Of Money and Why You’re Afraid to Ask for More

You’ve managed to avoid it the whole meeting.

You were confident, well-informed, articulate. The client (customer, potential employer, buyer) seems impressed and is willing to do business with you.  All that’s left to do is discuss the money…


 What happened??

[label]I’m not a money expert nor am I immune to any of the afflictions discussed here. This is a solid attempt of the blind leading the blind.[/label]

One way of understanding a fear is by rationalizing it. Picking it up with your bare hands, turning it over in the light and inspecting it with a magnifying glass while doing your best Sherlock Holmes/ Sheldon Cooper impression.


In whatever-thousand B.C, money was created to represent value that can exchanged for goods and services, making it possible for people to form complex networks and markets all over the world. Today, it represents much more than commercial value in the eyes of society. Hard work. Intelligence. Skill. Education. Even God’s blessings somehow seem to manifest as money. All these extra meanings we’ve attached to that ‘piece of paper’ is what makes it such a personal and sensitive subject, placed in the same filing cabinet as dirty laundry or ‘what I did last night’ topics.

If we’re this squeamish about discussing money (with actual numbers attached), you can imagine how tangled up it gets when discussing cost, budgets, fees and salaries in our business and careers. Do you want to be a starving artist?? UM, NO.


(holds the stone closer to the light)


The problem here is not that we don’t want money…it’s that we’re mortally afraid to ask for the amount we want because we feel like we don’t deserve it.

How much am I actually worth? Exactly how much of that paper do I deserve? If someone up there could just reach down and bestow a price tag on us in the form of heavenly validation, that would be great. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen. No one is ever going to validate you. Even if they do, that’s their subjective opinion. People can talk all they want but the only person who can decide how much value you bring to the table is you. So instead to devoting so much time looking down on yourself and flip-flopping about your prices, how about you work out the shillings and cents of your equation? It is a beast that must be tackled, and sooner rather than later. The sooner you can figure out the price tag, and set it down in stone tablets Moses-style, the better off your business will be. So it has been written, so it must be paid.


Step One: Figure Out Your Value.

Step Two: Put A Number On It (Several Numbers For Diverse Offerings).

Step Three: Set It In Stone.


Then for the love of Moses, open your mouth and ask for it. Don’t let that first client meeting end without nailing down a budget. Say it confidently to the HR doing the hiring process. Understand the logic behind your price points enough to explain it confidently when asked. You can also decide not to explain yourself. It’s your choice. It’s your value. And at the end of the transaction, it’ll be your money.

Don’t short change yourself.