Shame & the Money Script That is Standing in Your Way

When you wonder about pricing your offerings, what’s the script that runs in your head? My bet is it’s something along the lines of “I’m not worth [that much, a higher price, others paying that].

Rarely is it “The work isn’t worth it.”

This money script is all about shame.

Shame is this feeling we get that something is wrong with us and that somehow we are flawed or inadequate in a way that makes us unworthy of a connection with other people.
Brene Brown

That’s the trick, isn’t it? We know deep down that each of those transactions, each time money & goods change hands, that it’s a connection with another person. A living, breathing human being.

Shame, that “most primitive” of human emotions, tugs at us when we go to set a price and forge a connection. “No,” we say, “I’m not worth it.”

What is also implied, of course, is that your customers aren’t worth that deep personal connection, either. By pricing the offering too low or not bringing it to market at all, we don’t let our customers exercise their own worthiness. They can’t connect with us and our work.

How do you replace this shame script with a positive one?

Ask yourself about the value of the work. As I said, rarely do we say “The work isn’t worth it.”

We know it is. How much is a website worth? Often over a million dollars over its lifetime. How much is losing weight worth? Medical bills reduced and years added to life. How much is jewelry worth? The priceless feeling you get when you put it on.

Put the emphasis on the work. Put the emphasis on the value. And don’t just try to imagine it – when has that ever worked?

Quantify it.

Run the numbers. How many shopping trips saved? How many sleepless nights avoided? How many good relationships gamed? How much peace realized?

Certainly, the value of your work is not so easily quantifiable. But that’s really the point. The work is worth it. The work is worthy.

The worthiness of that work is the tie that binds you & your customer together. It provides the gentle reminder that you are worth it and that she is worth it.

You’re not worthy because of your work. You’re worthy because you’re you. But the work is a tangible product of that worthiness.

Set your price accordingly.

– PS –

I had a Twitter conversation with Brenda Johima last night that I felt compelled to add to this post. I tweeted that, “It’s never to late to set financial goals higher than you ever dreamed possible.” And she replied that she’d recently done just that, told a few friends, and then was immediately deflated by their reactions.

Unfortunately, you & I both know this is a common story. I’ve been there myself.

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to find yourself worthy of making friends who understand & believe in your big goals. The friends you have now want to protect you – and what you’re doing is scary. The numbers you’re throwing around are downright crazy.

Find new friends who realize that scary and crazy are exactly what you need right now. It’s not that you need to ditch your old friends, just that a business needs friends too!

And where to find these magical people? Well, I’ve found mine (Megan, Adam, Amanda, and so many others) on Twitter. Cliche but true. Maybe you’ll find yours at the local coffee shop, the conference you just signed up for, or in the program you’ve just started.

But make an effort to find that core group of people who are willing to help you draft plans & strategies just as crazy as your goals.

Continue the conversation...

33 comments on “Shame & the Money Script That is Standing in Your Way

  1. As usual, your are right on! Our work is our story and our potential customers are happy to exchange the right value for that part of us we are worth. Informed and educated customers are that kind of people willing to pay the right price for our goods and/or services.

  2. Victoria says:

    I think that it’s all too easy for me to “cut and run” on friends who don’t agree with my vision or my goals on the first try.

    I agree that we should seek out people who are positive, uplifting, and help us grow, but we should also be aware that even those people may not be enrolled in our ideas the first time around – or ever. For me, I’ve found it immensely powerful to know that not everyone will see or understand my vision, but that I should go for it anyway if that is in line with my integrity. Being up to big things is new for a lot of people – and scary like you mentioned. When people say “no” or “don’t do that” it just means they weren’t enrolled in the possibility you created for yourself – not the end. Try that convo again, and again, and again (while also reaching out to different people), until you sift your goals and dreams into something that really speaks to you and others.

  3. Janet Davies says:

    Bravo, Tara! I’ve enjoyed so many of your posts but to me, this is the best one so far. You put this idea into words that really went straight to my heart.
    Agreed, finding friends who will support your wild ass ideas is so important while still keeping your nay-saying friends. Your following through with the crazy big ideas might open doors for them that they never knew they could walk through.
    Thank you, Tara, for this terrific post.

  4. Dan McKinney says:

    I love this post and mostly for the PS. A pricing game-changer when you stop thinking about cost, time, and self worth. And start thinking about what is the total included value to the customer of the product/service. I was advised ,one time, that value is the difference between what a customer has (skills,time, materials, means) and what a provider has. For example, a product may be simple to make (low cost) but the product can be priced high because the customer does not have the skills to make it and neither does a competitor

  5. Shantini says:

    Tara – your blog post is absolutely amazing! I was in the middle of typing out an email to a possible client who wanted to know my rates (I’m a writer/copywriter/editor). I was struggling with a shame script when I noticed your name in my Inbox and felt compelled to open your email. SO glad I did! I feel so much better and ready to look at what my work is worth – with new eyes :-) I love what you said: you’re worthy because you’re you. Thank you Tara, you’re a star!

  6. Emmanuelle says:

    Thank you for this post Tara, and especially for the PS! Imma share it with new friends in the program I have just started :)

  7. Jess Morris says:

    Exactly where I am sitting with self valuing and pricing my work accordingly to how I feel I am worth. I am offering a service, a personal service, one-on-one service, that no other human could provide, so it’s unique/special/beautiful and valuable. Like me :) And, honestly I only see practitioners, by art or a service from another who values themselves, so why not offer that service myself. I will get very little from undervaluing myself, except constant!! reminders from myself (I got a big one recently). Follow your life’s passion, love what you do, and value/price yourself accordingly. Nuf said! Thanks for offering the space to share your views and have others respond, Tara. God Bless :)