A heinous practice that must stop immediately is the business ‘philosophy’ that ties your self-worth to how much you earn as an entrepreneur.

It must stop now because it preys on the most vulnerable – those lacking confidence and money – whilst being stupendously simplistic.

True worth

How much does a parent get paid to look after their children? What do ambulance drivers make? How about school teachers? Or those lovely old stalwarts working the counter at Vinnies stores?

Most would argue that these roles are hugely important, valuable and worthy, yet none of them are well paid or even paid at all.

“Ah yes,” I hear you say. “But what about those of us who work for ourselves?” Sorry, but it’s not as simple as that.

Factors influencing your earnings

Factors that influence what you earn include your marketing, branding and copy writing, testimonials and case studies and your positioning. Also influential are your competitors, the hours you put into your business, funding you invest, and geography.

Perhaps most importantly, your business model has a massive influence on your earnings potential. If you’re trading hours for dollars and teaching in an intensive, interpersonal manner, your earnings will always be limited.

If your offerings are too complex or diverse, it hinders people’s abilities to make a decision and become your clients. If you lack a premium-pricing product (or range), your profitability is significantly hindered.

True talent

You may have noticed that I neglected to note experience and expertise as influencing factors. Truth is, we all know massively talented individuals who make no money. And we can normally name at least one person with limited skills and experience who manages to earn people’s trust, and hence, their dollars.

The ability to earn money, whether in salaried employment or self-employment, has very little to do with deep talent, nor experience in your modality or industry.

… And confidence

Your confidence does come into your ability to earn. But confidence is not self-worth and self-worth is not confidence. Further, confidence is not the entire story.

To try new things in business, to raise our prices, to pitch ourselves, to challenge our self-beliefs only requires us to act confidently for a finite period – we can act with confidence and then cry ourselves to sleep later, if we wish.

Further, plenty of people with low self-worth command a high salary.

Earnings and self-worth are not commensurate.

We are all confident about certain aspects of ourselves and lacking confidence in other areas. Self-confidence is far more nuanced and complicated than an either/or equation. It’s also far easier to put into practice – confidence is primarily an action, far less a thought or feeling. This is particularly relevant when you’re in business for yourself – practicing confidence is part-and-parcel of being in business.

Who’s got baggage?

Hands up if you’ve got money baggage?

Most people do. Money is an important factor in life and governs a lot of our choices and behaviours. We all acquire money baggage through our socialisation, particularly our family, and this can remain unexamined indefinitely.

Attempting to raise your prices or assert new, firmer, terms and conditions normally provokes those around you with money baggage that are threatened by your behaviour.

Our environment, including the company of people we hang out with, tends to shape our beliefs. If we want to change our behaviours and beliefs, we need to change our environment and company.

We need to find new company where our desired behaviours and beliefs are the norm. Then it’s easier to make the change and easier for the change to stick because it’s your new normal, within your new community.

Run, Forrest, run!

An easy way to assert power and control over another is to find their vulnerabilities and poke them. It’s alleged why celebrities stay with Scientology – because they’ve upended their deepest, darkest vulnerabilities in their auditing process and are now beholden to the group. It’s tends to be common in all high-intensity, groups, cults and organisations which require plenty of time from its members.

Self-worth has nothing to do with income. If your self-worth is truly rock-bottom, you need a good psychologist or counselor, not a business coach and program.

How much you earn is influenced by myriad factors. Please, if someone tries to tie your self-worth to your earnings, run a mile and don’t look back.

We talk about this in detail in the Hustle & Heart program.