You are always telling yourself a story about money. The day before yesterday, I walked into Starbucks for my afternoon coffee, paid for mine, gave the Barista an extra 15 dollars and asked him to pay for how many other orders that would cover. One of those customers subscribed to The Unmistakable Creative Podcast, and two said they'd pay it forward.
The barista said it was generous of me, but I did it for a selfish reason. I wanted to change some of my own money story, and I was researching a book project. You can be selfish and generous simultaneously.
Let's take this coffee example a bit further. In most modern coffee shops people use Square, and after you swipe your card, there's an option to tip 15, 18, or 25 percent. On a 3 dollar cup of coffee, you're saving 30 cents by choosing the lowest amount. The difference in what you save is negligible, but the difference in the story you end up telling yourself about money is not. You save 30 cents in the short run, but in the long term you walk away with a story about money that it's so scarce you needed to save 30 cents,
Most people price their services way too low. Right now I'm working with a client on his book, and he told me "I know you're going to be charging 10,000 for this soon." I thought that sounded crazy until I started to see that was entirely possible. When Dan Kennedy works with clients, he implements a 200% price increase. Most of his clients cringe until someone pays it. Then they smile and so does he because he's baked a percentage of the earnings into his fee.
The other day a speaking gig I'd pitched said they didn't want me for a keynote, but for a breakout session and could only offer 10% of what I usually get paid. I politely declined, and other opportunities showed up.
In her interview on The Unmistakable Creative, Samantha Benett said "you're always getting paid, and you're always getting paid in the currency you're asking for. If you ask for money, that's how you'll get paid. If you ask for likes on Facebook, that's how you'll get paid." Not only are we always getting paid, but we are also always writing and rewriting the story we tell ourselves about money. Every action we take and every purchase we make is a story about what we value, and whether or not we see money as scarce or abundant. This doesn't mean you have to buy McMansions and Ferraris. You can change your story about money by being generous whenever the difference is negligible (i.e., a 25% tip on a 3 dollar coffee.)