If you’re a business owner, you must learn how to identify and manage your money blocks on an ongoing basis. It’s a problem that particularly affects women and it usually affects how they price their products and services. But solving any pricing problems you have isn’t simply a case of looking to increase your prices - you need to work on the mindset side of things too.
It’s a subject I was chatting with Catherine Morgan about on my recent podcast. Catherine is a financial coach and qualified financial planner. She helps women feel better about money, as well as helping them to drop any anxiety, blame, judgement and guilt around it.
The philosophy of charging what you’re worth is a flawed one. Your worth may not be very high, especially if you have low confidence or an issue with receiving money. The way we feel about money is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. If you don’t feel deserving to receive money, you’ll also struggle to price well and get clients.
Because money is about three things - how comfortable you feel to receive it, how to keep hold of it and how to give it to others. You’ll have a natural over bias in one of those areas, which impacts how you act around and with money. You can’t just focus on the strategical side of pricing and money. You also need to look at the emotional baggage you carry around when talking about money. It’s those emotional elements that drive the narrative of your story.
Social media and the world around us impact what we ‘should’ be doing and how we ‘should’ be acting with our money. These all set the expectation of judgement. We then base our decisions and actions around what we think others expect of us, rather than what is right for us as individuals.
There’s more baggage for women. Sometimes historically and genetically we are perceived as the caregivers. Our responsibility is to look after everyone else’s needs rather than our own. We step into a superwoman mode to do everything and be everywhere, which can often lead to burnout.
Even our lifecycle (family, having time out of work etc) creates a gap, where we take time out of our career and don’t always have the money to put aside for investments and our pension etc. The beliefs we carry also stem from this, and it causes financial conflicts - such as believing that outearning the man can be a threat to them.
As a society today, we still don’t accept certain aspects around how a woman should be running a business. We’re not very good about investing, as it’s seen as the man’s thing. But when we do invest, we’re more likely to choose ethical investments and ones that do good for the planet and things that support other businesses. When we have money, we do good with it.
Start by looking at your relationship with money. The way we behave around money is driven by how we feel. How we feel about money is driven by the stories we tell ourselves and have learned growing up around money. So to change the money beliefs, you have to address all areas. You need to follow this 6 step process.
What stories were you told around money? What did your parents say or not say? What did you observe? How did you feel about money, particularly around the age of 7-8, when you would have established your relationship with money. You need to establish the child narrative, not look to change the adult beliefs.
Does money not grow on trees? After all, money is paper, and paper comes from trees! Do you really have to work hard, or are there people who work fewer hours and make a lot of money? Where’s the evidence to support the belief and also prove it’s not true.
For example, working hard is a choice; you may be a hard worker, which can be a good thing.
How are you limiting your growth and your lifestyle? How are you limiting the clients you’re working with? For example, working too hard can lead to burnout.
What would happen if you flipped the belief over and it no longer existed? What would be possible for you? What would be possible if you charged £50 instead of £30? What impact would it have for you? How would it be if you just worked 30 hours instead of 45? This can help you plan ahead.
Those narratives will form the emotion and the behavioural change.
[To help work out your money personality and the relationship you have with money, Catherine has created a quick quiz for you. You can check it out here.]
There are many beliefs hooked around being a people-pleaser and helping others, which can limit your pricing. You may feel that you can’t charge an amount, as it would mean you’d be receiving it and someone else wouldn’t. Deciding to look after others before yourself can also lead you to give more of your time and not charge enough for your products and services.
There’s a direct correlation between how you value time versus how you value money. Look at your time and not just your pricing! How are you giving time away, and how are you undervaluing your time? It’s the one thing you can’t get back, but it’s often one thing you don’t value enough. Pricing discounts can help you feel safer due to the people-pleaser inside who wants to keep you safe.
You can make a difference in the wider world when you earn more and price well. And you deserve it. It’s how it reflects on how you feel about yourself. Get to the bottom of why you’re where you are financially before you can move on from it and reach your financial goals.
The way you feel about money is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Focus on the emotional relationship you have with money, then the behaviours. It’s a constant journey - acknowledge that as well as the money blocks you have. New ones will pop up all the time. Work through them as they arise and be conscious of what you’re saying about money to yourself, your children and others around you. It’s your chance to change the impact you have on them, as well as the relationship they’ll have with money and those of future generations.
Listen more to my podcast with Catherine Morgan on addressing money blocks to earn more money.
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The Pricing Queen podcast is produced by Decibelle Creative