Know Your Value, And Then Ask For It
"We want to save the world, and that's just fine, but we have to eat too."by Dr. Maiysha Clairborne
The other day, I was sitting at the table with my five-year-old, painting pictures. A wholesome mommy-son bonding time. We ended up with two wonderful pieces of art that I hung on the classic "Proud Mom Gallery" area. The refrigerator, of course. (Moms can relate!)
Soon after, he stopped by and said "Mommy, we should sell these paintings. They're really good!
First off, you can imagine how proud I was of my son thinking about entrepreneurship at five.
I answered "Yes, we could do that. Maybe sell them for 50 cents or a dollar per painting. Of course, you have to paint more…"
"Interesting," he was silent for a moment, and then said, "Mommy, we'll never make enough money selling our pictures at 50 cents, or a dollar. It's not enough!"
At that moment, all I could do was chuckle. My five-year-old son knows his value!
As a professional, do you know your value?
So, why is it that we as medical professionals - who have trained for decades and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to gain the expertise that we have - have such a big problem knowing our value?
I'll tell you why. There are two reasons:
#1 We have been conditioned into thinking that we should not be charging for expertise
It's supposed to be wrong, bad, unethical. But that's not the case. People are getting charged for medical care every day. It just looks different. It's going to different organizations and institutions, and we are being paid through them and what they feel we are worth.
#2 We have been conditioned into thinking it's not ok to decide how much we are worth
We're an altruistic bunch of people. We think we should be able to help everyone and grant everyone access. We want to save the world, and that's just fine, but we have to eat too. We have bills to pay. We have student loans to cover. That's why we should be fairly compensated for the services that we provide, for the transformation that we provide. If you're stepping outside the box, you're going to have to get used to asking for the right amount of money. We get the idea of our worth based on an external entity rather than getting what we actually deserve for the transformation we provide.
Get an idea of your worth by looking at how much value you provide for others. Think about what it's worth to some. To have their life back, to finally be able to be with their family, to run after their kids, to see their grandkids grow up. They have the opportunity, because of your work, to be pain-free, to stop being tired all the time, to be on their ideal weight, to be stroke-risk-free, etc. If you're providing those transformations - or any beneficial transformation - it's ok to think about the value and how that translates to money.
You gotta know your value and that all starts with getting your mind right. Don't be afraid to know how much you are worth, don't be afraid to ask for the right price.