Would I be right in thinking that when you were growing up, you were told that putting yourself first is selfish? Me too! So you learnt to do as you were told, in order to get approval – the idea of disapproval when you were a young child, especially from your parents or primary carers, would have been unbearable. So you towed the line. This, then, may well have become a belief which you have been operating from since that time.
The effect of this may be far-reaching. Ask yourself the following question:
If this is true, how is this impacting on my relationships, both business and personal, right now?
For example, when discussing fees with clients, if you have this belief that you can’t put yourself (your business) first, you’re much more likely to offer discounts, do extra work for free or undercharge in the first place. It’s not necessarily what you would like to do; it’s unconsciously what you believe you must do either to acquire or keep the client and in return, you receive approval. So you see, there is a pay-off, even though it’s not monetary!
You may never have thought of this in this particular way. Time, me thinks, for a quick review.
Consider the following. Have you ever been on a plane? For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to assume the answer is yes. At some point, you will have listened to the safety instructions given by one or more of the flight attendants. No doubt, you will remember the bit where they run through what will happen if the pressure drops – i.e. an oxygen mask will drop down. They make it very clear that if you have children, you should put your own oxygen mask on first so that you can then take care of your children properly. If you don’t put yours on first, you may not be in a position to look after them.
Let’s apply the above principle to your business. If you don’t pay attention to it first, and make sure you charge effectively, you won’t have a business and therefore won’t be able to help your clients!
So here’s a simple, three-step process you can adopt right now to help you consider your needs:
- Stop and make a conscious decision before acting.
- Ask yourself: do I need to put my oxygen mask on?
- Take the appropriate action.