Folks, we’ve got a middle problem.
The Middle Problem is all about choosing not to choose. It’s about fearing either side. It seems like the easy way when really it’s the hard way.
The Middle Problem shows itself when you’re brainstorming taglines, pricing products, and writing your copy. It keeps you from enjoying your work, moving forward with a sense of purpose, and finding customers who truly love you.
You’ll notice The Middle Problem most in the pricing of those who aren’t confident in their products or services. They’d prefer to keep the prices low instead of making claims about their work. Maybe they don’t have a lot of experience and are substituting cheap for practice (hint: “cheap” only makes things cheaper). Maybe they think that, because they’ve had a difficult time getting customers thus far, they can’t really charge what they’re worth.
Worse still, they might not know what they’re worth.
You might think, “What a bargain!” Or you might think, “Really? That’s kind of a lot for that…” Or you might even feel sorry for them. When someone has a Middle Problem, you just don’t know what to think sometimes.
You’ll also notice The Middle Problem in someone’s bio, on their services page, in their product descriptions. Maybe she’s got experience in all sorts of fields and doesn’t want to choose one (or invent a new one!) now. Maybe she’s been burned one too many times before. Maybe she’s just not-quite-confident enough to say what she really does so she says she’s a jack-of-all-trades.
Do you really want to hire a master-of-none?
People in the middle want to feel safe, instead they feel unappreciated and unnoticed.
They want to feel fair, instead they feel taken advantage of.
The Middle Problem is the thing I see plaguing under-performing businesses most often. When you stand for something plain & simple, when you declare your expertise, when you charge what you’re worth, it’s easier to get noticed. Sure, some people noticing you will realize that you’re not the business for them. They would have figured it out anyhow… or caused you heartache trying.
In the Middle, your prices are too high for the bargain shoppers (do you want to go lower?) and too low for the shoppers looking for quality. In the Middle, you’re working more than you’d like and don’t have the fun money to make up for it. If you’re going to work when you need to be doing other things, might as well get paid well for it.
Does this sound like you & your business? It’s time to get out of the middle.
How to Poop or Get off the Pot:
- Know what you’re good at. I mean really, really good at. And don’t guess. Ask people, do research, work for free until you figure it out. Discern what your true gift is.
- Get better at what you’re good at. You are not born ready for your first day in business.
- Look at your competition. How are they positioning themselves? What are they charging? How are they organizing information? What will you do differently and what will you do similarly?
- Set your prices to respect yourself & your clients. If you’re not making enough to do the best work, your clients are getting cheated. If you’re not earning enough to ward off stress & resentment, your business won’t last long. Set your prices so that your customers get your best work and you get your best life. Now that’s fair.
- Communicate your work without wavering. Got a blog? Newsletter? Twitter? Use them to talk passionately about your work. Make strong statements. Say big things. This is your time to shine; use it.
What’s your experience with The Middle Problem? Have you recently gotten out of the middle? How do you feel living in the extremes?
Leave your response in the comments below!