Why you can't

Whenever I hear people say ‘charge what you're worth!’ – It doesn’t sit right with me…

Sure, I agree there are many handmade shops and freelancers who are not charging enough for their products and services.

But to increase your prices based on what you’re worth – is vague and fluffy – because there is no way to do so!!

Even if you could charge what you’re really worth – there’s not enough $$ in the world, because you my friend are

a unique human being, valued and loved so much that you just can’t compare to all the dollar bills floating around in this world.

Your worth and how much to charge are 2 different topics, and to prove it I’ll be diving into both of these topics in this 1 post.  If you read to the end, you’ll see how different they really are. 

I’m all for some good money mindset – which basically addresses the issues of how you feel when discussing prices with customers – If you feel bad or awkward about discussing prices, or how much to charge – this is a money mindset issue – that can be fixed! 

Also, with a background as a Corporate Compensation Analyst – you bet I was doing many market analysis on what large companies pay their employees.  There are many factors that companies look at when determining what to pay their employees, including:

  • External market rates for different jobs
  • Internal company averages and keeping things fair with existing employees
  • Navigating internal processes and procedures related to pay ranges, approvals, etc.

So wouldn’t this all be considered people getting paid for what they’re worth?  Well, since early on in my corporate career – I would see all employee salaries within the companies I worked for.  However, they were just numbers on a spreadsheet… I quickly separated the idea that someone was more valuable just because the number in the payroll system was higher than someone else’s.

If you need help with pricing your products, here is a free price template worksheet and video guide to help you determine what to charge – based on a proven formula, not on your self-worth:

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For self-worth on the other hand, I thought it would be interesting to take a Biblical perspective.  Sure, it’s easy to rely on our income or sales to help us feel good about our self-worth when things are going well, but what about when times are not so good?  Whether the times are good or bad, I’m not defining my own worth based on how much I charge or make but based on what the bible says about me. 

So what does the Bible say about my self-worth?

We’re created in His image

There is something divine about creating handmade products, or just being creative in general – whether it’s part of your business, hobby or creative outlet.  

“Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:26

We’re worth dying for – literally!

Before we did anything worthy – Jesus was willing to go to the cross and suffer for us.  Not based on anything we did, our performance or being ‘good enough’, but to display how much he loved us and what he’s willing to do for us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Self-worth isn’t a performance-based system

Jesus didn’t look at our performance and then decide we were worthy enough to die for. He saw us as we were and at our worst – broken, confused, deceived – and wanted to give us something that we couldn’t do for ourselves – make us whole again into the beings he created us to be.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

What a relief that our performance isn’t where our worth comes from… and what’s even better is that we have the option to receive more than what we could ever earn based on our own performance alone.

We each have a specific purpose and calling.

We can play a valuable part in this thing called life!  

I have a feeling His plans are way higher and way better, than I could come up with on my own. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

 “Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” – Ephesians 3:20

So now you can see why it’s so hard to tie your self-worth into just an hourly rate or a price?  It really is just a number and YOU are so much more than a number.

But you still need that money to live and survive, am I right?  If you’re in business for yourself, you still have to figure out what to charge.  If you do custom work or freelancing, you still have to talk about your prices with customers – unlike a corporate salaried job, where the earnings are directly deposited into your account without any discussions, you’ve got to be prepared to talk about these things.  But let’s base it on facts, figures or formulas, not on your self-worth, okay?