Have you ever found yourself working with someone who you knew was far from your dream client? But you agreed to work them even though your inner voice was strongly advising you to say no.
Or what about finding yourself in a coffee shop having yet another “pick your brain” session giving away your free guidance and advice? But you know this person isn’t willing to pay the price for a 1-1 session to work with you instead.
Or maybe you’ve given away plentiful discounts and freebies to try to convince your new client that you are worth every penny? But ended up not earning enough and struggling to pay your bills.
I’ve found myself in these situations too.
Because there are many lessons to learn when you are a soulful petite business owner. One of them is knowing the value of your worth.
When you know your worth life becomes a lot easier. You find and connect with your dream clients with ease and flow. You are able to do your best work with confidence and conviction. You love your work and serve with joy. Knowing your worth is transformational for you and your business. You believe in yourself and have unwavering belief in the value you provide.
But doing the inner work is a continuous work in progress. Something we repeatedly have to pay attention to. This requires ongoing maintenance. You have to be vigilant. As sometimes we lose sight of our self value and it trips us up.
We may find ourselves saying yes. When we really mean no.
We may quickly sign on the dotted line. When we really need to read the small print.
We may willingly give away our power to others. When we really need to remember the importance of owning it instead.
As well as the inner work we have to be able to find ways to cope with the uncertainty. You rarely know where the next client will come from. So you could end up saying yes to everything that comes you way just in case this is your last one for a while.
Which means there will be times when you find yourself saying yes to potential clients who you know from the outset are the not the right fit. You know you are not in synergy. You’re definitely not on the same page. But you take on the work anyway. Your logical brain has found the way to trample all over your inner guidance.
As for me, I trust my inner radar. Most of the time. My radar is pretty good at looking after me and susses people out so that I know whether or not we are an ideal fit. Usually I take on new projects and clients based on feeling and instinct. If it feels good then I go for it. And if it doesn’t I’ll consider why not.
This approach has served me well. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing soulful entrepreneurs over the years who I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and I hope they feel the same way too.
But sometimes despite all inner warnings These messages are ignored.
We don’t follow our instincts. And there are always consequences to follow.
Not so long ago I found myself working with a petite business who I knew from the outset was not an ideal fit. We were initially their clients as they did some work for us in our home. So being on the “receiving” end and me being their ideal client I knew how to market their business online and off.
My instincts were telling me to pass this one by. But I didn’t. Simply because it was a lucrative project that would tide me over financially for several months.
I knew I could help them and it had the potential to work out brilliantly. However, they were totally hands off and initially wanted me to just get on with the project on their behalf. This is not normally something I would agree to. But once again I carried on.
Maybe my instincts were wrong this time?
Maybe I could just do my best work and get through it unscathed?
So we ploughed ahead. I explained precisely what I do and how, and I was clear about what was included and what wasn’t. Everything was written down beautifully within the contract and terms and conditions.
They didn’t quibble about the price. Signed the agreement without reading it properly. Paid the money upfront and were keen for the work to begin as soon as.
Wonderful. A new client and big project woo hoo!
Except I could not shake the anxiety. Something had rattled me.
But I continued to make a start. Tried to keep everything on track. Provided regular detailed updates. Worked on managing their expectations. Made some great progress.
And as the weeks passed by it seemed no matter what progress was made. It wasn’t enough. They wanted something else. Something that was not on offer within my services. Which I did discuss at the outset. Maybe they hoped I would magically change my entire business model and offer what they really wanted all along?
Slowly my self-confidence and self-value began to slide. Chip away. The seeds of doubt growing in my mind. This was not working for any of us.
I knew my inner guidance had not failed me. The warnings were bang on. Because it wasn’t long before things took another turn for the worse. I’d find myself on the end of ranty phone calls. Receive stroppy emails in my inbox. Demanding to know exactly what they were paying me for?
If only they’d read the contract and taken a proper look at my website.
If only I’d trusted my instincts and said no, I don’t believe my services are what you’re really looking for.
Things would have worked out very differently, wouldn’t they? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. So is our intuition.
Don’t let someone who doesn’t know your value tell you how much your worth.
Fortunately for me I had done enough work on my own self value to know that this was not going to continue. Clearly they needed to find an alternative service provider who did offer them what they really were looking for. And one who was willing to accept ranty phone calls and stroppy emails. Because I wasn’t.
I am not a pushover by any means. I don’t suffer fools. I do not take kindly to being berated. This is not something I will tolerate. I am not a soft touch and will stand my ground. Regardless, this was a tough lesson to navigate. And one I was very happy to let go of money or no money.
(Eventually it came to light, I discovered I was one of many “marketing” businesses who were never enough!)
I began to consider what am I paid for? So I grabbed my notebook.
I started to jot down all of the projects I have worked on over the years. All of the courses I have studied. All of the lovely clients I have worked with. All of the first-hand experience I have gained in my entire working career and running my own petite business. All of the places I have spoken at and delivered training, workshops and key note speeches to share my own wisdom. All of the positive results and outcomes I have helped my clients achieve.
This was quite a list. (Definitely worth a moment of your time to do this too!)
Because in that moment reading the words reflecting back at me from the pages and pages of notes it re-affirmed something that I desperately needed to know to pick me up and get me firmly back on track.
Something very powerful.
Something that re-ignited my self value and self worth.
I began to see that I have something extremely valuable to offer.
I know my onions.
I know my shizz.
I know my own blinkin’ value.
And I know when to say enough is enough.
It was time to let this one go and walk away.
So we parted ways agreeing it was for the best.
Not long after I received a phone call from the next service provider who had just been on the receiving end of his first ranty phone call. “Welcome to my world” I said and wished him enormous luck with his new project.
When you start seeing your worth, you find it harder to stay around those who don’t.
We are not just what we do by the hour, or day. We are not just our packages and services. We are not just our fancy job titles. We are so much more than this.
When our clients choose to work with us they are getting something incredibly valuable. Because we all come with an abundance of insights, invaluable knowledge, a history of lessons learnt, tried and tested experiments and plenty of successful outcomes. We know our onions.
There are things that are unique to us and only we know. Someone else may offer a similar service. May have a similar job title but they are not you.
We all have a valuable pot of wisdom and expertise that you cannot put a price on. Our pots are priceless.
And as well as outcomes and results, it’s these pots of wisdom that our clients really pay us for.
As a soulful petite business owner it’s likely you give far more than is expected of you. You probably always go way above and beyond your remit. You show up and do your best work over and over again. You love what you do and try to help and serve as many people as you can. You will take care of your clients because you care about them and your work. You over deliver and likely undercharge.
But Never lose sight of your true value.
Because if you know and consistently demonstrate your self value only then will you attract the ideal people towards you who see and feel your value too.
Sometimes we take projects and clients on and we’re not sure how things will play out. We take a chance and everything works out beautifully. And that’s great. We don’t have a crystal ball. However, what I am referring to here is when you know right from the outset something is not right, but choose to ignore the warning signs. That’s when you run in to tricky situations that become even trickier to get yourself out of.
We all have every right to say, thanks but no thanks!
Make a note of everything that’s in your pot of wisdom. Put it somewhere safe where you will see it.
So that if you ever forget your self value. It will serve as a very important reminder for you too.
We all face hurdles, challenges and sometimes tricky clients who give us brilliant opportunities for growth and transformation. And it is essential when you feel less than enough you have trusted people around you who not only have your back and support you with kindness and encouragement. They will openly remind you when circumstances are testing you to your limits of your magnificent pot of wisdom and incredible value.