Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Henri Junttila of Wake Up Cloud.
“How did I end up here?” I thought to myself as I peered over the sea in southern Spain.
I lived in Spain for the whole of 2010 with my girlfriend and our miniature schnauzer, Cleo.
We roamed the beaches in January and prayed for rain in July. It was amazing. But it didn’t happen overnight
It took years of self-discovery and struggle for me to start making a living online.
And one of the biggest obstacles was undervaluing what I had to offer.
It penetrated every inch of my life like a rusty nail. It wasn’t just about selling stuff. It was also about how I lived life and the opportunities I pursued.
Looking back, I see seven distinct areas that held me back for a long time.
And those are exactly the areas we’ll cover right now.
Let’s start with the first one.
1. Why You?
One of the first obstacles I ran into was: why me?
What made me so special? Why did I deserve to get paid to do what I love and live life on my own terms?
The answer was simple: because I wanted to, and because I knew I deserved better.
This isn’t about conforming to someone else’s beliefs. This is about living the life you know you deserve.
There will always be naysayers, but it doesn’t matter.
What matters is what you think, because you’re the one who has to live your life.
But knowing you deserve something is not enough, you also have to express who you are, so people can connect with you, which brings us to self-suppression.
If you aren’t expressing who you really are, you won’t attract the right clients and customers.
Putting yourself out there can be tough.
It’s a fear everyone has in the beginning.
But in the end, you alone have to decide, do you want to stay in a safe imaginary bubble, or do you want to take the leap?
No one said this was going to be easy. The courage to express yourself happens gradually.
And when you can express yourself, it’s time to create a kick-ass offer, but what usually happens is people create an offer that flops.
3. Crafting a Weak Offer
It’s not enough to attract an audience; you have to make them a powerful offer. In other words, you have to sell something excellent.
And this is not just about selling. It’s about helping the people that are the most motivated.
It’s easy to create vague and weak offers, which is what most people do, and then they wonder why nothing happens.
A compelling offer is Jonathan’s TrailBlazer, where he shows you how to make $1,000 in 6-months doing what you love.
It paints a clear picture in your mind of what the end result looks like, and that is exactly what you have to do to create your first product or service.
Be specific, be bold, and embrace the fear, but avoid the trap of undervaluing your offer.
4. Undervaluing Your Offer
When you have a compelling offer, you have to price it right.
Too low and people will think it’s worthless.
Too high and people will think it’s worth less ;).
The correct pricing comes from experimentation. Start low, increase the price, and keep experimenting.
This is what I’ve done with one of my products, Passionate Living. It started off as a simple ebook for $9.95, but the price has slowly climbed to $17, $27 and now $42 as I’ve improved and made it into a full-blown course.
Don’t look for instant perfection, focus on constant improvement.
When you know you have something great to offer, you’re on the right path, but you’re not quite there, because you still have to tell people about it, which brings us to selling.
5. Selling Avoidance
It’s sleazy, right?
Well, not really. You can use high-pressure tactics and yellow highlighter, but it is you who control how you sell.
The fundamental elements of selling still apply: risk reversal, urgency, features, benefits, and so on.
If you don’t tell people about what you have to offer, they won’t know.
You’d be surprised at how often people don’t even know you’re selling something unless you tell them about it regularly.
And those who think you’re selling too much?
They aren’t the right people for you. Let them go, and move on.
As you leave your qualms about selling in the dust, it’s time to approach the next obstacle, which is making connections and dare I say, networking?
6. Scared Networking
If you don’t get the word out, no one is going to find what you have to offer, which means the probability of failure goes up dramatically.
And we don’t want that, do we?
For a long time, I was confused by networking. I’m an introvert and I don’t particularly enjoy “networking.”
Once I shifted my perspective from “networking” to just having fun with people that I resonate with, things changed.
The secret is to be yourself when talking to new people. Make friends and have fun. Don’t look for magic bullets, because they do not exist.
Don’t apologize for who you are. If people don’t like you, you move on.
When you’ve overcome all of the six pitfalls we’ve covered so far, you’ll have begun shifting your perspective on life.
Most people live and operate out of fear, and I did, too, for a long time. It’s a big problem, and it needs to stop now.
7. Fear-Centered Living
Most walk around afraid of everything, blaming everyone else for their luck, and staying stuck in a victim mentality.
And it’s not until you shift it into taking responsibility for your life that things change.
Most people are unwilling to do this, because it’s uncomfortable.
