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I’ve been watching my clients – and myself – this past year around the experience of charging fees, asking for payment, suggesting folks re-enroll in our programs, etc., and here’s what I’ve found…

Very few people like asking for money, and no one finds it easy – we universally hate it.

Why? 

Because asking for money brings up thousands of insecurities and doubts.  We’re scared to look money in the face, and to put ourselves out there, formally stating where we stand in a value equation.  And we’re unsure of our worthiness.

Folks tell me that when they ask for money from clients or customers, questions swim inside their heads about value, impact, and “appeal.”  They fear that asking for money is the opposite of being “pleasing” to people, and will be a huge turn-off.  (For a fascinating discussion around if we should worry about what other people think of us, see Jonathan Fields’s recent post “What Other People Think IS Your Business.”)

In tough times like these, consultants, coaches, practitioners and entrepreneurs struggle hard to stand up for what they want/deserve in compensation or fees, fearing no one will pay.  And in the end, many aren’t sure themselves what their services are worth.

At the root of this money challenge are shame, doubt and insecurity:  Am I good enough? How can I put a value on what I offer?  Will there be enough people to pay this?  Will they come back?  Did they think my work was a good value?  How do I fare against the competition?  Did I give them great results?

While I continue to struggle with asking for money, I’ve found greater success this year only after figuring out beyond a reasonable doubt what I feel my services are worth.  I didn’t make the numbers up – I did the work of obtaining valid information and feedback.  I conducted diligent, open-hearted research – with clients, competition, experts, role models, the marketplace, etc.  I asked my clients how they assessed the value of our work together, and the impact it made in their lives.  And I left my ego at the door when these conversations occurred. 

Asking for money IS hard, but it gets easier when we become crystal clear about what our services/products are worth to those we serve.  Once we know in our hearts and minds what to charge, then it’s time to speak up and ask for it. 

Curious about your thoughts – Do you find asking for money hard, and what makes it easier?

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