September 23, 2021

Just How Much is Your Advice Worth?

I’m still taken by surprise when that happens.

When someone expresses the smallest appreciation for something I might have done.
When someone articulates even the tiniest gratitude for something in my behaviour; my character.

My heart swells.
My soul soars.
And I can feel my face radiantly beaming.

What’s more, my mind seems to come alive as a result.
Alive with wonder and courage and possibility.

It really doesn’t take much, does it?
So very little is needed to make us swell and soar and feel bathed in the light of the tiniest element of praise.

But then our culture teaches me to dismiss such appreciation.
As if is to be dutifully avoided.
Bad for us.

So, I mumble and blush.
And I self-deprecate.

“Really, it’s nuffin’ to be proud of.
I think I was just having an exceptional day.”

We’re so used to the cutting, carping culture of criticism that suffocates our world today. It’s as if we don’t feel ourselves worthy of very much at all, in our natural state.

It’s as if our sense of worth has been squeezed and battered out of us since our earliest years.

That child, for whose protection, parents would have unhesitatingly given their very lives.
That child – reaching adulthood – now deems themself worthy of very little at all.

And so, we constantly, brutally, gruellingly feel a need to prove ourselves to feel worthy!

No wonder we struggle with conversations about our fees!

No wonder we’re confused about how to charge appropriately for our hard-won skills and carefully-honed talents.
No wonder we underestimate just how valuable – nay, life-altering – our work can be.
No wonder we submit to the temptation to desperately shout to the world how good we really are.
“Look Everybody! Look at Me!”

I think back to what I used to set as my minimum annual fee.
Until the day that I saw my neighbour paying their once-a-month gardener more than I was charging my clients.

Now my gardener is good at what he does.
He’s luverly to work with.
And yes, his help is valuable.

But really?

When I finally woke up to the impact of my work.
The worth of what I do…
The worth of who I have become…
I finally had the confidence to set fees which reflect that impact.

Those fees literally multiplied!

Which is why I’m so grateful that I’m now part of a community whose conscious habit is to regularly express genuine appreciation for each other.

I wish every person reading this could be part of such a community.
Because they would beam and swell and float and soar far more frequently.

The evidence shows that they would think more brilliantly.

Their business would feel that impact, in a very real, measurable sense.
And so would their very soul.