How Do You Determine Your Worth?
When I look back on what led us to begin our business nearly 20 years ago, one of the reasons was trying to answer this question.
As an employee you work your hours, draw your salary and exist within that familiar construct. This is the route most of us take, and I remember loving some of the companies I worked for, their cultures, and the people. Of course, I also disliked some of the companies, rules, traditions and a few of the people, too!
The realisation hit me, that in order for me to determine ‘my worth’ I needed to find out what that was, by starting a business. Not everyone can do it, many try and fail, and I have been fortunate to find a worthy business partner to share the pressure! We have probably had as much failure as we have had success over the last 20 years. At the same time, whatever success we have had, has been through determining what our time and services are worth and selling them accordingly, to people who ultimately, appreciate the value.
Potential clients who in the past may have thought we were ‘expensive’, were projects I often felt depressed about not getting. I couldn’t understand where we had gone wrong in our enthusiasm and creativity. I’ve examined this very closely and think our inability to demonstrate the value, led to us not getting the work – rather than us, over-valuing what we offered. I know this, because other clients did go on to book us. Many major brands embedded our sales models and those clients still use our stuff today. Those we have trained keep in contact because they perceived us as ‘worth’ the investment.
The ones where, for whatever reason, it didn’t work, well, whatever they did book, it must have been a better option for them.
In trying to determine our ‘worth’, some of the mistakes I’ve made would include, and not be limited to;
- Not getting in front of the decision maker.
- Expecting 2nd tier influencers to resell what we offer, on our behalf.
- Forgetting to ‘test intention’ before sending a proposal.
- Being overconfident between a phone discussion and a first meeting.
The last one happened to me not that long ago, so I am very far from perfect. I had what felt like the perfect phone conversation with a potential customer. The ‘invisible monster of no’ suddenly emerged between that call and the eventual meeting. Nothing was said, there was no communication, no hints. Sometimes you just know as soon as you sit down. So I am still learning.
I need to make sure I don’t take it personally. The downside, when it is your own business, is that it’s hard not to take it personally.
I am proud of what we have achieved as a company over the last 20 years. For those of you who know us, I hope that you will continue to work with us, because you see the value in our experience and approach, and for those of you who don’t, I’m sorry if we didn’t get across our value well enough. That said, why not take another look?