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FV 11 | Charging Your Worth

In This Episode:

  •  Why are women not as confident as men?
  •  How does this lack of confidence affect how we show up in our businesses
  •  How can we repair this confidence issue to show up as our best selves

Listen to the podcast here:

Stop Charging Your Worth

“Charge your worth” is a phrase you hear a lot in online business circles. I used to be a huge user and champion of this phrase, but then I realized, this phrase is really just part of the problem. Every time I see it, I roll my eyes so hard. It hurts.

We’re going to explore how tying money up with worth is a symptom of the patriarchy and what we really should be charging for instead. Let’s get started.

I’m keeping it short and sweet. I think this might be the shortest episode we do so far. Stop charging your worth, the end, but really, charge your worth is a mantra that you hear repeated over and over in the online business world.

Everyone says this from business coaches to people who used to charge peanuts and now they charge big bucks. They’re all saying this phrase and giving this advice, but it’s wrong. You cannot charge your worth. It’s impossible.

You can’t charge your worth because your worth is not tied to how much money you can make. The idea that worth equals money is the patriarchy and capitalism all rolled into one little baby pitfall.

If you want to learn more about hustle culture and all that stuff and how it relates between capitalism and then patriarchy, go read that episode, Capitalism and The Patriarchy. We don’t do that shit here. We don’t feed into the patriarchy.

As I was doing a little bit of research for this episode, I came across this amazing article in The Atlantic. It’s a pretty long article, but it is well worth the read. It’s got a ton of information in there.

Some studies, which I’m going to talk about here, and then some anecdotal stories, which I think were really great. That article talks about confidence and why confidence matters as much as competence, which is knowing what you’re doing, if not, more than competence.

You can't charge your worth because your worth is not tied to how much money you can make. Click To Tweet

Men are socialized to have confidence in spades. I’m not saying there aren’t unconfident men out there, but for the most part, if you’re a socialized as a man, especially a white man, you’re taught that your ideas matter and that you should always speak up.

You should always seek to be heard and understood by the people around you. What you have to say is important. Women are socialized to believe the opposite. We’re socialized to make ourselves small, to not speak up or stand out, and to not be too forceful.

You don’t want to offend anyone. You don’t want to speak out of turn. You don’t want to say the wrong thing to the wrong person. There’s also this dichotomy of behavior between men and women.

If men and women act exactly the same, that behavior is perceived differently in the world, where men are assertive, women are bitches. Where men are leaders, women are bossy. Where men are confident, women are cocky.

These same traits that show up in men, if they turn around and they show up in women, then they’re perceived completely differently. Ninety percent of the time they’re perceived negatively, especially when you’re in the world of business.

It’s honestly normal for women in positions of power, prestige, and influence to downplay their accomplishments. If somebody will be like, “This is great that you won this award.” They’ll say how they were lucky or they’ll talk about how maybe they didn’t deserve it. They didn’t work hard enough.

There was something they could have done better or they’ll talk about all of the people that helped them get to where they are. It’s not always, but they’ll paint it more as a group effort rather than acknowledge their own achievement and be able to feel pride about that.

You see this all the time in the real world and you also see it in TV, movies, etc., which is how you know that it’s a socialized concept when you see it represented in the media that you are consuming. I know everyone reading this has watched Mean Girls. If you haven’t, go watch it. It is a delightful movie.

The idea that worth equals money is the patriarchy and capitalism all rolled into one little baby pitfall. Click To Tweet

I know I’m dating myself with this reference, but one, it’s a great movie. Two, it’s very relevant to what we’re talking about. There’s that scene in this movie where Regina George tells Cady when she kind of first meets her that she’s really pretty.

She’s like, “You’re really pretty.” Cady just says, “Thank you.” She’s not been socialized in Western culture so she just accepts the compliment and says, “Thank you.” Regina flips it around on her and makes her feel self-conscious for saying thank you.

She’s like, “Do you think you’re really pretty?” As if accepting a compliment without any sort of caveat or deflection is a bad thing. It’s that kind of socialization that fucks with our heads.

It puts us in a place where we don’t feel like we can accept that kind of accomplishment, compliment, accreditation and recognition for what we’ve done.

There are actual scientific studies that show that women routinely underestimate their own abilities, their learning, their own education, their own ability to do or complete something. While men tend to overestimate them, even when their ability level is almost exactly the same.

That is wild to me, but not unsurprising, honestly. It’s if you have a man and a woman in a room and they both know how to do exactly what they’re about to do, odds are that the man is going to feel more confident about it than the woman.

