What Does it Mean to Value Your skills?

value skillsYou have experience. You know what you’re doing. Your expertise is sought after frequently. Yet when it comes to your bank account, there’s not much there. If this sounds like you, then read on.

The most common problem I run into when coaching my clients is a lack of confidence in their skills or lack of ability to ask the right price for their services.

Whether you’re applying for your dream job, selling financial services to the masses, or providing investment services to the affluent, charging the right fee or asking for the best salary means learning how to value what you’re worth.

Evaluate your knowledge – What do you know that others don’t understand? In your time on this planet, what knowledge have you gained that is unique? The answers to these questions can help you decide your competitive advantage.

When I am approached by potential branding or coaching clients, they often don’t understand my fees. Why would I charge so much just to help them put together their website branding message? Why do I charge so much for job search coaching?

To answer these questions I offer a story:

The manager of an historic hotel needed an elevator repairperson. He called around but most companies could not offer a solution to his problem, for various reasons. No experience with the task. No experience with the specific problem. No experience with the system being used. At last, the manager lucked out and found a repairperson that claimed to be able to fix his elevator problem. The repairperson arrived at the hotel with his toolbox and headed straight to the elevator control room. In what seemed like 5 minutes, the problem was fixed and the elevator was again operational. A week later a bill arrived in the mail for $1000.00. The manager called the repairperson to complain about what seemed to him to be an excessive bill. The manager asked, “How can you possibly charge so much for a 5 minute job?” to which the repairperson replied, “I charged you $50 for a service call and $950 for knowing what the problem was and having the experience to fix it.”

Value is demonstrated by experience, depth of knowledge, and end results. What have you done for your clients/employer? How can you take this knowledge and use it in your personal brand and in your message? And finally, how can you OWN your expertise?

When you have answered these questions, you will be far closer to valuing your skills.

How Busy Are You? Overcoming Overwhelm In The Investment Management Business

are you too busy?Are you spending too many hours at work? Do you get to work before the sun comes up and leave after the sun has set? (Or it feels that way?) Do you go home at night with a large pile of work on your desk that still needs to be handled?

If you own your own investment management business and you find that you’re buried in work day after day, month after month, with no end in sight, it’s time for you to get out of overwhelm and get a life!

I find that investment managers are usually overwhelmed for one of three possible reasons.

You don’t want to give up control – Years ago I worked with a woman who had two businesses. One was a tax return preparation business with employees. The other a financial planning business without employees. Each year during tax season my client was overworked, tired, and burned out. Yet as we coached through the issues, it became apparent that she did not want to give up control of her tax business, either by delegating to staff, hiring a partner to take it over, or selling the business. She was earning far more as a financial planner yet was unwilling to focus her efforts on financial planning.   To this day she is still overworked and will probably never change because she does not want to give up control and focus on what she does best. Could this be you?

You avoid delegating to your staff – You may say to yourself “By the time I show them how to do it, I could have done it myself.” This of course is just an excuse and could be a symptom of deeper issues going back to reason #1. Yes, it takes time to train staff on how to do tasks that can free you up for what you do best. But that time investment pays off more and more as time goes by. Every successful business owner I have ever worked with has managed to learn to delegate effectively. Initially it feels weird. Like you’re giving your children to someone else. Or you may feel guilt that you “should” be doing the work you’re delegating. I like to say “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself!” Get over it and start delegating!

You need to hire an additional staff member – If you’re dealing with too much paperwork or handling too many emails, and you find it difficult to make time for clients, you absolutely need to hire a new support person. If you are at the point where not having the additional help is hindering your business growth, then you are not doing yourself any favors by continuing to do the work of two people. Because of your experience and expertise, your time is worth a minimum of $250 an hour. If you could free up 15 hours per week, what would that mean for your business and your financial success? What activities would you engage in if you could find more time in your day?

Coaching questions for overcoming overwhelm:

  • What is your role in the organization? If you’re the company president, how do you need to change what you’re doing in order to assume the role you should be performing?
  • What are your responsibilities? Do you have written roles and responsibilities that detail who does what and what’s expected of them?
  • What are you good at? Where do you excel? What do you love to do?
  • Where should you be spending your time? Let’s jump to the easy answer! Spend more time with clients. Spend more time envisioning your grand vision.
  • What’s the best use of your time to get the best ROI from your time at work? Spend more time actively prospecting. Spend more time leading your team and coaching them to greatness.
  • What tasks help the organization earn more revenue?


So if any of the three reasons above apply to you, making progress in your profession this year requires you to make some changes. Take a hard look at what you are doing now and determine what you need to do. Get productive, work smarter not harder, and get busy living.

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