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We often think getting big results means working harder.
In a way it’s true: working harder does enable us to produce greater results. But what does this look like at scale?
Do the people who make more work harder? Sometimes they do, but in the big picture, typically more people work harder for less. Those who make 10 times or 100 times what you make aren’t necessarily working harder.
They think differently.
The phrase, “Work smarter, not harder,” might sound cliché but it really is a matter of mindset. There’s a mental leap you have to make in order to think bigger. We’re going to help you make that leap.
We’re going to take what you thought was big (10X) and 10X that!
10 minutes in, the live listeners were all saying that were definitely going to listen to this episode again. It will completely change your thinking.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- We all have the same amount of time in a day.
- You don’t have to put in 10 times the effort to multiply the value of what you’re offering by 10.
- The people who make 10 times or 100 times as much as you aren’t necessarily working harder.
- Take the goal that feels like a stretch for you and 10X that.
- There are people who think very differently from you and you’re never going to get them as clients unless you change the way you think.
- You shouldn’t be chasing clients, you should be attracting them.
- When you increase the value of your work, you can find clients who will compensate you for that it.
- Set yourself up so that you can afford to be selective with clients.
- You need to find the right client and provide real, tangible value to them.
- The difference between you and the people making six figures is their mindset.
- If you want to get to the next level, you need to get around people who are already there.
- You’re only able to accomplish as much as you’re able to invest.
- 08:36 Ben: We’re talking about taking your big dream—the thing that’s already far beyond what you would normally imagine for yourself is possible—and then multiplying that by 10, which seems ridiculous. Isn’t it enough that we’re asking people to dream bigger and have their friends and family criticize them for it? Now, we’re asking them to go even further.
- 09:08 Sean: 10X is a good starting point, but I really want people to think bigger. We often think that getting results requires working harder, and that’s often true. Working harder does enable us to produce greater results, but what does this really look like at scale? Do the people who make more work harder? Sometimes, yes they do, but in the big picture, typically the people who make more aren’t necessarily working harder. There’s more people in the world that work harder for less.
The people who make 10 times or 100 times as much as you aren’t necessarily working harder.
- 10:03 Ben: They definitely don’t have 10 times or 100 times more time or effort to give to their work.
- 10:14 Sean: They’re not necessarily working 10 times as much as you, or sweating 10 times as much. They’re thinking differently. We all have the same amount of time in a day. The phrase, “Work smarter, not harder,” might sound cliché, but it really is a matter of mindset. There’s a mental leap you have to make in order to think bigger. I want to help people make that leap.
- 11:29 Sean: To give people a sense of thinking bigger, I want to use pricing as an example. Maybe you’re thinking about making a product or you have products already. Let’s say you see yourself as a person who could sell a $29 product. In order to make $29,000, you need to make 1,000 sales. 1,000 sales is a lot, no matter how you slice it—that’s 30 a day.
- 12:16 Ben: If you’re talking about launch numbers, like with Learn Lettering for example, there’s only a percentage of your email list who will purchase from you. You have to think about it in those terms. If you want to turn half of your sales within your launch window, that’s got to be a percentage of your overall list and how big does that list have to be in order for it to make up 500 sales?
- 12:45 Sean: Could you even keep doing 1,000 sales? What if you had a $290 product? We’re 10X-ing this thing. Instead of a $29 product, how could you turn this is into a $290 product? What kind of value could you add? Maybe that’s not bonuses with your product, maybe it’s personalized consultation. It’s a way of rethinking what you’re offering. If you sell a $29 package of beauty products, what is it going to take to sell a $290 package? Maybe you give someone a personalized, one-on-one session where you teach them how to apply those products included with the actual products. It’s an experience. If it’s an information product, like an ebook you would want sell for $29, what can you add to make it a $290 product? We’re talking about making the same $29,000 but now you only need 100 sales! That’s 3 sales a day in month and it’s a lot more feasible.
You don’t have to put in 10 times the effort to multiply the value of what you’re offering by 10.
