Are you worth it?

How to Charge and get paid What You’re Worth

Guest post by Melbourne Business Coach, Emma McQueen

I don’t think I have been called arrogant, well not out loud at least! One thing is for sure - I know my worth. When I first stepped foot into my business full time, I knew I was not the cheapest. I knew that I might be seen as expensive. And I knew that the right people would find me, or I would find them. 

A potential client named Anne called me. She had been highly recommended to have a conversation with me about some career coaching. We talked about what an engagement would look like, what she wanted out of it, and what we thought we could do together. I didn’t dilly dally on price. I just put it out there, and if she thought it was valuable and that I could help, we would do business. If she didn’t, we wouldn’t, no hard feelings.

I had been talking to Anne about the type of women I had helped get paid what they were worth, doing jobs they loved. She was very excited. Towards the end of our conversation, she asked me if I would discount my price because she felt I was too expensive. Boy!, this was a challenging and ironic conversation to be having. I had a choice to make - to play above the line (taking personal responsibility) or below the line (finding it easier to deny, blame or excuse).

Not one to shrink from a challenge and an opportunity to use my courage in a subject I am very passionate about, it will be no surprise to you that I chose above the line. I told her that it didn’t feel right for me to be discounting my price based on her perception, and that I talk about getting paid your worth and she had asked me to discount that. The irony was a little lost on Anne. You see, if you don’t value yourself, no one else will. 

Time and again I see women accepting positions, career changes, and salary that I know are lower than what they are worth. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, even though the percentage of women in leadership roles has increased, pay equity still requires work with the gender pay gap sitting at around 15%.

The thing is that we, as women, ARE DOING IT TO OURSELVES. Not all the time, not in every situation, but when we talk about “women supporting women”, I don’t think we mean “my friend has a new business, so I will ask her for a discount”. Rather, it means “my friend has a new business, so I will pay full price, AND I will tell everyone I know about her new business, AND I will do whatever I can to support her”. Am I right?


Three ways to value yourself and your customers

So, how does one start to make an impact? Here’s what I do:

1. I choose to play above the line

I choose to play above the line* because I refuse to play any other way. I was clear with Anne about what she was asking for and told her how I felt about the ask that she was making.

2. I choose to see it as my issue

I choose to see it as my issue. I had not demonstrated enough value to make it worthwhile for Anne, and in no way did I excuse myself from the conversation.

3. I give some alternatives

In this example, I gave Anne some alternative; in the form of some online courses, reading and some other coaches to contact.

* Find out more about playing above the line at

My point is, if you do not value yourself, no one else will. Why should they? Why should someone else value you if you do not value yourself? And if you do not value yourself – why not? What can you do to help lift your self-esteem, to push away those loud voices in your head telling you that you are not worth it? 

Here is where the rubber hits the road (I don’t even know why that expression has been coined that way really), but there is only one person who can fix this, yes, it is you. It’s getting some help to come up with some strategies to park that voice. I work with many women who struggle with this as well. If you would like some help with this, reach out, I would love to have a chat.

About Emma McQueen

Emma is a Melbourne-based business coach and mother of three daughters. With over 20 years experience in recruitment, human resources and leadership development across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, as well as the realm of small business, Emma knows what it takes to get results in business.

Emma’s superpower is seeing the possibilities everywhere, even when people can’t see the possibilities themselves.

She works one-to-one and via her group coaching programs to provide passionate business women with the guidance and support they need to make them feel empowered and reach their full potential.

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