That’s the question I asked to begin the talk Adam and I gave at SXSW. A few audible gasps and pairs of wide eyes later, I knew I had everyone’s attention.
What would it take to charge 10 times what you’re charging now?
This isn’t a “charge what you’re worth” question. It’s a question aimed at forcing you to fundamentally question your work, your product, and the value they provide to the end user.
You may need to double or even triple your prices now to bring your work into the market it needs to be in, to attract the right customers, to pay you a fair wage — but 10 times? That requires you to reevaluate.
How would your product or service need to change?
You might need to drastically improve workmanship. You might need to customize each piece to the specifications of the user. You might need to innovate beyond anything currently on the market. You might need to enhance a particular detail to differentiate it from any competition.
At 10x the current price, what does your product or service look like?
How would your customers need to change?
You might need to serve a different customer. You might need to change from B2C (business to consumer) to B2B (business to business). You might need to educate your customers on the longevity, artistry, or message of your product. You might need to better understand the people you want to serve.
At 10x the current price, how do your customers look different?
How would you need to change?
You might need to get comfortable with your ability to create such a thing. You might need to try buying something you love or need desperately in that price range. You might need to get to know people who command those kind of prices. You might need to change your inner monologue or your understanding of what sets off your financial anxiety.
At 10x the current price, how would you think of yourself differently?
Why aren’t you making these changes? Why aren’t you in the high-end market? Why aren’t you seeking the highest levels with your product or service?
Sure, there are legitimate reasons you may choose ignore your own ideas about what could take your product to the next level. But have you even given yourself the opportunity to formulate those reasons? Have you challenged yourself to imagine the alternative?
Truthfully, thinking about this “10x” question brings on some anxiety for me in my own business. At the same time, this question gets me pretty excited too.
When I first started my business — with moxie & motivation but little in the way of business smarts, I charged $25 per hour for social media marketing services. You can roll your eyes but please don’t judge, I didn’t know any better.
What I offered was no different from the average joe offering social media marketing services. Nothing special. I got work because I did it locally.
Over the last 3 years, my business has evolved exponentially. I have changed my hourly rate many, many times. I now charge over 10x what I charged per hour back then. And more people than ever are willing to pay that rate.
I don’t offer the same service, work with the same people, or think of myself in the same way. I now do long-term, intensive, collaborative business coaching with idea-people. I have a methodology. I have a clear perspective. I know the results I empower others to achieve. I have a wider base with much deeper needs. I am supremely confident in what I offer.
Asking myself what it would take to get from $25 to $250 per hour made a big difference in how I crafted my entrepreneurial evolution. Even if I didn’t know I was asking that question at the time.
Now, no excuses. I’ll ask you that same question: