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What price do you place on excellence? | Casey Brown | TEDxColumbusWomen

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    No one will ever pay you
    what you're worth.
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    No one will ever pay you
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    what you're worth.
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    They'll only ever pay you
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    what they think you're worth.
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    And you control their thinking,
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    not like this,
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    although that would be cool.
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    (Laughter)
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    That would be really cool.
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    Instead, like this:
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    clearly defining and communicating
    your value are essential
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    to being paid well for your excellence.
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    Anyone here want to be paid well?
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    OK, good,
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    then this talk is for everyone.
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    It's got universal applicability.
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    It's true if you're a business owner,
    if you're an employee,
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    if you're a job seeker.
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    It's true if you're a man or a woman.
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    Now, I approach this today through
    the lens of the woman business owner,
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    because in my work I've observed
    that women underprice more so than men.
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    The gender wage gap is
    a well-traveled narrative in this country.
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    According to the Bureau
    of Labor Statistics,
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    a woman employee earns just 83 cents
    for every dollar a man earns.
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    What may surprise you
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    is that this trend continues
    even into the entrepreneurial sphere.
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    A woman business owner earns just
    80 cents for every dollar a man earns.
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    In my work, I've often heard women express
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    that they're uncomfortable
    communicating their value,
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    especially early on in business ownership.
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    They say things like,
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    "I don't like to toot my own horn."
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    "I'd rather let the work
    speak for itself."
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    "I don't like to sing my own praises."
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    I hear very different narratives
    in working with male business owners,
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    and I think this difference
    is costing women 20 cents on the dollar.
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    I'd like to tell you the story
    of a consulting firm
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    that helps their clients
    dramatically improve their profitability.
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    That company is my company.
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    After my first year in business,
    I saw the profit increases
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    that my clients were realizing
    in working with me,
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    and I realized that I needed
    to reevaluate my pricing.
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    I was really underpriced
    relative to the value I was delivering.
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    It's hard for me to admit to you,
    because I'm a pricing consultant.
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    (Laughter)
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    It's what I do.
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    I help companies price for value.
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    But nonetheless, it's what I saw,
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    and so I sat down to evaluate my pricing,
    evaluate my value,
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    and I did that
    by asking key value questions.
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    What are my clients' needs
    and how do I meet them?
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    What is my unique skill set that makes me
    better qualified to serve my clients?
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    What do I do that no one else does?
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    What problems do I solve for clients?
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    What value do I add?
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    I answered these questions
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    and defined the value that my clients
    get from working with me,
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    calculated their return on investment,
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    and what I saw was
    that I needed to double my price,
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    double it.
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    Now, I confess to you, this terrified me.
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    I'm supposed to be the expert in this,
    but I'm not cured.
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    I knew the value was there.
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    I was convinced the value was there,
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    and I was still scared out of my wits.
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    What if nobody would pay me that?
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    What if clients said, "That's ridiculous.
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    You're ridiculous."
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    Was I really worth that?
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    Not my work, mind you, but me.
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    Was I worth that?
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    I'm the mother of two beautiful
    little girls who depend upon me.
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    I'm a single mom.
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    It's all up to me.
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    What if my business fails?
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    What if I fail?
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    But I know how to take my own medicine,
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    the medicine that I
    prescribe to my clients.
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    I had done the homework.
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    I knew the value was there.
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    So when prospects came,
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    I prepared the proposals
    with the new higher pricing
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    and sent them out
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    and communicated the value.
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    How's the story end?
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    Clients continued to hire me
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    and refer me and recommend me,
    and I'm still here.
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    And I share this story
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    because doubts and fears
    are natural and normal.
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    But they don't define our value,
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    and they shouldn't limit
    our earning potential.
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    I'd like to share another story,
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    about a woman who learned
    to communicate her value
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    and found her own voice.
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    She runs a successful
    web development company
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    and employs several people.
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    When she first started her firm
    and for several years thereafter,
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    she would say, "I have
    a little web design company."
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    She'd actually use
    those words with clients.
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    "I have a little web design company."
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    In this and in many other small ways,
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    she was diminishing her company
    in the eyes of prospects and clients,
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    and diminishing herself.
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    It was really impacting her ability
    to earn what she was worth.
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    I believe her language and her style
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    communicated that she didn't believe
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    she had much value to offer.
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    In her own words, she was practically
    giving her services away.
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    And so she began her journey
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    to take responsibility
    for communicating value to clients
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    and changing her message.
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    One thing I shared with her
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    is that it's so important
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    to find your own voice,
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    a voice that's authentic and true to you.
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    Don't try to channel your sister-in-law
    just because she's a great salesperson
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    or your neighbor who tells a great joke
    if that's not who you are.
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    Give up this notion
    that it's tooting your own horn.
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    Make it about the other party.
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    Focus on serving and adding value,
    and it won't feel like bragging.
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    What do you love about what you do?
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    What excites you
    about the work that you do?
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    If you connect with that, communicating
    your value will come naturally.
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    So she embraced her natural style,
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    found her voice and changed her message.
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    For one thing, she stopped calling herself
    a little web design company.
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    She really found a lot of strength
    and power in communicating her message.
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    She's now charging three times
    as much for web design,
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    and her business is growing.
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    She told me about a recent meeting
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    with a gruff and sometimes
    difficult client
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    who had called a meeting questioning
    progress on search engine optimization.
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    She said in the old days,
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    that would have been
    a really intimidating meeting for her,
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    but her mindset was different.
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    She said, she prepared the information,
    sat down with the client,
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    said this isn't about me,
    it's not personal,
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    it's about the client.
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    She took them through the data,
    through the numbers ...
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    laid out the trends and the progress
    in her own voice and in her own way,
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    but very directly said,
    "Here's what we've done for you."
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    The client sat up and took notice,
    and said, "OK, I got it."
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    And she said in describing that meeting,
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    "I didn't feel scared or panicky
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    or small,
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    which is how I used to feel.
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    Instead I feel like, 'OK, I got this.
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    I know what I'm doing. I'm confident.'"
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    Being properly valued is so important.
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    You can hear in this story
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    that the implications
    range far beyond just finances
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    into the realm of self-respect
    and self-confidence.
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    Today I've told two stories,
    one about defining our value
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    and the other about
    communicating our value,
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    and these are the two elements
    to realizing our full earning potential.
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    That's the equation.
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    And if you're sitting
    in the audience today
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    and you're not being paid
    what you're worth,
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    I'd like to welcome you
    into this equation.
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    Just imagine what life could be like,
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    how much more we could do,
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    how much more we could give back,
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    how much more we could
    plan for the future,
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    how validated and respected we would feel
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    if we could earn our full potential,
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    realize our full value.
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    No one will ever pay you
    what you're worth.
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    They'll only ever pay you
    what they think you're worth,
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    and you control their thinking.
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    Thank you.
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    (Applause)
Title:
What price do you place on excellence? | Casey Brown | TEDxColumbusWomen
Description:

Pricing consultant Casey Brown opens this talk with an alarming premise: no one will ever pay you what you’re worth. The good news? Casey goes on to communicate key learnings, amassed from years of working with business owners, which outline how to be paid well for your excellence.

Because women business owners earn just $0.80 for every dollar male business owners earn, Casey presents this talk through the lens of the woman business owner, but these challenges and principles carry serious implications for men and women alike, and for business owners as well as employees and job seekers.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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Video Language:
English
Team:
TED
Project:
TEDxTalks
Duration:
09:03

English subtitles

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