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What’s Your Work Worth?

by Tara Gentile
best, featured, money & life

What's Your Work Worth?Wouldn’t it be great if you could run your business without tackling the tough questions about value and worth? Focus on your passion instead of price? Not going to happen.

You might love what you’re doing, but you’ll only be profitable if you don’t sell yourself short. Setting your prices can be a daunting task because you’re forced to step out of your comfort zone and come to terms with how valuable the work you really love to create actually is.

It might seem easier to adopt the unhealthy attitude of “I love what I’m doing, so who cares if I’m being short-changed?” but it’s not a sustainable long-term strategy. Plus, you’ll be a lot happier and more confident if you take the time to get this right.

Establishing the value of your work and getting comfortable both asking for and making money should be a liberating, enlivening and invigorating experience. But how do you get to this point? You must recognize the value of your work from your customer’s perspective, not just from your heart’s perspective.

It’s impossible to establish your work’s worth if your own self-interest is the starting point of that work. Your work is only worth monetary value if it’s also worth something to your customer, so instead of focusing on your relationship with your passion, focus on your passion’s relationship with the consumer. It’s only when you define this relationship that you can truly define your work’s worth.

Consumers don’t always purchase material things because they need them. They purchase material things because they crave them, and your work is only worth a buyer’s money once it transcends your own personal passion, and focuses on theirs. Think about of your passion as an opportunity to serve others, and your work will immediately become worth more.

People won’t buy your artisan perfume because you love making it. They’ll buy it because it offers them a one-of-a-kind luxurious experience. They’ll buy it because your perfume gives them something they can’t give themselves, a sense of empowerment on a first date or feeling of beauty.

An independent bookshop owner doesn’t simply love reading. He loves sharing his passion for books with others. He’s creating opportunities for his community to get their hands on best-sellers, to expand their horizons, to take a moment out of their day and escape life in a great work of fiction.

The interior designer doesn’t only have a passion for staging fancy furniture. She helps families turn their homes into peaceful oases, she creates rooms where people can come together and make memories. She offers comfort, vision and creativity to her clients, and above all she makes their homes unique. She offers them a service they can’t achieve themselves, and her work’s worth is invaluable because of it.

Of course, it’s not enough that your customer recognizes your work’s worth. You have to be confident that you’re offering a service worthy of a high price, and disregard any insecurity you might have about demanding top dollar for your goods.

So, how do you set your price point? Quantify just how much your work is worth. Run the numbers, and you’ll find it’s a lot more than you think.

Buying a piece of handmade jewelry is worth more than the metal it’s made from. It’s worth the money you save from feeling better in all the clothes you already have instead of impulsively buying new things. It’s worth the promotion you get because you walk into the interview with confidence about how you’re presenting yourself.

If you concentrate on your work’s value rather than the product itself, you’ll realize it’s worthy of your customer’s hard-earned money. Understand your work’s worthiness, set your price point accordingly, and don’t be afraid to dream big.

Learn more during my creativeLIVE workshop The Art of Selling What You Make

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Tara Gentile

Tara Gentile is a creativeLIVE instructor, business strategist, and the creator of the Customer Perspective Process.