What would it take for you to charge 10x your current price?

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:

What would it take to charge 10 times what you’re charging now?

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for writing this post! It definitely came at the right time for me. As an online video editor/coach, I’ve changed my service offerings and rates plenty of times. I now charge more than other online video editors after getting feedback from past clients who have loved my work – they’ve helped me realize the value in my work and my art: I don’t just cut and slice your video footage, I turn that footage into a story that also matches your brand to the T. (So it really helped listening to my clients’ feedback) I’ve also changed my services by thinking about the same questions you posted here and made sure that I provide as much value as I can to my clients for choosing to work with me.

    My business transformation is still not complete though. Since online video production is quite new, the range in service providers is very wide. When you wrote “You might need to educate your customers on the longevity, artistry, or message of your product.” — this definitely spoke to me. I’ve been thinking about creating a post about exactly what it entails when working with video.

  2. emily says:

    An inspiring read, Tara. I love the way you think, and I love how it encourages me to think.

  3. Joanne says:

    Tara,this one has me confused. I keep thinking of this: The corporate luxury market has always known how to charge 10x based on ” meaning, connection and experience” for their clientele. America’s wealthy class have always wanted to associate/ differentiate themselves this way. Are you dedicating your business to the 1% and suggesting we all do the same? Will DIY handmade business find a place alongside the new coaches, agents & design stylists ? Will raising our perceived value change the current culture? Natalie Chanin designs hand-sewn clothing for an upscale market while proudly providing a living wage for her cottage industry employees in the USA. Feels like a circle I have lived through before in America. Sigh. The truth is I have imagined rethinking my brand to appeal to a narrower group of people who love my work for its honest connection to their own lives and can afford to pay for original quality. I wonder if those 2 qualities intersect somewhere that I can access from my own values. Eliza Doolittle? Truth or dare? Thanks for the challenges.

    • Tara Gentile says:

      Hi Joanne! Thanks for your comment. The point of this post was to leave you a bit confused — and definitely asking questions about where you truly want to take your work.

      I actually have a firm belief that “luxury” is not only a privilege of the 1%. We all splurge on things. What I spend good money on, others would balk at. What they spend good money on, I would never dream of investing in. For too long, luxury has been about keeping up with the Joneses and what I propose is that we all get comfortable making our own decisions about what’s important to us — and vice versa, what’s important to our customers.

      Businesses that are based on things being made by hand absolutely must pay those makers a fair wage (yes, I mean pay yourself!) and that doesn’t mean minimum wage or even $15 per hour. I believe a fair wage for a make must start at least $50 per hour in order to account for tasks that are not “hands on” the product.

      We’ll explore this question of does “luxury” mean only marketing to the “rich” VERY soon because it’s a subject near & dear to my heart.

      I hope you’ll keep reading! We have so much more planned in this line of conversation!

    • Adam King says:

      I wonder, Joanne, if your real question isn’t really about only serving the 1%?

      Perhaps your real question is why do you dislike that idea in the first place? What is it about serving that audience that intimidates or even infuriates you?

      Perhaps the end of your confusion is actually found in answering those questions instead.

  4. Ashley Inzer says:

    Totally triggered and excited to see you writing here again!