Building Self-Worth, Building a Business

…some of us decided we’re more valuable than what our circumstances were leading us to believe.

Spot on, Adam. We decided.

I decided.

I have a theory that many people don’t charge what they’re worth or leverage their income potential because their circumstances are giving them [what they believe are] clear signals that they’re just not worth it. These circumstances take the form of:

  • compensation at a previous job. How do I charge more if I’ve only ever been paid very little?
  • working conditions. I don’t need to make more money because I’ve got it so good.
  • lack of experience. I get great results but I just don’t have enough experience.
  • family pressure. No one takes me seriously. How can I take myself seriously?
  • ignorance of the market. People can’t afford what I need to charge…

If this was just about money, some decent pricing formulas and an open mind would solve these problems. But it’s not just about money, it’s about understanding your own personal value.

It’s about taking your heart & mind as seriously as your bank account.

It’s about saying NO to resentment, disappointment, and frustration.

And about saying YES to ease, joy, and love.

It’s about saying NO to stagnation and status quo.

And about saying YES to momentum and forward progress.

My business started taking off in the Fall of 2009. By taking off, I don’t mean making tons of money. By taking off, I mean clients, emails, inquiries, and work.

My primary role was still that of mother, errand-runner, and cook. My business was just starting to take on a role of its own.

When work started rolling in, I didn’t have a system in place to handle it, financially, logistically, or otherwise. I didn’t know what to charge and I didn’t really understand why people wanted to pay me.

My own perception of personal value was on the rise but it was nowhere close to where it should have been, where I needed it to be.

I was in a constant state of resentment, frustration, disappointment, and stagnation (see above). Yes, business was moving forward but to what end? Where was it moving to? Would I like my business or myself when I got there?

After working a few months of crazy hours with no self-care system in place, a friend sent me a link to another web designer’s site. That web designer, graciously, had her prices listed. I discovered that I was leaving at least $1500 on the table every time I took a job.

I was shell-shocked.

I realized, at first in a wave of recognition and then slowly in coming to terms with reality, that I could do this without the resentment, frustration, et al.

Slowly but surely, I started raising my rates. I started understanding why people were coming to me. I started feeling more confident in the work I was doing.

And not-so-slowly my personal value perception changed. I found my way back to self-respect and self-love.

Let me clarify, becoming more confident in my personal value – feeling better in my own skin – was not a result of making more money.

Making more money was a result of being more confident in my personal value.

Business – the process of building & manifesting my own great work – was the process I needed to reclaim the person I always knew I was. Business was an opportunity to be me again.

And that was someone I hadn’t been in a good 5 years.

Building a business was an opportunity to decide I was more valuable than my current circumstances lead me to believe.

Making more money didn’t make me love myself more. Each gut-wrenching step of creating a brand message, networking with peers & mentors, writing copy, developing products, creating offers, etc… brought me closer to realizing my own potential. To rediscovering my own personal value.

Creating a business you love is a great way to reclaim the self you love.

And then, quite suddenly, making money becomes easier. Not because making money is easy but because you’re more honest, more loving, more attractive to the right customers, more persuasive & positive in your communication.

Entrepreneurs, what specific steps of building a business have brought you closer to your true self? To reclaiming your personal wealth?

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  1. Emmanuelle says:

    YES! I love this: we are more valuable than what our circumstances are leading us to believe, LOVE!
    My circumstances are not who I am, they do not define my worth.

    I am in that taking-off process: regular students, inquiries for classes, some money on the side while I am still at day job. I will switch gear in a few months, but right now is when I take stock of what I love doing, like doing, what is necessary, and what I don’t like doing and don’t want to be doing when I am fully self employed. When I started a few months ago, my private classes were cheaper than they are now, but as I have more experience now I have a better view of what it entails, and I also have my students’ feedback of course. So, prices up.

    I now get it: to make more money, I will have to filter and not take on every thing that comes my way, for they might not all be opportunities. It sounded weird to me when I first came across that way of thinking, but I have learned how true it actually is. Am still making choices and adjusting though, I guess it’s a never ending process :)

  2. Ashley Inzer says:

    LOVE what you wrote Tara. I am only interested in raw reality and truth. I am only interested in what is really going on and being with each and every experience that comes my way. I know there is gold in each challenge. The transformation that has come from understanding WHY I do what I do was the beginning of reclaiming the abundance I know it available. The why of my business is the foundation I build everything on…and as I walk through each step of growing my business I gain more and more clarity about MY own personal truth. I just keep getting more and more comfortable with who I am and the value I have to offer. And I am becoming more and more ok with what I can’t do. Saying no feels amazing. My business is kind of like my personal trainer for life. And I owe it a TON of gratitude!