We always see little phrases here and there that clue us in to our society’s issues around money and the “noble poverty” mentality. For example, “Oh, I don’t want to get rich from this…” That type of thing.
And sometimes I will hear or pick up on things where it’s almost as if some people don’t feel they deserve to earn well. Sort of like a “This is good enough, it would be greedy to want more.”
Granted, we all have different ideas of what financial “success” is. One person might think it’s making millions; for others, it’s six figures. Heck, I think a lot of people feel if they can just keep a roof over their head, they’re doing fine, lol.
For me, I live a simple life by choice and don’t have much materialistic wants or needs. Not that I don’t have any, but I just have never been the type who yearned for the status of mansions and Bentleys and keeping up with the Joneses. Know what I mean? I value experiences more highly than things. When it comes to things, style and quality is more important to me than how much something costs or whether it has a designer label or is a status symbol.
A six figure income for me is plenty and I live a great life. I think for anyone in a service profession such as ours (where overhead and operating costs are practically nothing, relatively speaking), the $100,000 mark is an excellent initial financial goal to strive for.
Generally (and, again, I’m referring specifically to our kind of service profession), when you are able to get near that mark, you are making a healthy profit to sustain the business and most likely earning far more than you ever did as an employee.
(Side note: I’m not saying anyone should “settle” for only ever making $100,000 a year if they have higher aspirations. That’s not what I’m saying at all! In fact, those who are able to achieve that first six figure level increase their confidence and business understanding commensurately and go on to earn much more beyond that. But most people in our industry are barely earning $10,000 a year and those are the folks I’m wanting to help.)
It’s a goal that challenges you to up your game and gives you a benchmark to shoot for. It’s an entirely doable and realistic goal with the right guidance and information. And once you start earning into that realm, and not living hand to mouth, there are more ways for you to invest and leverage your money so that it grows from there.
Yet, I hear over and over again the little clues in people’s phrases that they don’t feel worthy of that kind of goal. They “put themselves on sale” as Suze Orman oftens refers to it, practically apologizing for being in business and needing to charge for their services. All the “discount this, save money that” messaging in our industry is a symptom and demonstration of that belief system.
I’m just curious about people’s thoughts on this… where do you think this societal guilt comes from when it comes to money and earning well? Why do people feel guilty charging for their services? Is it a gender thing? What do you think would help people (particularly women) increase their self-esteem and feel more deserving of earning a great living? What would need to happen or change in order for them to feel good about charging better and feel confident in asking for their fees?