Today I wanted to share a really freaking surprising thing I’m only just learning, years and years into owning my own business: the more I enjoy what I do, the more others pay for it.
Your most valuable work in the world often feels so fun that you would do it for free.
I don’t mean this in a metaphorical way. I don’t mean people pay in hugs or love notes. I mean they pay in dollars and cents.
Recently, a few peeps I’ve enjoyed working with in the past asked me to be their business mentor. They wanted a custom quote for their particular situation. I thought of the most outrageously fun thing I could imagine doing with and for them, included a price tag that thrilled me, and sent off the e-mail.
Within 24 hours, they had accepted the proposal. I want to point out that I literally made up a package that would bring me the most joy and tossed it out into the universe.
If they didn’t accept — well, it’s not like I had planned on that money anyway. (It’s so much more fun to take risks when you can afford to lose, right?)
And if they did? WIN! JOY! LOVE! HUGS! BALLOONS AND UNICORNS!
The work you should charge the most for is the work that seems so fun to you that you would do it for free.
Because it’s not fun for other people. If you are crazy-gifted at accounting or chemistry or physics or organizing closets or painting murals or reading tarot cards or assembling Ikea furniture or hunting and gathering — whatever it is — I assure you, someone out there doesn’t think it’s fun. Someone out there finds it challenging, grueling, and a bit like pushing a boulder up a hill. And they will happily pay for you to do the task they’d rather avoid.
To say it in a different way: the work you are most likely to succeed in is the work that feels easy as breathing.
Breathing isn’t hard, doesn’t require a lot of thought, and doesn’t feel like work. It’s simply a part of your everyday life.
The work you’re meant to do in the world is exactly the same, which is why we humans have so much trouble finding it: who would pay for something as easy as breathing?
Here’s the catch: we assume everyone has the same ‘easy as breathing’ talents. We don’t. Every human being on this planet has natural, gorgeous gifts that are unlike those of any other.
When you acknowledge what you are truly gifted at doing, and also love, and could talk about for days on end, you’re tapped into your biggest potential.
So, the 1-question guide for coming up with your next product or service: what would feel easy as breathing to bring into the world?
Personally, Steer Your Ship makes use of all my easy-as-breathing talents — teaching, writing, coaching, and bringing clarity to the table for other peeps — in one big awesome 6-month extravaganza. Check it out, as it only comes around once a year.
Shown: photo from Steer Your Ship San Diego, which featured swimming with otters. SWIMMING. With OTTERS.