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I hear these statements all the time because I so often work with start-up, or not-yet-successful, business owners:

  1. I’m not sure what I should charge.  I’m really just starting my business.
  2. I don’t have years of experience at this, I’m not sure I should charge the standard rate yet.
  3. I don’t know how to talk to people who ask me what I do.  I have no track record to show them.
  4. Can I really sell services for which I have no “proof” yet?

There is no reason anyone has to apologize or feel they don’t deserve to be paid because they are “starting a business.” Even people who have been in business for “awhile” often find reasons to downplay their skills and unconsciously apologize to their clients for not being “good enough – yet!” – often for year after year.

When “real, out-there-in-the-world” business people start a business they don’t worry about the fact that they are just starting and become apologetic about their offerings.  They say, “We are offering a new and great product!”  They just figure out how much they need to charge to pay themselves, keep the company running, and have a profit for future business development.  No apology.  Then they march out into the world to find clients.  (FYI – you don’t need to “march!” )

Small Business Owners need to approach the world in the same way!  A lot of us were taught as children and young people that we have to prove ourselves… FIRST… before we can stand tall and announce ourselves and our services/products to the world.  Not so!

Try embracing this statement:  “I  know I can do this.  Right now I have all the skills I need to to produce a great product for my clients or offer stellar service to my clients.”  Say it aloud until you recognize the truth of it.  Say it until it is inside your bones!  Say it until your truth-filled bones hold you up as you go out into the world!

Yes, you have to make a living.  Yes, you sell things that are more pricey than a pack of gum.  Yes, you need to find a way to connect with people who can pay you.  But those are marketing issues… not self esteem issues!

Start living the reality that:  “I have a place in the world and I belong here.  I can stand as tall as anyone else and market my products and services to the world!  I don’t need to discount.  I don’t need to charge less.  I don’t need to cringe.  I don’t need to gather years of experience.  I can start marketing myself now, from right where I am!”

That’s what “real” business owners do!  You do it too!  And then you take the feedback you get from the world and keep modifying until marketing becomes a “dance” with the world around you.  I can happen for YOU!


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