TALKING ABOUT MONEY SUCKS…BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO

Talking about money makes most of us squirm even when we have time to prepare.

Think back for a moment. How did you feel the last time a friend or coworker asked how much you were making? Or maybe you’re crafty and you sell cool earrings on Etsy. Do you feel weird telling your friends what they cost because you have this sinking feeling you should be giving your stuff away, not selling it.

Trust me I get it. Being direct about money isn’t comfortable for most of us.

JenNash Shareable: "Get comfortable talking about your fees, rates, etc. and you’ll be paid back in spades."

Last week I made it to a networking event outside of Manhattan, to support a friend who runs it.  As a way of introducing themselves, every attendee stood up and took one minute to explain what they did, and what kind of clients or referrals were a “win” for them. Pretty cool idea I thought. Seemed like a great way to get a bunch of people in a room and quickly explain your business model.  

After we’d gone around the room, Julie, a young stylist stood up and gave a 10 minute presentation on her company. She explained how she worked with clients and detailed how she could rework some outfits  or do an overhaul on an entire wardrobe and take her clients on shopping trips. Julie gave us the full scoop before she wrapped up her presentation and sat down.Oddly enough… she never once mentioned what she charged.

So of course, I asked her what she charged.

Her eyes literally rolled back in her head for a second, as she braced herself for “that uncomfortable conversation.” I couldn’t help myself as I thought, “There’s that face… the ‘I hate talking about money’ face!” And that’s exactly what it was. But she took a deep breath and ran the room through the different pricing structures she offered. Her rates seemed reasonable to me, so I gotta wonder why the discomfort.

Do we think we should be working for free?

Are we embarrassed to charge a “reasonable” rate?

Do we think that whatever number we share will somehow alienate everyone within a 1000 mile radius?

Or do we think more people will like us if our rates are lower?

We can’t work for free. Our pricing won’t alienate people. And people won’t like us more just because if we’re more affordable.  

If your work, goods or services are worth $500 people will happily pay $500 for them. They’ll be delighted to pay $300 as well, but the lower price isn’t likely to win you any friends or clients. If anything being perceived as overly affordable makes people wonder “What’s wrong with that company? Why are they so cheap?” In my blog post “Best business advice I got after graduating from University” I talked about how it’s better to always figure out what number will make you happy. If your client needs a lower price, trust me they’ll make that happen. You don’t need to assist them in undercutting yourself.

JenNash Shareable: "Argue for your limitations (financial or other) & they’ll be yours! Start shooting for the moon & you’ll always come home with stars."

Ready to see how bold you are when it comes to talking about money?

Ask a friend what they make and ask them how they got that salary. Was it what HR offered or did they go online and research the different salary ranges offered to that specific position?

Talk about it. Like two grown humans who aren’t walking away from something that smells nasty-funky.

Want even more of a challenge?

-  Tell a female family member you’ve realized women don’t discuss money enough and ask her to tell you about her financial life. What percentage is she saving for retirement? How is she saving it? See if she’ll break it all down, and maybe even tell you what she makes.

If we don’t start getting comfortable talking about money when it’s low stress (with friends and families) how can we expect to feel grounded and secure when we’re negotiating a contract with HR or a new client?

You can do this, I’m 100% behind you and I’m curious to hear how it goes.

I hope you'll share your thoughts and experiences below.  

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