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Purse_with_Money_ClipartEach client I work with is different, unique, I love the challenge of helping them move past their particular issues; but to be honest a common theme with each person I help is that they omit to place a value on their skills, or their time.

What do I mean by that? Some people go along with the belief that if they work hard enough, they will be successful, some people don’t recognise the different skill sets they are offering to their employers or clients and don’t get paid for the true value of the work they do, and some people give their time for free, in the mistaken believe that it will lead to more paid work. Its time to change that mindset and begin to appreciate how valuable you are.

Work Smart not Hard.

Take someone I was working with recently as an example. A bubbly, energetic person with an entrepreneurial streak; she has a capacity for getting involved in projects and partnerships which should deliver rewards in the future.

What struck me as we talked was that she was throwing herself wholeheartedly into each project and spending a lot of energy without a clear path to her end goal of gaining revenue. It was as if she felt that if she worked hard enough, and put in enough energy, money would automatically pour out at the other end.

What came out of our session was a clearer understanding that she needed to work smart not hard. Together we looked at how to set goals, and how to plan towards the goals of each project so she could direct her energies more effectively.

Recognise Strengths and Skills

Another client of mine was looking at redundancy as recession swept a reorganisation broom through the company. Battered and demoralised, she had lost confidence in herself and her abilities. Together we walked a long road as she built her confidence and became proud of her skills and achievements.

It took time, but she was able to see the value of her skill sets and how they were transferrable to another industry. Entering as a volunteer, she still needed to convince herself that her work there was valuable before she gathered courage to apply for a paid position but since then she has never looked back, and knows her contribution adds value to her employer and the customers they serve.

Choose when to give your time freely

And now my story! I offer my share of free work; free coaching sessions, free workshops, free speaking engagements. Its a tight balancing act between feeling good about doing that, and feeling exploited. In the end I am running a business, and goodwill is only part of the balance sheet; another part of the balance sheet is a healthy bank balance. For me that is the crux of the matter. My business needs to survive so if I feel good offering a free session, or a free speaking engagement then I do it, but I still need to protect my business and keep it growing.

If you feel you are not receiving the recognition your deserve then you need to make a conscious decision whether you want to continue with the relationship or not. Have respect for who you are and what you can achieve – value yourself and others will value you.