Shame & the Money Script That is Standing in Your Way

When you wonder about pricing your offerings, what’s the script that runs in your head? My bet is it’s something along the lines of “I’m not worth [that much, a higher price, others paying that].

Rarely is it “The work isn’t worth it.”

This money script is all about shame.

Shame is this feeling we get that something is wrong with us and that somehow we are flawed or inadequate in a way that makes us unworthy of a connection with other people.
Brene Brown

That’s the trick, isn’t it? We know deep down that each of those transactions, each time money & goods change hands, that it’s a connection with another person. A living, breathing human being.

Shame, that “most primitive” of human emotions, tugs at us when we go to set a price and forge a connection. “No,” we say, “I’m not worth it.”

What is also implied, of course, is that your customers aren’t worth that deep personal connection, either. By pricing the offering too low or not bringing it to market at all, we don’t let our customers exercise their own worthiness. They can’t connect with us and our work.

How do you replace this shame script with a positive one?

Ask yourself about the value of the work. As I said, rarely do we say “The work isn’t worth it.”

We know it is. How much is a website worth? Often over a million dollars over its lifetime. How much is losing weight worth? Medical bills reduced and years added to life. How much is jewelry worth? The priceless feeling you get when you put it on.

Put the emphasis on the work. Put the emphasis on the value. And don’t just try to imagine it – when has that ever worked?

Quantify it.

Run the numbers. How many shopping trips saved? How many sleepless nights avoided? How many good relationships gamed? How much peace realized?

Certainly, the value of your work is not so easily quantifiable. But that’s really the point. The work is worth it. The work is worthy.

The worthiness of that work is the tie that binds you & your customer together. It provides the gentle reminder that you are worth it and that she is worth it.

You’re not worthy because of your work. You’re worthy because you’re you. But the work is a tangible product of that worthiness.

Set your price accordingly.

— PS —

I had a Twitter conversation with Brenda Johima last night that I felt compelled to add to this post. I tweeted that, “It’s never to late to set financial goals higher than you ever dreamed possible.” And she replied that she’d recently done just that, told a few friends, and then was immediately deflated by their reactions.

Unfortunately, you & I both know this is a common story. I’ve been there myself.

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to find yourself worthy of making friends who understand & believe in your big goals. The friends you have now want to protect you – and what you’re doing is scary. The numbers you’re throwing around are downright crazy.

Find new friends who realize that scary and crazy are exactly what you need right now. It’s not that you need to ditch your old friends, just that a business needs friends too!

And where to find these magical people? Well, I’ve found mine (Megan, Adam, Amanda, and so many others) on Twitter. Cliche but true. Maybe you’ll find yours at the local coffee shop, the conference you just signed up for, or in the program you’ve just started.

But make an effort to find that core group of people who are willing to help you draft plans & strategies just as crazy as your goals.