"It Ain't Free, Baby!" – Women and Micro-Business

Money’s a strange thing. We all want it – some more than others. Yet those of us raised in a Christian family may have been taught it’s the “root of all evil”. Thus we grow up with a skewed concept of money and develop a love/hate relationship with it!women struggle with money

But many women, from a religious tradition or not, struggle with making money – well not making it, but making “lots” of it! Intellectually we know we must make it to keep roofs over our head and food on the table plus a few “luxury” items along life’s way. But then how much is enough? And how much is too much?

I was pleasantly ‘stunned’ when I read a post by Michelle Barr at a Facebook group I belong to. She enlightened me (and others I might add) on how famous folks well known for their attachment to “poverty” actually held huge amounts of money in their organizational coffers. And not only held it to take care of the needs of the poor; but provided quite well – in fact luxuriously – for themselves.

Her article entitled “It Takes Millions To Keep Mother Theresa in Poverty” was a major eye-opener. In no way judgmental; but simply stating the fact that it takes cash (and lots of it) to do charitable work in the world. But that wasn’t what caught my attention. It is the fact that most of the folks mentioned enjoyed a very comfortable lifestyle so that they could be viewed as “impoverished”. Or at least helping the impoverished!

So why belabor the point? What does it have to do with us who own or partner in a micro-business? What does it have to do with women, whether of a particular faith or not, who have entered the world of commerce and want that world to provide aid, support and comfort to their lives – family, friends and charitable works-of-choice?

Everything! It has everything to do with us – with the choices we make as we start, develop and maintain a business we can realistically manage while bringing home the “bacon” each of us desires!

Let’s start with the title of this post. We all want stuff that doesn’t cost us a penny. We want “free”. We gravitate to that which is “free”. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even Pinterest – all “free”. At least when they launched. But growth can’t be sustained with “free”. So those of us who daily use any or all of the major social media platforms to expand our reach and influence, find ourselves more and more limited in what “free” does for us! So much so, that I’ve started “boosting” specific posts from our business page at Facebook. Cost is minimal, but nonetheless, it’s not FREE!

Yet those of us in micro-business get the idea – especially from others – that we must do “free” or at least as close to free as possible. We offer huge discounts to attract clients. We give stuff away, i.e. ebooks or articles free to attract potential clients. But if I want what you offer, you won’t just give it to me – and well you should not!!!

There’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. Get that in your head and let it marinate for the rest of your earthly life! While a freebie now and then is a good thing, and may add to your “leads list”; it can’t be a way of life for anyone.Your worth it.

So how much is too much to charge? And how little is too little? Here’s a couple of thoughts I have on the subject:

1. Examine Yourself – yep, you guessed it. We must first know what we believe about money, especially that nasty word “profit”. What do we believe? Why do we believe it? Are we willing to change our beliefs about money in general and profit specifically? Once we know the above, we can begin to get more comfortable with charging our worth and being okay when others simply say “no thanks”.

2. Ask Around – when preparing to price something you offer, ask others who know you, your expertise, knowledge and skills, as well as your integrity. What would they pay for what you offer. Figure that some will low-ball it while others will price it up. Throw out the lowest and highest number; and use the average of the remaining. And remember, we can always re-align what we charge. Nothing’s carved in concrete!

3. Adopt Realistic Expectations – What does it cost us to do business? How much of what I charge do I want to keep for the lifestyle I desire? How much do I want to use to make a difference in the world? All realistic questions to ask – and answer. It costs so much to produce a product or provide a service. If you’re in an industry that has a scale for determining cost vs charge (i.e. the restaurant business); then use that as a guide.

Then calculate what you’ll charge based on realistic expectations without guilt, shame or fear of asking others to pay for what you offer!

I leave all with the following. Those of us who are believers are tasked with giving a minimum of 10% to the needs of others. If you are uncomfortable with making money, i.e. a ‘profit’ from what you do; then you can’t possibly give generously to bettering the lives of others.Quotation-Joel-Osteen-god-future-destiny-money-Meetville-Quotes-16578

I’m learning at a ripe vintage age; that PAPA wants women of faith to be wealthy – and only we can determine what the word means to us. Why? Because we will be the most generous and give of our ‘riches’ so that those in real need are well cared for. And that’s not limited to women of faith; but to women of integrity for whom charity extends beyond one’s home.

And a “free” mentality can’t care for one’s home – let alone a world in need! So throw away the “free” mentality and adopt one that provides comfortably for you, your family – and the charitable work that touches your hearts!

Warmly,

Linda

Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques-OPEN for YOUR BUSINESS
Empowering Women to Thrive
JOIN US HERE:
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Google+ 

Image Sources: Pinterest, Pinterest, Meetville

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]

Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.

6 Comments

  1. Jana Denninger on June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Linda…One of your most excellent posts..EVER!!! Something that was needed to be addressed… and you did with excellence!
    Jana

  2. linda on June 12, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Thanks much Jana. . . actually it was prompted by something someone said recently that reminded me I struggle with pricing myself at my own worth and I know many, many women in business struggling with the same.

    Blessings,

    Linda

  3. Marquita Herald on June 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Well said Linda and I really like your strategies. The one caveat I would offer is that while it certainly can be helpful to get feedback on pricing from friends and peers, the more important issue is positioning in the marketplace. Who is your competition, what services or products are they offering and how can you differentiate yourself. The last question is critical when it comes to branding and mustering the courage to charge what you’re worth rather than giving in to the temptation to discount. Great article and thanks for the inspiration!

    • linda on June 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thank you so much Marquita. You are correct with your addition of another “tip” for determining how much to charge. But ultimately it comes down to what we are worth. If we’re worth more than our competitors; we must charge that and be comfortable with gaining an audience that gives us the success we desire.

      Blessings,

      Linda

  4. Suzie Cheel on June 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Linda this is brilliant and so timely for me. as I know that I have to step up and charge fir my worth. I give so much away freely . Thank you for your inspiration xx

    • linda on June 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Thanks so much Suzie! Delighted this was very timely for you. I too give away far too much; but that’s about to change!

      Blessings,

      Linda

Leave a Comment