I once heard Rick Ciaramitaro say that the twin towers of hell were competition and comparison. Yet I am continually comparing and being compared to. Aren’t you? And the competition is fierce in business. But I think he meant this more personally. At least I hope he did because I rather enjoy the competition in business...
Like when you as a woman see another woman and compare yourself to her. She looks better than you do, she is more confident than you are or she is thinner. Many women do that all the time and men do it too. I had two guys together for a coffee last week and for a few minutes I thought I was going to be in the middle of a dogfight as they sized each other up and down and took a few swipes at each other. Wild times at Starbucks!
People are always comparing to each other and usually I don’t let it bother me but I was thinking about the way that we value ourselves and it caught my interest. I noticed something.
People seem to allow another’s comparison to brand a value or a lack of value on them as a person. For instance if I tell you that I charge $50 an hour for a service and then I wait to see if you raise your eyebrows, or if you tell me that you could get it somewhere cheaper, how will I respond to that? Will I devalue myself by wimping away and lowering my price? The comparison of others use to bother me and I use to respond to it. But more and more, I am seriously getting over it... and I think that you should too.
What are you worth? What is your service worth?
Is your offering unique?
If it is not unique then others can compare themselves to you. You have lots of competition.
However, if you think of ways to be very unique and then rebrand yourself, you can decide what you are going to leave on the table for your competition to have. You can decide what is simply not worth your time and you can let someone else have it. They will get so busy eating the crumbs you left behind you can get way ahead of them before they even know what happened. And then you have value. Real value.
When I started in business only a year ago, I was uncomfortable asking for $20/hour, but I am a fast learner and poverty is a good teacher. I quickly learned how to produce at $50/hour and by late spring I was charging $100/hour and I was pretty confident about it. Then I realized that I was worth much more than that. I had identified a unique offering and I was producing above what I was promising. So when a potential client asked me what I charged. I told him $200/hour and held his gaze. He exclaimed, “That is more than my engineers!” I responded, “Yes. It is...” and I did not look away.
The thing is though; I am worth way more than that.
And so are you!
So don’t set your value based on what your competitors are charging or based on somebody’s comparison of you. Do what you do with excellence. Do it with pizzazz. Think of ways of doing it that nobody else is doing it. Then multiply those efforts through staff and create a market niche that is so unique that nobody can compare with you. When the group of “THEY” tell you that they can get it cheaper at XYZ Company, look them in the eye and tell them squarely, “Have fun with that then. When it doesn’t give you results, I will still be here and my price may have gone up, but it definitely isn’t going to be any less than it is right now.” And let them go.
It feels good to let a few go.
Don’t let negative people devalue you. Don’t take on high maintenance clients because you are afraid of losing money. Don’t work for immoral idiots, or law-breakers, or people who promise you time and help but they never deliver. You are worth more than that.
Spend your time looking after the ones who are loyal2U. Give your attention to the ones who pay you for your attention. Create positive experiences with positive people and enjoy the journey.
Seriously, what is your value?