3 Tips to Make Money Doing What Makes You Happy
What Makes You Money Can Also Make You Happy
It’s likely you became an entrepreneur — or plan to become one — so you can do the things you want to do professionally and personally. But as much as your own business can be the tool that allows you to live the life you want to live, it can also hold you back.
If you’re selling unprofitable products or services, spending time in low-return tasks or discounting your own value, your business can take up more time, money and energy than it gives back to you. Ultimately, these things can affect your bottom line and everything you’ve worked to build.
Whether you’re new to owning your own business or you’ve been at it for years, it’s important to step back and identify what’s actually working for you — what’s profitable, what’s “worth” doing, and how these tasks relate to your happiness. The closer you are in alignment with your business purpose and vision, the more likely you are to make money doing what you most love to do.
Charge What You’re Worth
There are a lot of metrics for “worth.” Worth can be assessed by the market value of your product or service, the perceived value to your customers and clients, the experience you bring to your offerings and a host of other measures.
One of the old ways of doing business requires you to put a lot of “skin in the game” — pay your dues, put in your time and charge lower rates until you get going. It seems reasonable enough. For the first six months to a year, new business owners are often feeling things out and getting their feet wet.
But when you continue on with this mentality — because you feel like you’re still not good enough, qualified enough, established enough — and you’re charging based on those beliefs, you’re putting your purpose and vision at risk and becoming less than the high-vibe entrepreneur you set out to be.
I get it. I’ve been there. For years I actually felt bad taking clients’ money. I would cut deals, do favors, hand out discounts. I thought it showed I cared and understood my clients’ needs, and that I was willing to do what it took to get them where they needed to be.
But letting things slide by not charging enough and giving things away for free adds up and ultimately affects your bottom line. It also seriously drains your energy. While you’re busy trying to help someone get where they want to be, you may be doing the opposite for yourself. You didn’t get into business to just get by; you got into business to thrive.
So how do you stick to charging what you’re worth? You first have to make the decision to run your business and charge based on the value you create. Then take a look at your numbers... consistently. You need to know how long it takes you to complete a project, what your outside resources cost, your company's operational expenses and your net profit. Knowing your real costs and profits helps you steer clear of discounting your value. You’ll be able to make informed decisions in the moment that affect both your short-term and long-term success.
Take a Close Look at Your Products and Services
As your business grows, it can be exciting to develop new products and services, but managing them all can take up a lot of your time — and even eat into your profits in unexpected ways.
Look closely at your offerings: What projects, products or services are most profitable for you? Which make you the happiest? When do you do your best work? Your services may vary widely in profitability, and a service that’s not very profitable could be canceling out one that is. Pinpoint where you’re making the most money and creating the most value for your clients, then promote what profits you most.
You may also need to whittle down your services by eliminating the things you think you “should” offer that are actually eating your lunch. Just because something’s the norm in your industry, or you think clients expect it, or it’s always been on your menu, don’t offer it if it’s costing you money. Unless it’s a truly effective loss-leader, it’s probably time to ditch it.
On the flip side, you may actually need to offer more to your customers for a complete experience. Packaging can help. Think about how you can group your services into complete offerings — packages — that more effectively and efficiently deliver what your customers deeply need and desire. Or if you truly only offer one product or service, consider what might be missing that could add some serious value to your clients’ experience of your brand.
And of course, assess how you currently price your offerings. Are your prices based on an hourly rate, a markup, old industry standards, or on the value you’re creating for customers? If you only have one service or offering, consider charging more for it. When you’re a high-vibe entrepreneur, you’re working within your passion and delivering loads of value. So remember, money is energy. There needs to be a mutually beneficial exchange for it to feel good on both sides.
Stick to Your Values to Attract the Right Audience
While the bottom line can help you determine what’s profitable in your business, how do you decide what’s “worth” putting your time and energy into to attract your dream audience?
Consider these questions: Do you feel passionate about the services you’re offering? Are you good at them? Do they bring you — and your audience — joy? Do you feel good about the amount of money you’re making? Are you thriving — or are you simply just getting by?
If you’re offering services that are absolutely soul-crushing, or you’re working with clients who are sucking the life out of you, then stop. Chances are you're not doing your best work, and the client can probably tell. This also includes taking on projects from low-vibe clients. You know… the people you know you’re not meant to work with. The ones outside of your niche or specialty. Listening to that voice in your head that tells you to never turn down money, even when you know it’s not the right fit, can seriously drain your value and your energy.
Take on only those clients that are the best fit for your business. When you only serve the audience that’s right for you, and vice versa, you become known for what you do best; you become the expert. And having five quality clients can be more profitable than having 20 that aren’t the right fit. (We talk a lot about this on the DesignGood blog.) Your niche clients respect your rates and your process, and they value your expertise. You’ll find projects and onboarding just seem to go smoother when you’re in alignment with the people you were born to work with.
Stick to your values and you’ll naturally attract clients who respond to your unique, high-vibe brand. Remember: You don't need all the clients, you just need the right ones.
Are you ready to get clear on your value and how to communicate that to your tribe? Download our High-Vibe Entrepreneur Method Workbook to get going on your own. Need someone to guide you through the process? We love helping entrepreneurs zero in on their niche and stay focused on the work they do best. Schedule a call today to get started!