Build a Badass Business Podcast #32: Why asking for money isn’t evil

Topics: Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

  1. People want to pay for what you have to offer
  2. You can’t do this work if you can’t earn money
  3. Earning money gives you the ability to do the work
  4. Earning money from what you’re doing gives you freedom

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Build a Badass Business: Episode #32: Why asking for money isn’t evil

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, welcome back to the show! Today what I want to talk about is money. And this money mindset; a lot of entrepreneurs who are existing or even emerging have trouble asking for money. And if this is you, what I want to talk about today are some reasons why you basically just need to get over it. You need to get to the point where you understand that asking for money is not a bad thing, and it’s quite necessary. And quite frankly, if you don’t ask for money, or you don’t figure out how to get over your hurdle with it, you will not have a business. You will not be an entrepreneur, you will not have a business if you can’t figure out how to ask for money. Okay?

So, the number one thing I want you to know is that people want to pay for what you have to offer. So think of a time when somebody wanted to help you with something, and you almost had this feeling or sense of guilt for what they were giving you, because you know how valuable it is. But they just wanted to give it to you. And you wanted to give them something in exchange. So let’s just say for example, somebody is watching your dog or cat for the weekend, and you bring back a gift in exchange. You have this feeling inside that you want to exchange something of value to thank them for what they’ve done.

Well, if they’re strangers, and they’re just interacting with your business, obviously people aren’t just going to send you a bottle of wine. Maybe they will. {laughs} Maybe they’ll send you a bottle of wine. But really what they want to do is they want to be able to pay for something that you have to offer. Now, if you’re really new in your business; let’s just say you’re blogging, for example, and you’re putting out blog posts, and you don’t have anything that people can pay for at this point; that’s fine. Go ahead and keep blogging, do things that are free. Eventually when you have something to sell, people will be ready. Half the time, people actually want to buy whatever the thing is that you have just to thank you for what you’ve helped them with in the past. It doesn’t even mean that they need the thing that you just put up for sale.

For example, when I first started blogging years, and years, and years ago, the very first thing that I actually had for sale was my 21-Day Sugar Detox program. It was an eBook and it was $21. And I can’t tell you how many people came and told me, either on Facebook or via email, that they bought it. They don’t even want to do the program; which, you know, I wish they would, but they didn’t even want to do the program. But they’ve just been reading my blog for so long and they finally had a way to just give me some way of saying thank you, besides the words. Besides leaving a comment saying thank you. They just wanted to contribute to what I was doing, and enable me to keep doing it. So keep that in mind. Remember how you feel when somebody gives you something of value; that you want to thank them in some way. So that’s a really important little factor to just have in mind.

There’s this next part that comes in; when people get something for free, sometimes they don’t value it as much as if they pay for it. So here’s another thing that will happen; often someone will say, hey, can I just pick your brain. Or can I have some advice. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who are going to ask for advice, and take it and run with it, and that’s cool. I know plenty of people who do that. I’m very, very slow to offer advice for free. I do it sometimes when I’m pretty sure that person is going to take my advice and use it, and I’m cool with that. However, I would say the vast majority of the time, if you give something to somebody for free, the amount of value that they place on it is just not as much as if they invest their money and they exchange something that they value for something that you’re providing of value. Ok, so remember if you’re providing value, somebody else will value that by saying, I’m giving you money for it.

I know there are a lot of people that have these blocks around money; you have feelings that receiving money for doing something, especially doing something that you love might be a negative thing, but you have to get past that. At some point, you may have to either ignore it or just suppress it until you can keep moving forward until you get to the point where you understand that earning money as an entrepreneur is what keeps you alive as an entrepreneur. You can’t do this work if you can’t earn money. You’re done; you’re out of business.

The next thing I want you to remember is that earning money gives you the ability to do the work. So what happens if you start a business, and 6 months in, 12 months in, you aren’t earning any money? You’re done. That’s it. And this kind of goes back to the point that I was making at the end of the last one; there are people who take investments, right? And there are businesses that legitimately require a ton of startup capital. Maybe you don’t have all that money on your own, and you take an investment.

