Boss Lady

Know your worth: How to own your space and value in business


Have you ever heard the saying ‘know your worth’? It’s something I think about frequently and it is an idea that has been with me through my adult life. The basis of how to know your worth relates to knowing who you are and what your value is. In business it transcends the idea of ‘you’ as a person or ‘employee’ to the business you have and the product or service you provide.

How To Know Your Worth in Business

1. The what and why of ‘know your worth’

It’s time to get clear on the what and why of how you know your worth. There has been much talk of Simon Sinek’s begin with why in recent years and I’m with mostly with him. I believe you need to start with what it is you are trying to answer, help people with this first.

For instance, with The Salary Coach I am trying to help people ask for and get what they want. To do this we uncover the pearls that they have in them in relation to capability to do their job and to do it well. The pearls that businesses have within them that helps them to serve their market. Then to encapsulate that into sound grabs to help their audience understand it.

Once they believe all of this and they can do it with confidence we move on to finding the courage to ask.

Pop in some good negotiation skills and then a few ways of handling the difficult conversation and the why becomes clear… to help people be valued for their contribution in a way that has them thinking and feeling good about themselves and their work (the why).

The knock-on effect to this is that the company is more likely to have employee loyalty. So, to know your worth is as much about getting clear on your ‘what’ as it is the ‘why’.

Translating this to a business is the same. Being clear on what you are providing to the market and why it is important. Doing something just because it seems like a good idea may not bear fruit for you. 

2. Serving your market

So, you have your what and why, what about serving your market? If it was as easy as popping up your shingle and painting on a smile on then we wouldn’t be reading, writing and talking about these kinds of business topics. How does your market like to be served? What is your target market? What are they really looking for in terms of worth? Answering these basic questions will help you to get on the road to know your worth and being able to serve your market in a way that works for them.

When coaching people there are often dilemmas that people face where they are having trouble getting an idea over the line. They are meeting with resistance and cannot understand why. This is where being a consultant comes in – collaborative conversations with their stakeholders.

Taking on their ideas and somehow architecting them into the solution is important. Everyone wants to have their ‘thumb print’ on it. It needs to be relatable. So, if you’re wondering the best way is to ask questions, ask for feedback, get the voice of your market and when you think you have it ask again; and be across the drivers in the market. A great reference point on this is an article in Forbes by futurist Robert B. Tucker 

3. Dealing with fatigue

In any endeavour there is a ramp-up phase. Sometimes it takes longer than expected, and if that’s the case those good old FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factors can come in. It may take six months or two years – its all dependent on your threshold for persisting.

If that moment comes along and you start to wonder if what you are doing is making a difference, or resonating with the market I suggest revisiting your original plan. Where are you at? What milestones have you achieved? What feedback have you received? What would you like to do more of, less of? This kind of calibration will help you to stay close to your worth.

And it is A OK to tweak and tune along the way. Afterall staying in touch with your worth is as much about knowing who, what and why you are serving as it is checking in with your self and acknowledging the amazing milestones you have achieved – and still have in front of you. Be kind to yourself!

About Catherine Heilemann'

Catherine Heilemann is an expert in coaching others in 'Knowing Your Worth' through a series of 1-1 or group sessions covering: Mistakes we make when negotiating our worth; How to ask for what you're really worth (in your current role or with a client through your own business); and The development of frameworks and action plans to achieve the above.

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