Fearless Friday: Determining Your Worth.
Whether you're a freelancer, a budding entrepreneur or an employee...there are two things that will help you achieve happiness and satisfaction in your job. In my opinion, those two things are:
- Asking for what you deserve AND actually getting it!
Realistically, both of these things come up with age and time. I still believe that everyone needs to climb the corporate ladder and put in their time before they can claim themselves an expert on anything.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of an expert is:
Expert: having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.
So what is the moment that you can claim yourself an expert? Do stars shoot across the sky? Fireworks? Does someone hand you a plaque labeled "Expert in...?" The answer...no. And this is where confidence comes into play...
Confidence is derived any time you've done the work. You've met and exceeded goals. You solved problems and most important of all, you gained a referral. Now that we have that figured out...how do you determine what you're worth? This is important because for years, I was severely underpaid for what I was delivering to my clients. Know what happens when you're underpaid? Resentment.
Here's a simple formula to figure out your hourly rate:
- Keep track of the hours you've worked on a project.
- Calculate your income. (keep track of those paychecks!)
- Divide your income by your hours.
- Income / Hours = Hourly Rate
- Example: $15,000 / 2114 = $7.10 per hour
And here's the good news...your rate should go up as you gain further expertise in your field! You'll be able to eyeball a project and know the exact scope of a project in no time flat.
Great, we've got that all clear but what do you do when a client low balls you? This doesn't have to be complicated. Simply, stay firm in your rate and be polite. If the client really wants to work with you and you feel it will be an asset to have on your resume, offer a 10-15% off discount and be clear in defining the hours you are willing to work on said project (don't go over!). Managing expectations is the hallmark of a successful relationship.
That and putting it in writing! Happy Friday!