The Premier Success System for Women Entrepreneurs

Do the Math!  How to Monetize Your Skills in a Big Way

eWomenNetwork Member Featured Author: Pam Robertson, Ph.D.

Published Date:Jun 26, 2018 | Blog Category: eWomenNetwork
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Monetize Your Skills

Egads, you’ve done it now. Your calendar seems full, but the bank account isn’t. Since you’re a coach or consultant and not a baseball player, there is no backstop.

I’ve been there. When I first started coaching and consulting I felt like I was competing with highly qualified and motivated individuals who were thriving even though they seemed to bill pennies instead of big dollars. In order to have enough business, I had to reduce my prices and then work twice the hours…didn’t I?

And let’s face it – there is plenty of information that is available online for free if people look hard enough, so what’s a coach or consultant to do?

Pick a niche, right? I resisted picking a niche because I didn’t want to miss the chance at getting some great work, and I have a hard time concentrating on one thing at a time. So I did everything. I was coaching people on their careers and then leveraging digital and social media, I opened a food business and I had articles and book chapters published.

I was exhausted.

“Figure out what you’re good at and write it down, then write down the things you like to do, find where those things intersect and monetize the heck out of those overlaps,” Sandra Yancey, Founder & CEO of eWomenNetwork said to me at a conference. Yes, I admit that she said it to everyone in that ginormous room, but I felt like she was speaking directly to me. 

It took me a couple of weeks to create two lists, because I was procrastinating. The first list was the things I was good at. The second list, which was really short, was the things I like to do.

I looked for the overlaps and ended up with an even shorter list. There were only two things on it, and they were closely related. I wrote them down on a sticky note and hung it on my wall where it glared at me for about a month. Then I settled down to do the math. 

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Do the Math!

For easy math, let’s pretend your goal is to have gross sales of $50,000 per year. A great way to figure out how to get there is to work the math backwards.

With a goal of $50,000 per year, and planning to take one week per quarter “off” so you can recharge your batteries, you have 11 months to bill $50,000, which is $4,545 per month.

To keep things manageable, I bill out about 20 hours per week, balanced with administration, exercising, cooking, and procrastinating. And so with $4,545 as a goal, and an average of 4.3 weeks in a month, that means $1,057 per week, divided by 20 hours, and I can bill myself out at $53.00 per hour.

$4,545 ÷ 4.3 = $1,057÷ 20 hours = $53 per hour

I see all kinds of people billing out services at $50-60 per hour. Professional organizers, new massage therapists, tutors, handy persons, bookkeepers, computer fixers, social media, community managers, coaches, consultants and more.

Suddenly, a $50k goal doesn’t look that hard, right?

This is why I love doing math backwards!

How do you feel about sending invoices for $1,057 per week, and reaching $50k? 



 

$4,545 / 4.3 = $1,057 / 20 hours = $53 per hour

I see all kinds of people billing out services at $50-60 per hour. Professional organizers, new massage therapists, tutors, handy persons, bookkeepers, computer fixers, social media community managers…coaches and consultants…and more.

Suddenly, a $50k goal doesn’t look that hard, right?

This is why I love doing math backwards!

How do you feel about sending invoices for $1,057 per week, and reaching $50k? 


 

$4,545 / 4.3 = $1,057 / 20 hours = $53 per hour

I see all kinds of people billing out services at $50-60 per hour. Professional organizers, new massage therapists, tutors, handy persons, bookkeepers, computer fixers, social media community managers…coaches and consultants…and more.

Suddenly, a $50k goal doesn’t look that hard, right?

This is why I love doing math backwards!

How do you feel about sending invoices for $1,057 per week, and reaching $50k? 


 

  Show Me the Money!

I don’t want you to rest on your laurels with that $53 per hour goal because realistically, it’s not going to carry your business for long. If you are spending 12% of your gross earnings on marketing, retain a bookkeeper, and then pay your insurance and professional registrations, your $53 is quickly whittled down to almost nothing. And that’s okay! Because no one expects to hire a coach or consultant at $53 an hour.

Monetizing your business is about looking at what people are charging in the market, and then figuring out what you are going to charge, and deciding how you will charge.

Have you heard the adage that people who are broke sell their hours for dollars? They charge themselves out at $50 an hour because they feel that they don’t deserve a higher number or that their customers will never pay it.

These are people who say things like, “Yes, I am a career coach.” And then they say, “And you can hire me for $25 an hour.” And then they grind away at their work.