One study referenced in The Atlantic article asked men and women to complete a test, for example. They scored about 80% when they took it. Actually, they took it three times. The first time they took it, the women scored demonstrably worse than the men.

They found that it happened because the women weren’t answering a lot of the questions. They didn’t feel confident that they could answer it correctly, so they weren’t answering it at all. They made them take the test again. They said, “You have to put an answer for every single question.”

Where men are assertive, women are bitches. Where men are leaders, women are bossy. Where men are confident, women are cocky. Click To Tweet

When they did that, they scored almost identically the same at around 80%. When they took the test a third time, they were then asked if they felt confident in their answer.

Asking this simple question about whether or not they feel confident in their answer changed their test scores. Women’s test scores dipped to 75% accuracy, while men increased to 93% accuracy.

It’s like you ask men how they think they’re doing and they remember how awesome they’ve always been told that they are. You ask women how they think they’re doing, they second guess themselves and they change their answers.

If anybody has ever asked you, “Do you feel good about this?” I’m working with a mindset coach and she asked me these questions. I’m like, “There’s this terrible thing that I did way back in third grade and that’s obviously become a part of who I am as a human.”

She’s like, “We’re talking about this one thing that you did yesterday, not the third grade.” We tend to do that. We tend to stack up every terrible thing, every mistake, or every wrong term we’ve ever made. We make these things mean something about ourselves.

This socialized female phenomenon is why we need to stop charging our worth. If you don’t think highly of yourself. You don’t think very highly of your education, your experience, your accomplishments, and you still decide to charge your worth, you’re not going to think you’re worth very much.

If you let your worth decide your prices, your revenue, and your profit, odds are you’ll not make as much money as you could or should be making. Odds are you’ll feel dissatisfied with the amount of work you’re doing in exchange for the amount of money you’re being paid.

I know I certainly have been there where I charged what I thought I should be charging based on the “worth” of the services, which at one point in my career was literally like $8 and $12 an hour. Certainly not enough to live on when I’m also self-employed and paying self-employment taxes, and all that stuff.

If you let your worth decide your prices, revenue, and profit, odds are you'll not make as much money as you could or should be making. Click To Tweet

If you charge what you think you’re worth, you end up feeling really resentful and frustrated of the work that you’re doing and the people that you’re working with. As if someone is going to come in and say, “You only charged $12 an hour, here’s $20.”

No one’s going to say, “Here’s $20 if you’re only charging me $12.” It’s up to you to set those prices and those expectations. When you’re tying how much money it is you’re bringing into your work, you’re undercutting yourself especially if you don’t think very highly of yourself.

The wage gap still exists even in the world of entrepreneurship where we’re all choosing our own prices. I think this is because too many women are following the advice to charge their worth. They’re not charging enough because women have a difficult time believing they’re inherently worthy of existing.

I was talking with a friend about our pricing in my company. I was giving her numbers and she was like, “That’s how much you charge?” To me, I’m like, “We’re going to have to bump up our prices at the end of the year.”

To her, she was like, “That’s so much.” It varies from person to person. I’ve done a lot of work on this personally over the years in starting my business because I’m not interested in charging my worth anymore.

The value of my services has nothing to do with my worth. I am inherently worthy because I exist. That’s the thing. If too many women are following the advice to charge their worth and they’re not charging enough because they have a difficult time believing that they’re inherently worthy of existing.

They’re not making the money that they want to make. That’s okay that you don’t believe that you can charge more. You can charge for something beyond your worth. No one has raised you from birth with the message that you are inherently worthy because you breathe air into your body and you exist.

I’m here to tell you that you are worthy just as you are, how much money you make, how many clients you have, how successful your business is, what your family looks like? None of that changes how wordy you are as a human being. Stop charging your worth, okay?

How much money you make or how successful you are has absolutely nothing to do with your worth. Click To Tweet

Instead, I want you to charge for the value of the service you provide. I want you to charge for your level of expertise. I want you to charge for the results that you bring to your clients. I want you to charge with your owner’s pay and profit in mind.

How much money you make or how successful you are, has absolutely nothing to do with your worth. This is not an easy lesson to unlearn.

As we’re still continued to be socialized in this way, this message is constantly being fed to us in the media and by our friends and family who are still internalizing this message.

It’s a message that you’re constantly having to remind yourself, “Isn’t true,” which makes part of this work a little bit more difficult. You have to be really vigilant about this because you’re still being fed this systemic societal message that all these things are dependent upon your worth when it’s not true.

It’s an important lesson to unlearn, even if it isn’t easy. I want you to go out into the world. Remember that you are a beautiful goddess and I want you to charge for your services, not your worth. That’s it for me. Bye, all.

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