In building my business as a coach, I get a lot of advice about showing the VALUE of my work, and pricing my services high so that my clients can see my VALUE as their coach.
This advice makes some sense. It is a truth universally acknowledged that humans blow off services that they get for free. It is also a truth universally acknowledged that humans feel motivated by paying for stuff. "I paid for this shirt. Now I HAVE to wear it." Etc.
HOWEVER, money has nothing to do with value.
In fact, the entire "valuing yourself" advice given to women in the workplace, especially in negotiating pay raises and pricing our services, smacks to me of the conversation around women and sexuality. "If you valued yourself, you wouldn't sleep with someone on the first date." Sound familiar?
I want to send this thought out there, and see how it lands for you: How much someone pays you for your work has nothing to do with the value of that work.
Public school teachers do vital work, and don't get paid much. Douches with useless start-up companies can cash in with millions of dollars despite being of no value to society.
There is no rhyme or reason to value and money, and there's no need to connect the two.
Money is a tool we use to sustain ourselves, to buy ourselves food, shelter, and fun stuff. That is all.
I value my husband more than anyone in the world, and I have never paid him anything (though I do buy him presents sometimes). I value my mom so much for giving me life and caring for me, and I don't pay her EVER.
Yes, it's important to get paid. Yes, you should negotiate pay raises with your boss and make as much money as you can, to give yourself financial stability and peace of mind. And yes, my services as a coach cost a certain amount of money -- an amount of money that feels good for my clients, and which I use to afford the costs of living my life.
But my value, and your value, is in our humanity, in our service to the world and to our community. This value exists whether you monetize it or not.
So get paid. Value yourself. But your money is not your value.