But successful entrepreneurs don’t do that.

Successful people say, “I can create your LinkedIn profile for $300.” Struggling people say, “I can create your LinkedIn profile for $25 per hour, and it might take me 6 hours.”

Even if it does take you 6 hours in the first scenario, your client doesn’t care because for $300 they finally got a decent profile exactly where they need it. Now they can get down to work and make their own money. Yay!

If you think that no one is going to pay you to organize their career, or organize their office for super efficiency for $300, think again. Naturally, you’re not going to organize the office for a struggling entrepreneur who makes $100 a day or sells their books for $7 in profit. Those are not your customers.

  If you think that no one is going to pay you to organize their career, or organize their office for super efficiency for $300, think again.  

Think of an organization where people are falling behind in their work because they are disorganized. Maybe it’s a company you see people complaining about, or you heard they just went through a downsizing. Instead of charging $300 a day per office individually, you meet with their VP of Human Resources. You submit a proposal and then go to speak to a group of 12 of their employees during a lunch and learn. You charge $1000 for the lunch and learn, provide them with some quick tips to get organized and teach them some strategy to keep on top of things. Next, you work with each person in the group, charging $300 per person, and you make sure that their office gets organized ($300 x 12 people is $3600 plus $1000 for the lunch and learn = $4600 for you). Now, if that organization you selected is making $2 million a year, the investment of $4600 to make their people more effective plus thrive after a downsizing is well worth it.

When I first began freelance writing contracts, I was writing for an hourly rate. Soon, I began to bid on larger projects to where I was writing for corporate clients on a project basis. If I was writing a course and thought it would take me 40 hours of work, I’d submit a proposal for a total amount of money, but wasn’t billing by the hour. The added benefit to billing this way is that when I complete the work in, say,  35 hours, I can still bill for the entire amount.

This is the beauty of doing the math beforehand and monetizing your strengths.

Monetizing your business is about looking at what people are charging in the market, and then figuring out what you are going to charge, and deciding how you will charge.    
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Get Real!

There are some businesses that are very hard to monetize. That’s just the way it is. Be okay with the fact sometimes you will research something that won’t work, and also be okay with the idea of making a great income. If you cannot monetize your passion, then you have to monetize something else you are good at and like to do, so you can pay for your passion projects. If you think about it, you might even monetize something related to quilting, like designing fabric, or brokering fabric imports from overseas, or teaching sewing and quilting to paying clients.

There are plenty of ways you can figure out how to monetize what you want to do. Start with questions about what you want from your business and who you want to help, of course. Then look out into the marketplace and see what other people offer. Once you’ve done the work, get happy with making money. Expect that money to come into your business, feel grateful and excited about it so that your subconscious keeps working on bringing you more opportunities to grow your business and make money.

When I see entrepreneurs faltering, it’s not usually because they lack wonderful ideas, credibility, or time. Usually, they’ve burned themselves out, run out of money or lost passion.

To recover, simply revisit the formula:

1)     Figure out your overlap.

2)     Monetize the heck out of it.  

3)     Go do good things and make your money!

 


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Author, Pam Robertson, Ph. D.

Dr. Pam Robertson has helped people from all walks of life – literally from accountants to zoo keepers – in her roles as a career and business coach, and author. She has hit the best-seller list several times, and has created and collaborated on over 150 courses that are sold internationally. In addition to helping people get back on track in life and work, Pam is currently working on a spy novel about a woman who is doing her part to save the world, with one adventure after another. Pam is a member of the Edmonton, Alberta chapter of eWomenNetwork.



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  • Elisa Ellis on 06/29/2018 04:07 PM

    Great article!

    Reply



  • Pam Robertson on 06/28/2018 11:40 AM

    Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm so glad that you've found this helpful!

    Reply



  • Marrian Efua on 06/28/2018 04:37 AM

    Well done. Knowing your worth is key and knowing where your money is

    Reply



  • Shauna Madsen on 06/28/2018 02:15 AM

    Great article Pam, thanks for sharing!

    Reply



  • Kathy Keegan on 06/28/2018 12:51 AM

    Great piece, Pam! So clear! Thank you.

    Reply



  • Karen Haggerty on 06/28/2018 12:19 AM

    Thank you Pam. This exercise gave me a slightly different perspective!

    Reply



  • Shawna Halley on 06/27/2018 01:27 AM

    Thank you Pam for the reminder not to work by the hour.

    Reply




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