However; I’m the kind of person where I like to see people grit it out, and grow something from the ground up, more often than you do something not inherently you start out, and you’re like, I have to get investors. Because what you do when you have investors is you give away a lot of power. And that’s fine; it’s necessary for certain businesses. I’m going to guess that most of you who are listening to this right now are not in that position. You have a small business, you have a blog, you have a product or a service that you’re selling. You’re probably not creating a web app or an iPhone app or something like that where; even those. Even an iPhone app can be done for a lot less money, and you can get it started and get the ball rolling.

Remember that earning money is your ability to do the work. If you don’t have money, you can’t keep doing that work. I’ve had this experience a few times where I’ve had a business and I didn’t earn a ton of money doing it. I had a meal delivery business several years ago, and I just couldn’t earn money doing it. I was like, this is crazy, and quite frankly I don’t recommend; I recommend if you don’t have a ton of experience in selling food, that you take it very slowly and you choose very carefully before you do that, because selling food is very difficult. Especially fully cooked, prepared food. The margins on that stuff are very small. Tough to make a good living doing that. But the people who do it do it really well, and they’re very, very smart about their business.

But if you don’t have the money, you can’t keep doing that, and you may have to go back to a full time job. You may have to go back to working for somebody else. As an entrepreneur, that’s pretty much the most suffocating thing you can do. There’s nothing that makes me feel more choked and suffocated than working in an office and working for someone else.

Here’s the next thing; earning money from what you’re doing gives you freedom. It gives you the ability to make choices. If you are blogging, for example, and you get to the point where your blog is earning money; instead of feeling like you have to hustle and you have to write a certain kind of post because you need to earn this money; you get to a point where you get to make some more choices just based on what you feel like doing. And that freedom is something that all of us are looking for as entrepreneurs. We want control over our own lives, but what we really are after is freedom. We’re really after that freedom that we’re in control, and that we get to choose what we’re doing, and that’s something that earning money from this work will allow you to do.

The last couple of things I want to say about why we all need to just get over this idea that asking for money is bad, or earning money for doing something that you love is bad is that, you need resources to be able to move forward, and the way I see it; if you feel that what you’re doing is in service to others, which is something that I definitely feel in what I’m doing, the resources that money can buy allow you to continue that service. I don’t even just mean to continue to do the work that I was talking about before.

For example; we have an eBook PDF that I’m working on with my team. It’s kind of been front burnered and back burnered a few times because we have a lot of projects going on. However; the way that we operate is that when we have enough resources, we have the money, I have the money as the business owner to be able to pay my team to work on something that will never earn money. This eBook that we’re creating isn’t something that we’re going to sell. We’re going to give it away.

We’re going to give it away in as many places as possible, and it’s going to be a resource, especially for people who don’t have a ton of money to spend on something like real food. And I don’t want to charge for that. I want to be able to give that away, because part of the nature of this resource is to help people who really need to budget very, very strictly. So to me, it seems like, for all the things that we do have a price tag on; I would love to not put a price on this. So guess what? Now at this point in my career and my business, I have the freedom to serve people in this way, because I’ve had the courage to be able to ask for money in the past for a lot of the resources I’ve created over time.

Hopefully this resonates with you. Hopefully you see that if you get to a point where you’re earning more money than you really need just to live your daily life, you can choose what you want to do with it. Maybe you want to donate it. Maybe you then want to donate some of your time. Maybe you want to create a scholarship for people. There are a million things you could do with money that if you feel like you’re earning a lot, and you have more than you need, then do something good with it. You don’t have to keep that for yourself and feel bad about it. You can do good things with it.

One of the things I’m doing with it is actually paying my team to create a resource that we will give away for people who do really need it. There are a lot of different ways we can choose to give back with that money that we earn, but I just want you guys to keep that in mind that it doesn’t have to be that it’s just that you’re being greedy that you’re earning more money and that you’re keeping it all. You can do a bazillion things with that money.

Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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