One of the hardest things to do as an entreprenuer is saying “no” to money, but not only do you have to do it, sometimes it is a sign of success.
As a performer, I set my own rates. I try to find the sweet spot. A rate that is fair and competitive. Go too low and people don’t expect quality. Go too high and gigs are too few and far between.
But my situation is also unique. I’m a motivational speaker that speaks to youth. It’s something that I would do for free if it wasn’t my job. But it is my job.
Sometimes I will get a potential client say “Can’t you do it for the inner city kids? We don’t have a lot of money.” I empathize with the situation, and will often make a deal, but then I am also reminded – the principal on the phone isn’t taking a pay cut working at this school. They are being paid in full.
Recently I received a low ball offer. It came with an “Is there anything you can do?”
I countered with something that I felt was fair.
They didn’t respond and eventually moved on – possibly choosing someone else.
My first thought was to second guess myself -“Maybe I should have taken what they offered?”
But then the phone rang. Wasn’t the booking but was a peer and someone who is a mentor to me. Ironically they went on to tell me a similar situation that was happening to them. I hadn’t even brought it up.
The difference? He was getting paid a lot more in comparison to what I was. And he was still turning it down.
When I told him my situation, he responded without pause “Sometimes you have to turn it down. You have to.”
I know longer second guessed myself. I realized I had made the right decision.
Sometimes you can offer a deal, or a discount, but in the end, you need to stay firm with what your rate is.
A good customer will be come a client and will respect the rate.