- 14:21 Ben: The amount of effort you put in to your $29 product doesn’t have to be multiplied by 10 in order to reach $290. How does that work? What is your experience with the amount of effort it takes to get something to that 10X level vs. the amount of effort it takes to get it to where you originally started?
- 15:00 Sean: It definitely is more effort, but if you break down the additional effort, it’s half mindset and half actual work. Half of it is getting over the fact that you’re charging $290 for a product and you’re freaking out. You think you’re not the kind of person who can sell a $290 product.
- 15:19 Ben: It’s likely you’ve undervalued the $29 product.
- 15:22 Sean: It’s certainly possible. This plays off the selling stuff, like when to start charging for things. It’s a mindset. We’re so focused on thinking we can’t sell a product that’s priced that high because we think we’re not worth it or we shouldn’t get that money. That’s being focused on us and really, we should be focused on the person buying instead of ourselves. What’s the value they’re getting? How can I create more value than what this person is paying? If you’re in the realm of wanting to sell a $29 product, then this was an example of 10X-ing that, but I want to talk about 10X-ing your 10X. If you 10X your 10X here, then we’re talking about a $2,900 product.
- 16:21 That’s substantial. Maybe this is no longer listed as a product you add to your cart and checkout, maybe it’s some kind of thing where you meet with someone for a personalized consultation. Maybe there’s even services brought in where you do work. What would a done-for-you service look like with your product? How could you do the work for someone? You start to think differently here. Now, to get that $29,000 you need 10 sales—10 people, 10 clients, 10 customers—at a $2,900 price point. You already see how your mindset is changing. It’s very different from what it was when we started this when we were struggling with a $29 product. “How can I get people to buy my $29 product? Am I pricing too high? Should it be $24.95 or $19?” Now, you’re in a whole new realm.
- 17:28 Let’s use a logo designer as an example. A lot of people are charging $250 for a logo. Let’s say your monthly expenses are $2,500 because you’re single, you have an apartment, and you live somewhere that’s not San Fransisco. You need to do 10 logos a month at $250 to pay your bills! That’t not even to get the new Mac you want. If we 10X that, you’re now looking at $2,500 per logo and you only need one logo a month to pay your bills. You’re no longer in the commoditized market where you’re thinking, “I can’t do $250 because I know someone will say, ‘I know a guy who can do it for $199.'”You”re struggling and you’re working really hard, but you’re serving a totally different market.
- 18:26 The one person that’s going to pay $2,500 for a logo will want someone who’s serious. They’re not going to look on those $5 E-Lance type sites. They’re wanting someone serious. You might need to filter out to find the right client, but once you find that one client you can pay your bills. Here’s where we can blow everything out of the water: 10X your 10X. Take what already feels like a stretch for you and 10X that. I want you to think differently—think bigger! We’re now talking about a $25,000 logo. I know this probably sounds crazy, especially if you’re charging $250 a logo right now. If your bills are $2,500 a month, this is 10 months of expenses for you. I want you to think about how you can craft an experience for someone with that.
- 19:34 If you’re overlapping, you’re setting a foundation where you can afford to be selective. You have 10 months to get that client! Imagine if your full-time job and every effort was about getting this one client for 10 months. Could you do that? I’m not necessarily saying this is the next thing you should be doing, I just want you to think about this. Think differently and realize this is a totally different way of thinking. It’s a very real realm, but it’s a realm most people don’t want to go into because it’s uncomfortable on a number of levels.
- 20:29 Ben: There are people who pay five or six figures for a logo. The Next logo was a six figure project in the 80’s! It’s definitely not unheard of, but it’s also a challenge. Immediately I have to ask myself: what do I have to project in order to demand that? What skills do I need to gain? Where do I need to grow professionally in order to be able to demand that? I love that because it’s this personal challenge. You may be very confortable charging $2,500 for a logo because you know you do good work. You know you’re able to overdeliver and provide even more value than that consistently. It’s amazing how much this makes me want to stretch and say, “I can be like these other designers who charge $2,500 for a logo,” or what does it look like for me to set myself apart from that group and think bigger?
