money for my work

What should I do? I feel ashamed to ask money for my work.

At the beginning of my freelance life, I completed a task but the client “forgot” to pay for it. I found various excuses for him: the client didn’t have the money, he did not like the result of our collaboration, the customer lost the password to his bank account. When my patience ran up, I wrote to him under a fictional pretext. The customer answered my questions, but when I wetted my forehead and asked for the payment, he disappeared.

 There were three more similar situations when I finally realised – I am not earning money, I am volunteering. And the more I grumbled, asking money for my work, the more reluctant clients were willing to pay. Today I work on a 100% pre-pay system with new customers, and I remind them about the invoices with a confident voice, but the stress that I go through every time before that conversation is still choking the breath out of me.


“The volunteering work has to be something that makes you and your business grow in the future.”


Deal with it.

One of the reasons why it is embarrassing to ask money for the job is a dependency on the opinions of others until the authoritative person says that the work is good, and it does deserve a high payment. How does it work for farmers, for example? Do they give milk for free until the client arrives and says that the milk meets the standards and deserve a payment? I don’t think so.

Or what does the milkman do, if the cow gave milk of low-fat content? Does he give it away for free? The answer is clear, I suppose.

 Follow the rule of one hundred failures.

Whenever Jia Jiang was denied, he ran away from the problem and felt like he was losing the chance to achieve more. Then Jia decided to change his life with the help of a bounce therapy. He came up with the idea when he was denied for one hundred days. Jia Jiang asked a stranger for a loan in a hundred dollars, he asked for a free burger at Burger King, or to teach a class at the local university. The more people denied him, the more invulnerable he became, and he gained the courage to ask: “Why not?” The answers were surprising— in most cases, the reasons were in the interlocutors, not in him. Watch here about Ja Jiang’s experience.


Therefore, the refusal is the direction of growth. If the price does not feel good for the client, do not leave, agreeing with the uncomfortable conditions, but find out the reasons for such a reaction, and then find a solution.


“New ideas for collaborations are emerging during the right conversation with the client.”

What price is comfortable for you?

First, investigate the market and then name the amount of money you are ready to work.

Imagine the situation, when you’re doing a job that worths more than you announced to the customer. During the execution of the order, you are dissatisfied with yourself, as you could name the fair price for your time, energy and experience. You have to value your time; otherwise, people won’t do it either. Most likely, the client would feel discomfort, and would not understand where it is coming from, and as a result, won’t agree to continue cooperation in the future.


“What you propose does not always suit others, but this does not mean that you offer something bad.”


There is one window in Amsterdam, where some pictures are exhibited. The asking price starts at 90 euros for the 20×35 image. “I would never pay that price for such a piece of work’, – I passed by resented and had never exhibited my pictures (or other pieces of work). But that brave soul did it, and, I am sure, earned money.


“The longer you’re not taking action the more money you’re losing.” – Carrie Wilkerson, author, speaker and encourager.


 Ask “for other”.

Imagine that you are asking for a company you work for, not for yourself. “I’ll send you the invoice”, – speak with a confident voice, and call the price a little higher, because it will be a bit dropped during the bargaining. In such a way, you’ll fool your subconscious and will be less nervous.

 Rehearse a speech in front of a mirror.

Recently, I realised that I didn’t want to feel discomfort introducing myself. So I stood in front of the mirror and said: “Hi, I’m Anna” twenty times until I started to sound more confident. As a result, the brain got used to this thought and sent impulses to feel better. The same pattern works with the money situation: give the brain a command in front of the mirror and behave accordingly.

 Make a plan.

How much money you want to earn today, this week, month, year. Write this number in front of the eyes and don’t give up. Mumbling that you feel okay to finish the project for less money, means you are not professional, your work is not professional, and it doesn’t deserve to be well-paid. The client will easily find someone who values his/her job.



© Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


Same works with expensive purchases – if you buy a car for 100.000 euros, you will be very careful with it, and if it’s a bike for 30 euros – you might even leave it at the station overnight and don’t feel sorry if somebody takes it. Discuss the final invoice before starting the work, and if it doesn’t suit the client – don’t lower the price to keep the client.

 I didn’t follow all these rules in real life, sometimes it’s too difficult to defend frontiers and more accessible to follow the usual behavioural pattern, but I am sure, these tips will help to feel more confident not only at work but in life. And if you managed to eliminate insecurity and ask for more money for your work, share your experience in comments, and don’t forget to share this post to help other people.