Hey team! Today I want to talk about the empathy trap and how to appropriately charge and price your services so that you don’t fall into the empathy trap and end up pricing out of struggle and kind of the bottom of the marketplace and the people that are struggling rather than appropriately pricing for the value of your services.
What happens with a lot of deeply caring, evolutionary entrepreneurs and change makers who get into this work because they want to make a change to the world… What often happens is that people can get kind of stuck in pricing and kind of attending to and directing their offers to the people who are struggling the most, the people who need help the most, who might be really struggling due to low income, or injustice, or inequity, or past trauma, who are really kind of in that suffering and struggling place because you care so deeply.
And maybe you’ve been in that place of struggling or suffering before and you want to really help those people. You’ve found some tools and modalities and methods that will help, and you want to help those people.
So this is where we can get stuck in a trap because people who are in that really kind of struggling survival place, they don’t often have the money and the resources, like the financial resources, or even the mental or emotional or the time resources to invest in transformational work.
What happens is it makes your programs really difficult to sell. It means that you often end up undercharging because you’re thinking about what people can afford rather than what is the value that you can really deliver.
I used to do this, so I’m sharing this from a place of “please learn from my mistakes” — if it’s appropriate for you obviously.
Because when you’re pricing for people who are struggling, then it means that it’s really hard to build a profitable business, it’s really hard to sell. You end up kind of working a lot and not having much to show for it. And you feel like you’ve done great work and you really helped people, but it’s really a struggle to run a business from that mindset.
What shifted for me was realizing that I needed to build a business that was profitable and not just have an expensive personal development hobby that was kind of being led by my bleeding heart.
When I realized that, it was like, “Oh, where can my services, my expertise, my focus go where it can be most valuable? Who is the person or the marketplace or the avatar that can most value the service and the expertise that I have to offer?
I would invite you to ask that question of yourself.
And often it is not your past self. A lot of the avatar advice that is given can be really appropriate for when we’re just starting out. But once we have developed a level of mastery and expertise, it is not necessarily appropriate to be just selling to your past self. And sometimes the most appropriate avatar is not your past self, but someone who might even be further along in business that you can offer some really expert value to.
So think about who is the avatar that you can serve where you can serve them with such high value, and they have the capacity to receive and get a return on that value. Because those are the clients that are going to be most able to afford to invest in premium pricing for your program and your services.
And, certainly, having more money to pay doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a better person – that’s not what I’m saying at all – but a quality client is someone who has the ability to pay, who has the time and energy capacity to receive and invest and work with your work.
When you have a quality client that can work with you and receive the value and pay you appropriately, it allows you to build a prosperous, abundant business.
And when you can build a prosperous, abundant profitable business, then you have overflow, you have abundance. And then you can start to give back to the causes that you really care about, or you can create scholarships, or do pro bono work, or offer low ticket or free offerings for the people that you really kind of care about and really want to help lift up.
So that was a really huge realization for me in business and it really shifted the way that I do things.
I’ve been inspired to do this video because I just saw my dear friend ALPHAMAMA have this same realization where she said, “I’ve been a bleeding heart and I have been charging based on what people can afford, and the people that are struggling or suffering that I know of, dropping my prices in order to meet what they can afford rather than what my true value is that I can bring to the table.”
She’s just written a post (linked below) about how she’s not going to do that anymore, and is going to raise her prices and really step into the value that she can offer, which is incredible. And I’m so excited for her because I know that this will make a huge shift for her and also for her audience and also for the people that she was initially lowering her prices for, because she will eventually have the ability to then give back to those people at a later stage.
So, if you’re struggling in your business, if you’re not profitable in your business, if you currently just have an expensive personal development hobby that you tell yourself is a business, my invitation to you is to become masterful in your skills, get really clear on your mission and really think about who is the highest value client that you can offer your services to, who can fully receive your value, so that you can raise your prices and work with clients that can really receive it and build a profitable business, and then be able to give back to the causes that you really care about.
We know as caring supercoaches, as evolutionary leaders, that there is a lot of injustice in the world, that there is a lot of inequity. There’s so much privilege. I have so much privilege. There’s so much privilege in the world and so many people that don’t have the same starting line. And we do have an obligation and a responsibility to help people who have less privilege and who need that support. And we can’t do it from a place of suffering and struggling ourselves.
It is your birthright to be abundant, every single person. And so, allowing yourself the possibility of becoming and growing and building a profitable business so that you can be in overflow, so that you can serve and give back in a way that doesn’t require you to burn yourself out.
That’s what I had to say on that topic today. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Have you ever felt like you needed to diminish or reduce your prices or discount your offerings so that people could afford it? Have you ever been in that place? If you have, how did you get through it?
And if you’ve already made that shift and are running a profitable business, just let us know how are some of the ways that you give back to other people that can be an example for everybody in this group to see, “Oh gosh, it is possible to build a wealthy, abundant, prosperous, profitable business and do great good in the world by giving back to people who are less fortunate in a number of ways.”
You could give back through scholarships, through charitable foundations, through donations, through employment, through creating opportunities. There are so many ways that we can give back and serve and help those who are struggling without needing to discount and diminish our main product prices.
I hope that has served you today and helped some mindset pieces click in place to help you to become more profitable. Let me know what was your key takeaway in the comments below.
See you soon.
Post inspired by Anita Bonita Applebaum. See her post here.
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