- 21:55 Sean: It is hypothetical for you but it isn’t outside the realm of reality. I’m speaking for myself in a very literal sense. I got to the point where my rate for logo designs was $8,000 and before that was doubling my price! I think the lowest I had started at was $250, then $500, then $750, then $1,500. At that time I was at my partnership webfirm, so I was only getting half that. When I went out on my own, I continued doing $1,500 because it was doubling the price for me. I didn’t understand the mindset I should have had back then. It doesn’t matter to the client! I was thinking about my take home, but you have to think about value to the client.
- 22:54 Eventually I increased to $2,000 because I was still a little scared, then after years, I went to $4,000. I charged $4,000 for a logo with this client and what I didn’t realize is someone I knew, who knew someone that worked there, said they thought I was cheap! I recently told my friend who lives in San Fransisco this story and he said, “Yeah, we paid $25,000 for our logo. $4,000 is nothing.” That was normal to him! That’s when you realize:
There are people who think very differently from you and you’re never going to get them as clients unless you change the way you think.
- 23:52 Ben: If you’re in that $250 or $2,500 realm, the only clients you’re going to be exposed to are the ones who see $250 or $2,500 as a fair investment for a logo. What you experience consistently can cause you to believe that’s all that’s out there or that’s all you have access to. In the chat room, Cory Miller said something really great, “The people you’re going to be marketing to are going to be completely different at each stage. You can’t market your $25,000 logo to someone who will only pay $250.” You’re reaching into a completely different market when you 10X than the client base you’ve experienced
- 24:43 Sean: That’s why I say “realm”, this is a completely different way of thinking. If you’re thinking, “Sean, I can picture the look on my client’s face when I tell him that’s my price!” I bet you can! Look at what he’s used to paying.
- 25:00 Ben: They’ll say, “That’s ridiculous. Who would pay that for a logo?” Clients who have more money and understand the value of what they’re getting pay that for a logo.
- 25:14 Sean: Clients who never tell you what they could pay someone else for the same logo. If you’ve never experienced that, it’s because you’re in the race to the bottom of the market. The bottom is everyone price-bidding and saying, “I know a guy who can do it cheaper.” It’s two directions: you’re either going up or you’re going down.
When you increase the value of your work, you can find clients who will compensate you for that it.
- 25:55 There is no middle ground, you’re either racing to the bottom or you’re increasing the value. Everything is going further to one end of the spectrum.
- 26:18 Ben: I really love the idea of this because imagine being able to pay all of your bills with one client. Imagine being able to do one project and spend that much time on it really pouring the value into it, providing something that’s above and beyond what most people could hope for in their logo or brand. Imagine being able to give that kind of gift to your client because you’re that exclusive.
- 26:51 Sean: Robert says, “‘Who would pay that for a logo?’ is the attitude I’ve been getting a lot and I’m not even charging four figures yet.” The people who have that attitude are the people who aren’t going to pay you.
- 27:06 Ben: If you’re not careful, you can start to believe it and think they’re right. Sometimes that comes from people you have a relationship with and who you trust. Their influence on your mindset can put you into a negative trajectory.
- 27:50 Sean: Here are some questions I want you to think about:
- How do I make this my new normal?
- How do I need to change my thinking?
- What kind of people do I need to be around?
- 28:03 When you hear the message, “Who would pay that?” you’re going to start believing it. Imagine being around this kind of thinking every single day. Joining the Community will give you that, but in your life, think about the kind of people you’re around, the kind of clients you’re trying to get, and the places you’re going trying to chase clients. You shouldn’t be chasing clients, you should be attracting them. When you chase clients, it sets everything off on the wrong foot. You’re then asking them to do you a favor. You want to attract clients and these kinds of clients know what they’re looking for. They can smell an unprofessional from a mile away. Get that project off on the right foot by attracting them. If you’re going for these bottom-of-the-barrel sites trying to chase jobs and hearing, “Who would pay that?” then you’re in the wrong place.
