3 Mistakes Knowledge Workers Make That Destroy Their Confidence and Price Point--and what to do instead

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3 Mistakes Knowledge Workers Make That Destroy Their Confidence and Price Point--and what to do instead

(I still make some of these, but I can fix them faster.)


3 min read

Mistake 1: Focus on process, not outcomes. ๐Ÿš—

A weird truth I had to learn after college: nobody wants to learn.

Yet, most knowledge workers I see tell customers HOW they work. Not what they can do for them.

I love Sean Murphy's take on this:

Forget knowledge work. You're going to a mechanic because your car sputtered out on the highway. Even worse, you have to give a best man speech that's happening in 20 minutes (ceremony and reception are at different venues).

The mechanic steps out of the garage, covered in grease. "What can I do ya for?"

"Please," you say, exasperated. "My car is broken. I need your help!"

"Sure thing, let's get that sucker into the garage!"

It's a miracle - but you're able to ease the car into the garage.

The mechanic turns to you: "I have GREAT news. I've got a state-of-the-art socket set ranging from 6mm to 24mm with hex, Torx, and impact sockets! On top of that, I have loads of socket extensions and U-joints. This versatile range accommodates various fastener sizes commonly found in exhaust systems, ensuring precision in removal and installation procedures!"

You say: "I don't care! I have somewhere to be!"

An older, grizzled mechanic walks over, takes a look at the car, and disappears into the repair bay.

Two minutes later, he turns on your car. The motor's purring. It's nearly brand new.

"That'll be $800." You happily pay and deliver an awesome best man speech.

People want their problems solved. They don't care how.

They buy the OUTCOME of your PROCESS.

So sell it.

Mistake 2: Compare to the Greats. ๐ŸŸฃ๐Ÿฎ

The issue with comparing to the Greats: you are not on their level.

You don't have their experience. You haven't gotten the same opportunities. Heck, they may have been doing it for longer than you've been alive.

What you do have is YOUR experience.

What do I mean by that?

I follow a lot of solopreneur Greats: Dan Koe, Justin Welsh, Nicolas Cole.

They have great advice, but I would love to have someone who's:

  • At most five years ahead of me on my solopreneur path

  • Available for one-on-one calls

  • Improv-knowledgeable

I can only think of one person I know who fits this description. I would be willing to pay him.

I don't need a Great. I need someone who's the best at solving my exact problem.

You can be that person. You need to "own it".

Don't compare. Commit.

Mistake 3. Ease dictates value. ๐ŸŽจ

This is the root of imposter syndrome:

"This only took me a few hours... so why should I charge more than a few bucks?"

The fact that it's easy for you is EXACTLY WHY YOU'RE VALUABLE!

You need to think about yourself as Picasso:

A fine art fan asks Picasso to sketch something for him: "I'll pay you. Name your price."

Picasso doodles a cubist sketch on the back of a napkin: "$100,000."

The fan balks at this price: "But it only took you 30 seconds!"

Picasso crumples the napkin: "Wrong. It took me 40 years."

Don't discount your knowledge you've gained over time.

You are a knowledge worker, after all.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hey, I'm Gus, developer, improviser, and game maker.

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