My hairstylist charged me $20 bucks to color my hair. When I told her she was crazy, she said, “but I just threw some color on, it didn’t take long, no big deal.”

I don’t know about you, but when I “throw color on my head” it doesn’t look the way she makes it look.

My landscaper hasn’t raised his rates since….forever. When I told him he should, his eyes got wide. “But it still takes me the same amount of time or less”.

I don’t know about you, but it would take me 3 weeks (maybe never in the summer) to make my yard look the way he does.

It doesn’t matter how long something takes you. That’s not what you are selling. You are selling a solution to your customer’s pain or problem.

Hair Stylist: You aren’t covering my grey hair and faded color. You are giving me FUN HAIR that make me feel good and hey hey, I think I look a few years younger too. 😎

Landscaper: I don’t care about the grass or leaves, I’m thrilled that I don’t have to worry about the HOA sending me some damn letter about my yard or dying from heat stroke.

I could do these things myself.

I could color my hair and mow the lawn.

I could train my dogs, but I hire a trainer.

I could fix my stove, but I hire an electrician.

I could fix my roof, but I hire anyone just so my husband never climbs a ladder.

I need these services, yes, but they solve deeper issues.

The dog trainer makes me feel less overwhelmed and stressed by providing me with the tools and resources I need for *my* dog and all her issues.

The electrician and roofer are similar in that they both keep me from being a widow right? But in all seriousness. They give me peace of mind. I know my house isn’t going to burn down or flood.

FedEx? That’s a big company and you might think they ship things. But a lot of places ship things.

I choose FedEx because I know my package is going to get to where it needs to be when I need it there. That peace of mind. That is what they sell.

When you start looking at your services by the value they provide your customer or client, then you can start setting yourself apart from everyone else.

Your thing isn’t a commodity.

Your thing is valuable and needed by your people.

The hair stylist should be charging more than $20. The landscaper should be charging more than $25. The dog trainer should be charging more than $20. And so on.

And if someone thinks you charge too much, they aren’t your people. Find people who value and respect what you do. (there are a lot of ways to go about that from branding, messaging, copy/tone, service offerings, etc)

I write all of this as a reminder to myself more than anything. I struggled today with charging for my time. “Oh, that’ll just take me 30 minutes, no big deal”. I have done this to the peril of my own business for years.

If you are a service-based business owner reading this, don’t be like me.

Your knowledge and expertise are not common outside of your sphere and you deserve to be paid for it.

Repeat after me: I am not going to feel guilty for asking to be compensated for my time and expertise. I am not going to feel guilty for asking to be *appropriately* compensated for my time and expertise.