- 29:47 Ben: Damien asks, “What do you think about people who charge too much and aren’t really ready to be providing work that’s that valuable? Does this hurt those that are trying to provide quality solutions?” I undestand the fear there, but it goes back to the mindset thing for me. If your focus is on other people who are charging a lot of money but aren’t providing good value and worrying about whether or not that’s going to effect your perception, the clients you want recognize value when they see it. The clients you want aren’t shopping around for the best value or different designers. They’ve targeted you because of the expertise and the value you’ve demonstrated.
- 30:40 Sean: You’re not going to get them if you can’t provide the value. People paying this much are smart and know what to look for. You already have tons of case studies where you showed the whole process, who the client was, how you vetted the client, what the project looked like, what the results were, a followup on your client, etc. How many of you do a followup on your client? How many of you are happy to see them go? Who’s fault is it that you’re happy to see your client go? You’ve got to start being selective. It’s scary for people because if you want to start thinking this way, you have to go all in. You have to adopt this mindset wholeheartedly. You can’t keep the 99Designs bookmark and check it every once in a while or take on jobs while you’re waiting for this to pan out.
Set yourself up so that you can afford to be selective.
- 31:54 Find a way to cover your bills some other way to make sure you can have the right mindset of selectivity going into this. People think you have to be a master or have a certificate to be selective with clients. You just have to start being selective. Starting taking on only the right clients—it starts with you.
- 32:20 Ben: This assumes that you’re solid in your ability to provide the kind of value you’re charging for. This is something you have to earn and work up to, but you do that through experiences you gain when your livelihood isn’t dependent on your ability to provide value with that pursuit, it’s covered by something else.
- 32:51 Sean: There’s a lot to go into with pricing on value, so check out the Value-Based Pricing live webinar I’ll be doing the second week of November 2015. When you sign up at that link, you’ll get a PDF called 7 Value Discovering Questions to Ask Your Client. If you’re wondering how you can provide value and how you can price like this, you need to do project discovery up front and have deep conversations with clients. This isn’t a magical thing where you can just add zeroes to your invoice to create 10X—you have to do things differently, think differently, act differently, and work differently! There’s a lot that goes into pricing on value and the short answer is you have to deliver on the value.
You need to find the right client and provide real, tangible value to them.
- 34:15 I have videos in this course that talk about how to price when the value isn’t tangible. There’s probably photographers thinking about the wedding photography they do right now. The client isn’t making money, how do you deliver value on that? We’ve got materials on that.
- 34:42 For those who haven’t heard the single most popular episode of the seanwes podcast, I talk about how I was making $1,000 a month a little over 5 years ago and my massive goal was to make $3,000 a month doing work I love, either computer stuff or music (Related: e068 You Have One Life – Set Bigger Goals). I sent myself an email as a milestone marker for me that said, “I have my new job,” even though it was several years before it actually happened. In that episode, I go through the whole mindset thing and I show how I eventually made it there, and not just making that, but to where I was making 10X that a month.
- 35:48 I also wanted to go beyond that and dream bigger. My dream car has always been a Lamborghini but I eventually settled for something more “realistic” and I bought a Mustang. I saved up and I bought the very specific car in cash. I wanted a 2001 standard red Mustang with under 85,000 miles and over the course of a couple of years different cars came up that didn’t quite fit my criteria and I said no. I didn’t settle and eventually I got my car, and it showed me I could achieve my goals. What I realized was that I lowered my ultimate goal of a Lamborghini as a kid to something more reasonable. That was eight years ago and in the back of my mind I knew my dream car was a Lamborghini but I figured I would get a newer model Mustang one day instead. I realized I only have one life and I need to focus on my dream!
- 37:17 People can make fun of me and say that’s a stupid dream and they can go about their merry way with their own dreams they don’t think are stupid. I’m not living for other people, why not really go after what I want? My goal is to buy a Lamborghini Aventador, but I want to buy it in cash. That wasn’t enough though—and this is where I literally 10X-ed my 10X—so I decided I’m only going to buy it in cash when it represents 10% of my money. This was my crazy huge goal that eventually started the other podcast I do, Lambo Goal. It’s a show about dreaming bigger and the more practical aspects of growing a successful business in order to be able to get there.
