What am I worth? Why is it that so many of us struggle with the answer to this question? And it’s definitely not just women either – I have just as many male clients with nebulous answers to that powerful question.
There are countless ways to answer that question but monetarily seems to be the one that comes to mind first for most folks. Have you ever considered why someone charges $25/hour for their time, and others charge $250/hour, or even $2,500/hour when living in the same city and doing similar roles? I have. I ponder it frequently when creating new exercises for my clients to truly understand the concept of self-worth. You may think it has to do with skills, but what if I said the person charging $250 is actually far more skilled than the one charging $2,500? How might you interpret the disparity then?
The perceived value of diamonds
When I think about worth I am reminded of diamonds and the De Beers story. Diamonds are made of carbon, one of the most common elements in the universe. Diamonds are 100% carbon, just like graphite (the core of a pencil). The only difference between those two are the bond structure of the atoms. So then why are diamonds five million times more costly than graphite gram for gram?
In 1938 the De Beers diamond company launched one of the most successful advertising campaigns in history—one that has forever altered the engagement tradition—implanting the idea that the depth of a man’s love is only qualified by the size of the diamond he buys. Countless news sources and blogs have mentioned the inflation of diamond prices due to the De Beers diamond cartel artificially controlling the supply of these very common stones, and yet so entrenched is the perceived value of diamonds that people continue to purchase them.
My business logo features a diamond for this very reason: I firmly believe that we choose our own worth. If we are convinced of it, wholly and truly, then others will not question it. Like everything else in life, it all comes down to what we believe, in this case, what we believe about ourselves.
What are YOU worth?
What are you worth? You simply cannot look to others to answer that question; it has to come from inside you. The more you look to others for the answer, the more they will offer you their own beliefs about what is possible and, that tiresome concept, reasonable. I often recall human behaviour specialist Dr. John Demartini’s saying, “any area of your life that you don’t empower someone else will overpower.”
When I first launched my Brain Training and Coaching company Intrinsic Brilliance, one of my coaches—a highly successful businessman who created and automated his coaching business before creating a training company that won a BRW Fast Starters award—told me I was over-charging at $75/hour. He advised me to begin like he did, by charging $20/hour. That did not sit well with me, especially after having paid him $20K to accelerate my learning. It felt wholly incongruent with the value that I knew I was offering my clients.
And for a while there, as a result of his comments, I doubted myself. I questioned my own worth, wondering if he was right; if the reason I wasn’t attracting as many clients as I wanted to is because I didn’t feel like I was worth what I was charging. My intrinsic brilliance kept shouting at me: No, no, no, NO! Do not let his stuff become your stuff. You know you’re worth every dollar and much more of what you charge.
I firmly believe that we choose our own worth. If we are convinced of it, wholly and truly, then others will not question it.
The results of self-doubt
As it turns out, that self-doubt was affecting my ability to attract clients, not the price of my services. Once I began working with another coach who, instead of suggesting that I’m not aligned with what I’m charging, championed me and helped me to see the true extent of my worthiness. My self-doubt soon disappeared, and with it, any difficulty attracting clients also vanished.
I am owed nothing, but I am worth everything. Most importantly, I remain grateful for whatever comes my way. I set the price of my time the same way Sydney property developer Sam Kassis sets the price of his homes, based on what feels most congruent to him, not what the market dictates. He’s learned the lesson many of my clients have: the asking price is irrelevant as long as you are wholly aligned with it.
I know that once you journey toward connecting with your intrinsic brilliance, you began to understand the depths of the inherent value that you offer the world just by being in it and playing the game of life. Do you know how valuable you are? Connect with me for a complementary discovery session to help you see yourself clearly.
Divya Hemnani is living brilliantly and blissfully in Sydney, Australia where she gets her jollies from helping others learn to connect to the wisdom within at the Intrinsic Brilliance Institute.