Why You Shouldn’t Fear Business Numbers

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you have a problem talking about numbers? I know I do.

Growing up, I HATED math! Anything beyond the basics irritated me to no end. When I got into high school, I found creative alternatives to avoid Algebra and Geometry. You couldn’t convince me that I would ever need that stuff in the “real world.” Numbers – YUCK!

It recently dawned on me that as an adult, and especially as an entrepreneur, my arithmophobia (yes, it’s a thing) is real. I know I’m not alone. You see, like myself, you probably don’t have a fear of numbers in terms of spending money, right? Only when it comes to discussing money. Talking about numbers/money is hard and uncomfortable for a lot of people – ESPECIALLY women. As my granny would say, we “hem and haw” about the issue.

A while back, I did an exercise where I had to define how much money I wanted to make a month in my business, how many clients I’d need to make that amount and what I planned to do with the money when I got it. Working with these numbers is part of the visualization process you’re supposed to do when you’re trying to accomplish things in your life.

I wrote the amounts with ease. I want to make X, I know I’m going to need X amount of clients to get it and when I get the money, I have a (significantly long) list of things that I plan to do with the money including charitable contributions. But, ask me to say that number out loud and all you’ll hear is crickets and the air conditioner.

I wanted to practice talking about numbers and heal my aversion to the discussion. A business consultant told me to start with saying numbers related to the clients I want. Ok, no problem!

“I provide personal concierge services to clients with personal portfolios of $1.1 million dollars and up.” You should hear that roll off my tongue. A nice number. Easily said.

There was a time where if you would ask me about my numbers and how much I charge for such service…um…well, ummm!

SERIOUSLY?!

What’s the deal with discussing numbers? Especially when it comes to discussing numbers that have real-life significance.

I recently read an article that explains why/how talking about your numbers can be good for you and your earning potential.

Here’s what I’ve learned – if you don’t want to tell people what you’re worth, they will assign a value to you for a job or for your service in business and more often than not, it’s going to be either slightly or significantly less than what you think is appropriate.

That’s the chance you take with the “Name-Your-Own-Price” option for doing business and honestly it’s just not a good way to get things done. It’s bad for your ego and your negotiating power.

You should be able to state proudly and unashamedly what your numbers are related to the services you offer to your customers/clients.

You should proudly and boldly tell a potential boss what your numbers are related to what you want to get paid for a job.

The bottom-line on this is that you have KNOW YOUR WORTH and OWN IT! The people who succeed in business do just that. There’s no room for negotiation at Starbucks or McDonald’s. The prices are the prices. Either those numbers work for you or you need to find other options that suit your wallet.

I think that when we get to that point when we can discuss our numbers and stand firm, it’s going to be a huge benefit to all parties involved.