When Can You Afford to Start Thinking Bigger?
- 38:24 Ben: Have you considered 10X-ing your Lambo Goal? What would that look like?
- 38:32 Sean: I have! People are wondering if they should be 10X-ing their 10X right now and when they can afford to think bigger. Steve asks, “At what stage should you be thinking 10X or 100X bigger? Should you be looking at the biggest possible picture from day one, or at the smaller steps in the journey to get to 100×? For example, if I have a business that makes $100,000 per year in revenue, should I be focused on reaching $1 million before the possibility of $10,000,000?” Should you be looking at the biggest possible picture day one? No.
Thinking bigger will change for you.
“Big” is relative.
- 39:47 Big for you now is different from what big will be to you when you reach big. You can’t know yet. You can’t have a realistic grasp of that from day one. Limit yourself to 10X-ing your 10X. If I’m at $100,000 a year, 10X-ing that is $1 million. Should you be thinking about $10 million though? Yes, $1 million is the next milestone, but if you think a million dollars is a lot of money, you might get $100,000. If you think $10,000,000 is a lot of money, you might get a million. As far as your mindset is concerned, you have to overshoot to be able to get to the next level. I don’t think you should think about $100 million right now, because for your current reality, it’s out of grasp. It’s not actually going to pull you forward.
- 42:18 Ben: For example, if my goal was to make $50,000 in a year, 10X-ing that would be $500,000 a year, and then 10X-ing that would be $5 million a year, but $5 million a year isn’t the same kind of motivator for me that $500,000 at this point because it seems so far out of reach. If I get to where I’m making $500,000 a year, then the $5 million is more practical because it can lead me to action. If it’s out of my reach, I’m not going to treat it like it’s a serious goal. I’m going to treat it like a pipe dream. It’s fun to talk about stuff that big like it’s something that could be real, but if you can’t believe it, it’s not going to lead you to action.
- 42:30 Sean: People ask me what’s after the Lambo Goal, and there will be things after the Lambo Goal. That’s not the biggest thing I’ll accomplish in my life. It’s what I’m laser-focused on. I’m not worrying about what’s after that because I need to accomplish this first. This is still a very big dream and will take me some years to get there. I can reevaluate when I get there. The car I want is $400,000 and I don’t even have that in cash, let alone 10 times that in cash. When I get there, my thinking will be different.
If you want to get to the next level, you need to get around people who are already there.
- 43:15 Whatever you’re making right now is an embarrassment to the people you need to get around. You want to level up, but you can’t go so far that it’s unrealistic. You want someone ahead of you to be able to pull you up, but if they’re so far ahead they can’t reach you, then it doesn’t help.
- 43:42 Ben: At that point, it’s almost like you’re speaking a completely different language. You’ve got these people who have money working for them—their money is making them more money. You might not even be in a place where you have people making you more money. You might be the only one making yourself money. There are rungs on that latter they’ve already climbed and they can’t grab your hand or pull you up to the next level.
Cover Your Bills
- 44:16 Sean: On that note, I want to talk about the requirement before being able to think about 10X-ing. Ryan asks, “Is working toward the ‘smart’ work hindered by doing too much low return hard work? Can hard work to keep out of scarcity be a part of the path to the 10x of smart work?” Kyle says something similar with, “What are some healthy ways to approach this mindset with a young business when resources aren’t abundant?” You have to cover your bills. This is the theme of seanwes podcast: The Overlap Technique (Related: e137 The Overlap Technique: A Crash Course). The Overlap Technique is where you get something like a day job that covers your bills, which serves as your foundation.
- 45:20 You cover your bills and you overlap to the next thing as you have time and resources to work on it, and eventually make that your main pursuit. The problem is if you’re not covering the foundation, you can’t afford to think this way. If you don’t have your bills covered, if your business isn’t growing enough to where it’s paying you and can support you, then you’re going to be in Scarcity Mindset. I’ve been there at many stages and I’m in an overlapping and scarcity situation right now because I’m working to get monthly recurring revenue up to covering payroll. In the meantime, we’re using reserves from course launches to pay people. This is effecting my ability to focus on 10X-ing my 10X.