But the truth of the matter is that if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s up to you to do something about it.
If at first you fail, you get up, and you keep going.
Simple, but powerful advice.
Do You Ever Undervalue Yourself?
As I sat on that beautiful beach and marveled at the sea, I wondered what else life would have in store for me.
You just never know what will happen until it happens.
We worry, procrastinate and put things off, but nothing really changes. If you want something, you have to go for it right now.
If you want to get paid to live on your own terms, you can do so, but it won’t necessarily happen without struggle.
You might undervalue yourself in the beginning, but as you keep going, it will pass.
And this brings us to my question: Do you ever struggle with undervaluing yourself?
About the Author: Henri writes over at Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how to build a lifestyle business around your passion. If you’re interested, check out his free report: 7 Steps to Building a Lifestyle Business Around Your Passion.
I struggle with undervaluing myself on a regular basis. It’s a tough balance between undervaluing yourself and being full of yourself, and it’s a balance I think many of us are fighting for.
@AlexConde Agreed. It’s something I’m constantly getting better at. It’s an ongoing process.
I think that most people believe they are worth more but scared if they charge it that no-one will pay. Be confident in your skill set and experience. You know what you can do to help others, so let people know that!
I definately undervalue myself and I think society makes us feel this way to some extent, there is always someone out there who is ‘more qualified’ or ‘more experienced’.
Wow what a Fantastic Post!!
Everything you wrote struck a chord with me especially as I’m just putting together my first online product. I’ll be referring to this to help me.
I particularly recognised the part about ‘taking responsibility’. This was a wake-up call for me several years ago when I had to acknowledge that my bank balance was as a result of my choices and not someone else’s fault!! But a healthy bank balance was also my responsibility too.
To get around my fear of selling I now look on it that I’m making an offer that people will benefit from and they’re ordering from me rather than me selling to them.
Thanks for your useful insights.
@ChrisLappin Glad you liked it, and I completely agree with your thoughts. We have to take responsibility for our life, otherwise nothing can change.
I’ve been reading the $100 Startup and similar things are said. It’s had me rethinking my prices, even though I’ve just started, and certainly given me an idea for the future
It’s about being affordable, not cheap. If I can justify why I charge X, then thats all that matters. It will be too much for some, but just right for others.
Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)
Kevin Velasco says
Additionally, the quality of the men/women/relationships you attract into your life are indicative of your value and worth.
Dion V says
I am perpetually undervaluing myself. My wife believes in me and tells me that I am worth so much more than I give myself credit for. Yet constantly I find myself saying, “pfft, yeah, right.” I’m trying to break out of that, but it’s been tough.
Adriana "Annie" says
I know how you feel, Dion; my girlfriend is super supportive when it comes to this, but I look around for other people whom I’m close to and I feel so atypical–not normal.
Lack of confidence is a tough cycle to break out of. If I know a belief about myself is unproductive and irrational, I will sit down with it with someone I trust and list out the reasons why I believe it (“I don’t think I can make money because I never have before, I’m a failure at business, I don’t have an audience”) and then my partner can retort with all of their reasons why MY reasons suck and I should believe in myself instead (“You’ve never had perfect circumstances to make money before, so that’s not fair; You’ve made a huge name for yourself online, so you can’t possibly be a failure; You have a small audience, but you built it in only a few weeks, so if you keep working, you’ll have a large one in no time; (etc.)”). Once I start feeling a little better during that conversation, I’ll start retorting, too, with my own confidence-building points in my favor.
It’s just a method that works for me, and I try to do it when I’m already in a good mood or else I’m not as receptive to my partner’s help.
:) Good luck building your own confidence!
Adriana "Annie" says
Undervaluing myself is something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, haha… This post really hit home. :)
I’m particularly scared of networking; it’s like there are no other people *like* me out there! I don’t really hang out anywhere on the internet, and while people are always telling me to go where my audience goes, I can never figure out where they are, either. It’s such a bizarre place to be in. I am an introvert like you, though, Henri, so I guess I just need to put myself out there; make myself accessible and the right people will find me.
I guess my tips for other people who are finding they have the same problem as me would be something like this:
Fill your Twitter feed with stuff you LOVE. Even if your current Followers don’t care about your favorite video game or TV show, someone out there will–and chances are, if they do, they’re more likely to jive with you. Use Hashtags (and not shame) to attract those people to your feed and make friends. :)
What do you think, Henri? Does that sound like a good method for starting to spread my branches a little wider and reach more folks whom I identify with?