You are what you charge

When I first went into business, I would prepare for sales calls by spending twenty minutes in bathroom, quoting my fee in the mirror. 

It was humiliating. But that’s how scared I was. And in those early years, you have to take your confidence where you can get it. 

Of course, there’s nothing more maddening than the first time you actually do get the guts to ask for the money, and the prospective client doesn’t balk or even blink at the price. All you can think to yourself for the rest of the day is, damn it, I should have asked for more. 

My mentor once told me, if they say yes too quickly, you didn’t ask for enough. 

It’s a helpful principle of negotiation that I’ve always appreciated. Because it makes the process riskier. It invites you to add a little bravery to conversation an advocate for yourself. To look in the bathroom mirror, believe that you’re a welcome presence who’s creating value, and demand that you get paid what you’re worth. 

Even if that price makes the other person shift in their seats. 

It’s like my yoga instructor says. Better to feel slightly crappy during class than to suffer all day. 

The same principle applies to asking for the sale. Better to grab your balls and quote a uncomfortably high fee than to leave money on the table and hate yourself all day. 

Remember, you don’t get any bravery points for undercharging. Follow the fear. Use it as a foothold on the path to true aliveness. 

And remember that if you’re not scared, your dream is too small. 


What am I not charging for that people are telling me that they would pay money for?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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