- 46:00 Right now, you may need to focus on your 1X. You might need to focus on covering your bills. That’s step 1: The Overlap Technique. Cover your bills then come back to the 10X. You have to earn the right to think 10X, otherwise you’re in scarcity and you’re not going to be able to think big. Scarcity is focused on the immediate and the now. 10X is very future-focused.
- 47:01 Ben: For example, Kyle Adams in the Community, saved a year’s worth of income from his day job. I know a lot of people would love to be in a position where they have a whole year to try to build something and gain momentum so they could make enough to cover their bills from their passion, but is a whole year necessary? Is there an amount of time that’s too short when you’re talking about overlap?
- 47:51 Sean: Overlap can look like a few different things. One version is spending your nights and weekends to grow a side business outside of your day job, you build up a portfolio, you start working with clients, or you might sell products. It could take a while, especially if you’re only dedicated four to six hours a night, but eventually, the amount you make from that could eclipse what you make in the day job at which point you quit. That’s the purest version of it, but it’s usually not that simple. On the other extreme is that you don’t have any time or availability to do anything other than your main day job, but you can simplify your living situation such that you can set aside extra money until you can quit.
- 49:07 Usually it’s a combination where you’re working on the side, started to get some regular work, and you’re also simplifying your living situation. You can save money and you’re growing the business on the side so you’ve got a little bit of runway and momentum, then eventually you make the leap. Or, you could work less hours before you actually quit your day job.
- 49:47 Ben: If you’re going the route where you’re actually saving money, maybe you’re building a portfolio during that time, but you’re planning to save enough money to where you can have your bills covered for a certain amount of time and you want to use that time to grow your business. Is that as practical as the other method, and is there an amount of time you feel is too short?
- 50:18 Sean: It’s circumstantial and it depends on the flexibility of your day job. One is safer than the other, but one is not always an option. What’s always an option is saving up and creating a runway to quit. You can either work harder at the day job—take on more projects or work longer hours—or make money on the side, or simplify your living situation. We can all afford to simplify our living situation. The most realistic one would be creating a runway and when it comes down to how long that runway is, how scrappy are you? How risk-averse are you? I would say six months is the minimum, a year is ideal, but you could be really agressive and do three months or less. It’s different for different people.
Big is Relative
- 51:50 What’s big to you is small to someone else. Getting around people for whom your goal is silly—that’s the idea. For some people, your huge goal is tiny. It’s about the company you keep and mindset you take on. You have to be around people who think this way.
- 52:31 Ben: When I saw this title, I was thinking about building your platform, not what you’re charging clients and your goals. I thought it was about how you started with something simple, like having your online store and then added the show. It’s growing now and you did a lot of that stuff on your own, but there’s no way you could do all the things you’re doing now by yourself. I’d like to talk about 10X-ing from the standpoint of someone who’s thinking about building their own big platform or just wanted to see their own little thing grow.
- 53:53 Sean: If you like this bigger thinking and platform building, hiring, and systems, I’ve talked about how to build an empire on Lambo Goal before (Related: e010 20 Steps to Building an Empire).
- 54:53 Ben: For the practical side of it, when you’re building something, it takes time, hardwork, skill, and effort. You may have all that in yourself, but that’s a limited resource. in order for you to think bigger, it’s going to take multiplying what you’re capable of doing. I’m not necessarily talking about just hiring, but it could be having a virtual assistant, enlisting the help of others around you, gaining new skills, learning a more efficient process, or automating things. There are a lot of different ways you can multiply that time, but ultimately, as much as the mindset plays into it, the practical piece is always the same.
You’re only able to accomplish as much as you’re able to invest.
- 55:43 And as much as other people who are part of your time are able to invest. The equation includes the amount of time they have, the skills they have, how efficient they are, etc. Thinking about it practically in those terms help me to think bigger, but also realize there’s a practical component to it. It’s not just because I think bigger, now all of these things are going to come about. In order for this big vision I have to come true, it’s going to require something more than what I’m capable of right now.
