Did You know that low self-esteem is the root cause of underpricing your services?
So I recently fired a client who gave me anxiety. I was so relieved to get rid of her though she’s only my second client. I had quoted a lower price than I was comfortable with because, well, I wimped out. So being rid of her was good for me. Now she’s begging me to do the work (I guess she figured out the hourly rates for copywriters were at the minimum twice what I quoted.) Anywhooo, I’m almost tempted to double my quote and take her on, but I know that would be bad for my health and self worth. Please talk me down from the ledge of cheap hoedom.😿😿😿 #Iknowmyworth #Iknowmyworth #Iknowmyworth #Butlegomindstormbeexpensiveaf #hallpppppp
The above was I post I wrote to my Facebook mentor group, desperately seeking guidance from what I now call the “cheap hoe syndrome,” as it tried to suck me in during my early freelancing days. I was newly restarting my freelance business, with children to feed and not enough money coming in and I was desperate. The client I referenced in the post was a nightmare! She was demanding, condescending, disrespectful and had no regard for my policies, personal time or humanity. On first meeting said client, she made sure to let me know to call her by her government granted credentials and wanted to know my background. In retrospect, I had seen all the red flags, but like a thirsty romantic with rose-colored glasses, I dove in, willing to sell my soul for cents on the dollar.
Of course, like good mentors should, mine talked me off the ledge and reminded me that there were good clients, who would pay me for my services and not cause me to lose my hair and faith in my abilities. You see, at the time, I was a chronic sufferer of imposter syndrome. In case you’re wondering what that is, it’s where you feel like you don’t truly know what you’re doing and soon everyone will discover you’re a fraud. This phenomenon affects experts and newbies alike and is usually caused by low self-efficacy or a warped disbelief in our own abilities. I would often spend hours on end researching before I would write anything and then stay up all night editing and proofreading in fear of making a mistake. I was a writer, after all, is what I would use to justify my fear and paralysis, but deep down, I didn’t trust myself to do good work, no matter how prepared I was.
Why Self-esteem affects your business.
The barefaced truth is, in business, you ask for what you believe you deserve. The value you place on your self, products, services, and time determines how far you will go and how fast you grow. Often, when people are afraid to set boundaries or ask for sufficient compensation, the clients and customers they serve sense their hesitation and lose faith in their ability to perform competently. Whether true or not, people associate confidence with competence so displaying insecurities directly affects the way you, and consequently your business, is perceived.
In order to overcome the trap of feeling “not good enough,” I decided to increase my aptitude and set some scary goals I could use as my confidence boosting lampposts. So, whenever I had a task that seemed outside my core competence, I would remind myself of some of the audacious goals I had smashed in the past and that would calm me down. Then, I would break the task into manageable steps, which would put not only me but also my clients at ease and on the same page.
Now, while low self-esteem is often portrayed as stuttering and nail-biting, there is a flip side to low self-worth that is not often discussed and that is overcompensation and overpromising. I’ve met many egotistical, under producing braggarts in the line of work I do. It’s quite easy to pretend you’re bringing in the stacks when you’re the only one with access to your bank account. Here’s the problem with over promising and under producing though, one day, someone will discover your fraudulence and that can quickly topple your entire business. The trick in all this to ensure you improve your self-value and work on creating value for your customers. By doing this, you improve your belief in who you are, instead of wearing masks of confidence or lying about your abilities.
How to improve your self-esteem and increase your net worth without working harder.
You know the expression “there is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success”? Well, time, technology and people born rich have proven that statement wrong. The truth is, hard work doesn’t always pay off and many people who are truly successful do not work very hard. So now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about how increasing your self-worth can help you be better in business and increase your bottom line.
- Increase your competence: Since self-esteem is linked to your perception of self-competence, developing your abilities and setting your goals as an entrepreneur will help you define what success means to you and how you measure it. Setting your own standards allows you to carefully map out your path, analyze your progress and document your victories to keep yourself motivated and improving.
- Set boundaries: While improving your skills and getting more efficient, your values will ultimately lead to higher standards. People who work on self-development and goal achievement tend to be more secure about what they accept, the respect they command and how focused you are on achieving your goals. With the momentum spiking, your efforts will start showing the results you desire and the cycle of growth will increase your income and well being.
- Track your success and lessons: Many people focus way too much on their failures, feeling guilt and shame while never uncovering the lessons hidden in the experience. Noting your big wins is amazing and empowering, but those can be few and far in between. So, while waiting for the large targets, make sure you keep track of the smaller wins and try to learn something, even if it’s what not to do again, from your failures. Doing this will help you determine what steps you need to take to further your personal and business growth.
- Mindfulness and self-acceptance practice: Living consciously and doing the inner work for self-acceptance will help you erase the false beliefs you harbor, take responsibility for your growth and assert yourself more confidently. Mindfulness practices help you determine your purpose in life and business, foster personal integrity, and answer the hard questions like: do I trust myself? Do I work at developing my skills? Why do I feel like I don’t deserve success? And what are my inherent beliefs about money and success? After you’ve dealt with your limiting beliefs, and believe me, this is an ongoing practice, the question you want to really zoom in on is am I pursuing something I enjoy and do I spend time improving my abilities? Equipped with this valuable information about yourself, you now have the power to create the reality and business you desire. There is no greater power than knowing yourself, so take the time to get to know what you’re good at, what you need to improve and how to go about making that happen.
Building your business takes work in all aspects of your life. Paying attention to your beliefs and the things you accept about yourself gives you the capacity to make the changes that increase your confidence, enhances your potential and promotes momentum. When all these elements align, you will no longer undervalue yourself, nor will you underprice your products and services. If you have read this far, then you realize that you may be a candidate for self-improvement. Just keep in mind that improving yourself is a lifetime journey as is increasing your value in business and life.
One major step I took to gain unshakable confidence is my business is to build systems by outlining my processes and procedures. If you think you could use help doing the same in your business, then check out my last blog post on systemizing or click on the button below to schedule a free consultation session to help you get started.