“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” ~ James Goldsmith
Start from the beginning with Part 1.
Most people make the decision on what job they choose based on what it will pay. If they were to take the money out of this decision-making process, I wonder if they would take it. Would they take a job that wasn’t fun, the one that was far from home, that was for a company they despised, or to do work they said they would never do again. How about one that takes you away from your family for months at a time.
When I was a contractor in Iraq, I got to see many men come back for their second year in a row after being home for three weeks or so. I remember one ole boy from Texas, was like, “Man, it sure was tough getting on that plane. My youngest was in tears. I told her, ‘Don’t you wanna have a nice paid for house.’” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but I do remember thinking, no amount of money would cause me to lose two years of my daughter’s childhood.
Do you know of any celebrities who are unhappy with their current profession? Maybe unhappy is the wrong word. How about celebrities who have this deep down desire to do something else. Steve Martin started writing; Kevin Bacon started The Bacon Bothers; Kanye West started a clothing line; Shaquille O’Neal did Kazaam. My guess is they took the money out of their decision and pursued something they always wanted to do or something they loved. Well, maybe Shaq did Kazaam for the money.
I often hear people say “yeah but you have your freedom.” This usually comes after I make a comment about how nice their stuff is. Nice house, nice truck, nice everything. Even though the have this great paying job that affords them all these nice things they still look at me and wish they could do what I do. They can. All they have to do is take the money out.
As a small business coach, one of the things I ask my clients when they are considering a small scale start up is what they intend to charge. Then I mention to them other, more successful business coaches out there immediately say to double that number. “Why,” they ask? Because the typical person out there trying to start their yoga teaching, message therapist or Etsy shop enterprise is a little insecure and thus underestimating their value. (I’m not picking on anyone here. Most of us are unsure of ourselves when we start something new.)
First thing that comes their mind is that they will lose customers. Believe it or not, that’s the whole point. What if they lost half of their clients? Well, they would have half the workload and would continue to bring in the same amount of money. Also, all those people that left would make room for new clients at the new price.
Two business owners I worked with, eventually raised their prices and it made all the difference in the world. Some people complained and went elsewhere. Some people balked at the high price but paid anyway. And some didn’t blink twice. They are the customers business owners want. These are the ones I want. I had to hit rock bottom before I took my own advice.
My company came close to not making payroll one too many times before I decided “That’s it.” I said. “Time to raise prices.” I didn’t care who we pissed off because it didn’t matter. We were not going to stay in business much longer if we continued at our current rate. We did lose customers, but our income went up. Enough to get all my guys, who were all fathers or soon to be fathers, health insurance. It was the best business decisions I ever made. No wonder I suggest it to so many people.
Those customers I and my clients lost guess what? Our life is better for it. People who complain about price are going to complain about other things too. Life is better without them. I for one do not want to do business with someone who is hiring based on our price. I’d rather their decision be based on the work we do, which is easy because we do great work.