- 56:29 Sean: The practicality is different at every stage. Big is relative, so people listening right now have different pictures in their heads of what thinking bigger is for them. 10X-ing their 10X results in a final product that’s a very different number for each listener. There are different hurdles of practicality that need to be overcome at each and every stage.
- 58:29 I don’t remember who said, “What it takes to get to $100,000 a year—the biggest hurdle—is mindset. To get from $100,000 to $1 million is marketing. To get form $1 million to $10 million is human resources.” I would say even into a couple hundred thousand dollars it’s mindset. The difference between you and the people making six figures is their mindset. They think differently than you and you need to get around those people. Keep getting around the people who the old you would have said, “Oh, that six figures guy,” about. The reason those people are like that is because they think differently and you’re dismissing it because you’re not there yet.
- 59:45 We talk about a lot of marketing stuff and for many people, they’re not yet past the mindset stage and they’re trying to apply the marketing part. You need to know where you are. Some people who listen to this show make six figures, so they have a different hurdle of practicality to overcome in order to get to the next level. The HR aspect is hiring, processes, on-boarding, systematizing, business development, culture, and the people aspect. The culture is really important because you can keep hiring but have holes in the bucket.
- 1:01:07 What habits do you need to adopt in order to level up? What habits do you need to adopt to not just get excited when you listen to this one podcast episode about 10X-ing, but to really embrace it? I can’t claim to have the definitive answer here, but:
Whatever habits you need for you need to be protected and maintained.
- 1:01:43 Do you have any thoughts on the kinds of habits people need to embrace in order for them to think bigger? If they’ve never even thought about charging four or five figures for something, how do they break through to that next level?
- 1:02:08 Ben: First, I get the sense that there’s a baseline requirement for what’s necessary in order to achieve that—things like productivity, self-discipline, and professionalism. If you’re on a journey toward those things and you’re constantly looking for ways to solidify those pieces, your client interactions have to be solid in order for you to demand something much bigger than what you feel comfortable with right now. People will pay $250, or even $2,500, for a logo and tolerate unprofessionalism or lack of communication.
- 1:03:17 Sean: That’s so prevalent in every industry, it’s surprising more people don’t get it. Look at the food industry: you can go to New York and pay three figures a plate and nobody blinks. Many people are willing to buy ramen noodles and tolerate the high sodium levels and lack of experience or nutrients, but that doesn’t mean there’s not another end of the spectrum
- 1:04:07 Ben: I don’t want the listener to disqualify themselves because of this, but how I like to challenge myself is if I want to play in that arena, these are the things that have to be true. That doesn’t mean I can’t play in that arena if all of these things aren’t true, but it’s challenging me. It’s causing me to work toward being more professional, get all my ducks in a row, and to be more self-disciplined because I want to be there. It’s a driver of personal growth. A lot of people think the baseline is knowing how to work Photoshop and deposit a check into their bank account. Your baseline needs to be much higher if you want to play in that arena.
- 1:05:15 Sean: I like starting from the point of: what needs to change about my thinking? What habits do I need to adopt? What people do I need to be around? Reverse-engineer that—come up with the answers to those questions. For me, that’s things like focus, confidence, and knowing your worth. Confidence and knowing your worth go hand-in-hand. If you’re confident, you’re going to know your worth. If you know your worth, you’ll be confident. You have to start with one and it’ll lead to the other. Two more are professionalism and making sure you’re not in Scarcity Mindset, because you’ll be compromising yourself from the get-go. If you’re trying to charge $25,000 ahead and you’re thinking in terms of scarcity, you’ve already lost. You can’t be at that level and think, “What if I don’t get this $25,000 client?”
- 1:06:23 Ben: A second thing I know from experience is visualisation. Not only do you establish this baseline, but take some time every day where you imagine what it looks like to interact with that kind of client, to operate at that level of professionalism, to exude that kind of confidence, and to express that kind of value.
The things you think about most often create the deepest paths.
