Why Entrepreneurs Struggle With Value – And the Two Steps to Building Your Self-Worth
The rest of the world isn’t obligated to validate you. Here’s how you can learn to do it yourself and achieve greater results.
When we embark on growing inside our entrepreneurship, we seek knowledge. We read more, we listen to others, and we try to learn what it takes to grow a business successfully.
That’s when we notice a recurring theme – value. It seems that everywhere we look, everyone’s talking about value.
For new entrepreneurs and small business owners, the topic can be confusing.
If you think about it, you probably embarked on this journey because there are no limits to what you can create in terms of business, income, and lifestyle. You’re free to be the leader you want to be. And you’re in charge of your self-responsibility.
Unfortunately, there’s another side to this discussion:
In the early days, you get very little validation.
If you don’t have someone patting you on the back, giving performance reviews, or even showing appreciation, how do you know you’re doing the right thing?
Many of us look for or expect validation from the outside world. That’s where we get the benchmarks we use to measure ourselves. And this is one of the biggest struggles you can face as an entrepreneur.
But not having your own sense of value and knowing how to bring it into your business can stand in the way of your success.
So, how can you tell if you’re struggling with your self-worth?
3 Signs You’re Undervaluing Yourself
Here are three of the most common signs you’re undervaluing yourself.
Sign #1. Working With Less-Than-Ideal Clients
Who you work with is a reflection of where your own self-value sets.
If you spend time working with clients who aren’t a good fit for you, you appear to not think too highly of yourself. After all, you’re actively sticking it out with disrespectful clients or people who always give you the runaround and drain your time and energy.
Many entrepreneurs do this if they don’t feel ready or good enough to work with better clients.
Sign #2. Undervaluing Your Time and Expertise
You’re likely to underprice your services when you don’t value your time and expertise enough. In fact, many entrepreneurs do this in one of two ways.
Some will over-service clients without charging for the added value and results. Others price their offers very low because they don’t see their expertise as being worthy enough.
Sign #3. Tolerating Negativity
Another way to figure out if you’re undervaluing yourself is to question your response to negativity. And I found that many small business owners, especially in the early stages, tolerate negativity in life and business.
Truth is, tolerations are like a dripping faucet. It can be irritating initially. But over time, it drips into the background, to the point where you don’t notice it.
If you become tolerant, you can still be worn down by negativity. However, the danger is that you won’t realize what’s causing it because you become accustomed to putting up with irritating, adverse behavior.
Where Do We Get Intrinsic Self-Worth?
Having intrinsic self-worth is one of the most powerful attributes you can have as an entrepreneur and leader.
Your sense of self-worth can come from many sources. But intrinsic self-worth is something that doesn’t rely on external measures like promotions, feedback, approval from others, etc.
So, why is this important?
External measures can do some good for your self-worth only when they exist. But what happens if they’re unavailable?
You could start thinking that you’re no longer valuable.
If you seek external validation, recognition, and grades, you become dependent on the opinion of others. The issue is that the opinion could be pessimistic, dismissive, or it might not exist.
What’s more, getting into the habit of seeking approval from the outside can lead to a lot of stress, mainly when you don’t get the recognition you seek.
This is why intrinsic self-worth is more empowering.
It doesn’t rely on exterior sources. Instead, it comes from within when you focus on seeing and recognizing your unique qualities, strengths, and talents.
Start Building Your Self-Worth
One of the ways you can start building intrinsic self-worth is to look at what you’re already bringing to the table.
Step 1 – Acknowledge Your Experience
Most of us have decades of experience on Earth. This includes events that happened while growing up. And the challenges you’ve encountered and the work you did on yourself will qualify.
Simply put, everything you’ve gone through has given you experience and a unique perspective. It taught you something that you can share with others.
That’s why even if you don’t realize it yet, you’re bringing a lot to the table through who you are and your experiences to date.
So, stop connecting your value with your profession or that one thing you do. That only serves to minimize your self-worth. Remember, you’re the sum of everything you know.
At this step, aim to think of at least 30 reasons why you bring value based on your life experiences to date.
Step 2 – List Your Qualifications
To make this exercise even more powerful, start listing your qualifications.
Have you finished school? Did you go through training, coaching programs, mentorships, and other courses?
Now, they don’t all have to be business-related. Personal development qualifications also matter.
Your goal is to go through your list of qualifications to understand just how many different ways you can add value to your business and clients.
Again, don’t leave out personal challenges. Overcoming hardship can make you uniquely qualified to come up with solutions others can’t in the face of adversity.
It’s all about looking inside and recognizing what you know and what you can do, instead of waiting for others to point out those things.
You’re In Control of Your Self-Value
Successful entrepreneurs often separate themselves from the rest by simply believing in themselves and what they can do.
Understand that no one can quantify your value better than yourself. You will always be the sum of every experience and lesson you ever learned.
So, who can possibly know that better than you?
Once you start working on valuing yourself from the inside, other pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. You’ll gain confidence in your abilities, you’ll stop selling yourself short, and your business will be more successful.
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