A while ago I was doing some publishing work for a client. It was a special job — almost everything about it was custom. At the time, I had never done a project to that scale.
So, naturally, I underestimated the work and ended up underpricing myself pretty considerably.
But it wasn’t until halfway through the job when I realized just how money I left on the table: I quoted him $500 for what ended up being a much bigger job.
I did a quick calculation of the number of hours I had spent up to that point and I was making considerably less than minimum wage.
That’s when I was faced with a tough decision: charge the client more money or stick to my principles.
I could have probably gotten more money out of the client. But it went against my principles, so I decided to finish the project at the agreed upon price.
When it comes to potentially straining a business relationship, even the tiniest bit, I will always forego the money instead. And this principle has worked out pretty well for me…especially in this case.
As we wrapped up the project, the client said, “D/C you did a great job on my book and were a pleasure to work with. I wanted to wait to tell you this but I also own another company and I’m gonna need you to write that book for me.”
Naturally, I agreed. Then he said, “Oh and one thing we didn’t talk about yet is the bonus you earned from the first project.”
I brushed that off and said, “Let’s just focus on getting you what you need and we’ll figure all that out later.”
I could almost feel a wave of calm rush over him when he heard me say that. Long story short, I ended up earning a breathtaking amount of business both from and through this client.
And it’s all because I was straight up with him. I quoted him the price and that’s the price he paid. I stayed true to my own values and it ended up profiting me enormously in the long run.
The decision to keep it real not only gave me the opportunity to grow my business and quit my 9-to-5, but it provided me with an unprecedented level of skill and confidence with money.
If each dollar is one abundance experience point, then I must have dinged at least 3-4 times in one project. Now I can cast higher level abundance spells, earning me exponentially more money per unit of energy output.
Honestly, the turning point in my finances came when I began genuinely focusing on providing value to people, rather than extracting income from them. And if I’m totally straight up with myself, this came right after I got baptized in the name of Christ.
I’m not saying this is the only way…all I’m saying is that I don’t know. I’m just giving you the facts.
I had tried many times to “focus on providing value” but I was unconsciously doing it for the sole purpose of gaining for myself. Needless to say it never worked.
But at some point in my training, it legitimately became more important to me to give to others than to receive for myself. Seriously…what seemed like days after I started doing this, money started pouring in from lots of different places.
If you’re not genuinely in the space of freely giving, don’t do it just because you want a reward. Do it just to do it. Do it because it feels good. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Do it because it changes the world in more ways than you can fathom.
In fact, forget about the money altogether. It’s not even there. The money is just the messenger for smiles. The piece of paper is simply a vehicle to transport the care of one human being to another.
It’s a way of validating someone else’s existence instead of just your own. When you take even a few minutes to truly ask how you can provide value to someone else, you’ll earn their trust almost immediately.
People seem to want to give you money when you put their needs first. But when you’re “sales-ey” and transactional, people look at the expense as a burden and a chore. And often people will only buy from you if there’s no other reasonable option.
It’s a rare thing in this world to sincerely put others’ needs before your own. But if you do this, people will be begging you to take their money. It’s true…I speak from experience.
When I have clients, I consider them clients for life. I can easily win their allegiance simply by being a real dude with the honest intention to help.
And if you’re ever talking to a client and wondering, “Shoot, shoot…how can I provide value to this person..?” then just shut up. Because often the best thing you can do is just listen.
Listen carefully to what’s important to them and they’ll gladly pay any price you name…
…over and over again. 🙂