- 1:07:21 Sean: What if your next client was a $25,000 client? What would your proposal look like? What would your invoice look like? What would your email signature look like? What would your handshake feel like? What would the first words out of your mouth be? What would be the first question you ask them? Where would you meet them?
- 1:07:41 Ben: What you’re saying is super important. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a big musician and play to a stadium full of people, and I could visualize that all day long, but if I don’t also visualize the things that need to happen to get to that point, all I’m doing is building regret. I’m never setting myself up to be able to achieve those things because I’m not focusing on the details leading up to it. I love that. What is your handshake going to be like? What are the words that are going to come out of your mouth? How are they going to get in touch with you? What fields on the form will they fill out? How are they going to find you? What kind of content are you going to provide so that they’re attracted to you? Visualize the ideal and then reverse-engineer it and visualize the steps in between, then make those your mini goals you can work toward to get you to the big goal.
- 1:08:52 Sean: Right now, you might be thinking, “I should do a workshop. I’ve been doing this for a while and I should teach it! How am I going to get 100 people to pay $29? It already costs me $500 to rent the venue and that’s not even marketing. I hope I can get people to notice this.” What if you charged $1,000 a head for this workshop? Maybe you only have five or 10 people, but what does that experience look like? If I visualize that, it’s automatically relaxed. It’s less stress than managing 100 people and tables, etc. Where is the most comfortable, calm, and atmospheric place I can get together with five other people, focus, and elevate their experience? Everything changes.
- 1:10:06 Ben: The visualization is just a piece of it, you do have to act. The more of a tactile experience you have in action, the deeper the path is in your mind. Visualization is a way you can begin to create that path and then through action, you really deepen it. You create these grooves and the deeper the groove goes, the more difficult it is to get out of that groove. There are people who naturally lean toward being pessimistic, but you have to realize there are some things about that that help you in certain circumstances, it’s also hindering your ability to think bigger and get yourself to that next level. You have to work harder to get out of those grooves and toward grooves that will lead you to more positive action.
- 1:11:19 Sean: Ryan says, “To clarify my situation: I want to charge five figures for a service and I’m not worried about my living coming from that next client, so am I in an okay position to market to that client even though I’m overlapping? I have my bills covered.” If you have your bills covered and you’re not caught up in having to get this next client, then yes, you’re in a position to be able to choose to charge a higher rate. There’s a lot that goes into the actual how of charging more, finding that value to the client, how you make sure you can deliver on it, and make sure that experience goes well. That’s the whole reason I have the Value-Based Pricing course. If you actually want to learn how to price more and get clients who will thank you for charging them very good rates, then sign up for that.
- 1:12:48 There’s plenty of people on the lower end of the spectrum. I could sell thousands of a $29 course on pricing, but that’s not who this is for. This course if for people who are already charging thousands and they want to get to the next level. Ryan knows his services are worth five figures to someone but he doesn’t know how to get to that point, how to position himself, or what those conversations look like—that’s who this is for. This is for people who are already making money but don’t want to work themselves to death, they want to do the best work of their careers for clients who will benefit from it.
- 1:13:57 Ben: A lot of designers have a dream client they would love to work for, whether it’s Disney or Nike, etc. Often, what ends up playing out is you get into that realm and you’re approached by these big clients and it’s such a machine that they don’t really value the work the way you thought they would. Back up and think about that dream client. How could you charge five figures right out of the gate? What kind of work needs to proceed that. It’s full price or free. If you’re demonstrating your expertise by teaching what you know, but also by demonstrating through case studies, what if you did six months of pro-bono work and you got four solid case studies from it? What if it was so good that you couldn’t be ignored? There’s no reason that first client couldn’t be a five figure paying client.
- 1:15:57 Sean: You set yourself up to not only be selective with clients, but position yourself as someone who is attracting the kinds of clients who could even afford that. In the end, you would make up for all of that free work because you made the same in one job as you would have in 10 months.
- 16:16 Ben: I want to get rid of this idea that you have to work up to what you want to charge because that’s not necessarily true.