have compassion for these people and stay neutral. Don’t let their limitations get you bent out of shape. It’s never personal, it’s just vibrational. 🙂
Quick Tip: Instead of offering discounts or sales, you could try offering gifts (who doesn’t like gifts?!)
Here’s an example of an offer that gives rather than takes (away from you):
“For a limited time, when you purchase this ________ you’ll also receive a FREE ________!”
Interested in Energy Healing?
I wholeheartedly believe that energy healing is the answer to all of life’s problems. Our brains respond to the energy in our energy systems, so a shift in mindset isn’t always possible on it’s own; you gotta heal the energy first (energy blocks from traumas)!
Check out this video by Christina Lopes for a great explanation of this: 5 Killer Ways to Build Self Confidence and Power
If you are interested in healing at a much deeper level, I’d love to recommend you to my Psychic Healer, who I’ve been working with over the past few years. She is THE REAL DEAL and has helped me tremendously!!!
Please feel free to reach out to me for more information!
I Want to Hear From You!
What are your thoughts about this? Do you struggle with worthiness? Is your business suffering because of it?
Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!