I was all set to release my first book on Pay What It’s Worth pricing last week, a book I’ve been writing in one form or another for, I don’t know… six years or so, but life got in the way, as it does.
Life, it seems, had a bunch to teach me, and specifically about PWIW.
Life had me thinking my book was a terrible lie. And then it had me thinking that there was so much missing from it.
See, that’s my problem with Pay What It’s Worth… always has been. There’s just too much to say. And it keeps growing. And I can’t get it down fast enough before it teaches me something new.
A New Truth
I’ve always felt very strongly about the communication around Pay What It’s Worth, in that I feel strongly about the importance of how I communicate what I am asking my customers to do when I allow them to set the price they pay.
It is my feeling that to be happy in the exchange both participants need to feel empowered, and that means holding both buyer and seller responsible for their contributions to the exchange.
Last week, as a seller, it became very clear that the biggest part of my job (beyond creating value) is to guide my customers towards a fair exchange with me — to support them in being responsible with their giving and in their relationship with me.
We all have our money stuff, and in choosing a system where I allow my customers to determine my value, I am entering into a relationship with their money stuff too.
A New Block to Build From
In asking my customers to pay what it’s worth, I’m asking them to experience the value they are receiving and to give fair monetary value in return for it.
And while that sounds simple in words, it’s terribly difficult in practice. And what I haven’t been totally responsible for, I can see now as a seller (and as a writer on the topic), is the truth of this.
It’s fucking hard to stay balanced and in integrity with money. It’s fucking hard to pay what it’s worth.
The truth is, if I’m asking people and all their money stuff to value me fairly, I had better provide ample support and understanding. Because what I am really asking is for them to be in a balanced relationship with me.
Is it fair of me to expect that they know what this looks or feels like? Especially in a “business” relationship?
Support for Giving Freely
Our relationship is not one where the customer gets to pay what they want. In offering that, I’d be creating a relationship where they’re free to put their money stuff on me, and I’m free to put my money stuff on them.
The intention for our exchange is empowerment and wealth creation. It’s not about want, it’s about meeting needs and exchanging fair value.
If I want this intention of need and fair value to stay true throughout my exchanges, I need to ensure all my guideposts indicate this. In my offering of paying what it’s worth, I need to ensure that I’m not creating space for my customers to default to paying what they want.
It’s important I protect myself from how easy it is, when our money stuff arrives, to make it about want.
As a seller it’s imperative I continue to do what I can to guide my customers towards being responsible in how they value me. This, it seems, is my biggest responsibility in our exchange outside of providing great value.
If I sincerely want our exchange to be about what we both can give, I need to acknowledge how hard that can be to act on. Only in my acceptance of this can I help my customers to be responsible to it.
photo credit: Kaytee Riek