2024 decided she is my Shoot My Shot Era. The Universe said it's time to truly invest in yourself by investing in your dreams.
My dream of living up to my email signature...
Author of Epic Fantasy & Supernatural Fiction
Owner-Operator of Maddening Moon Manuscripts, LLC."
Sounds easy, right? I thought so too. It meant finally applying the energy and time to doing the things those roles entail. So here I am creating what my job duties are and how to organize that.
Then it came to pricing. Anyone who has pondered over their amazing creation (whatever that may be artwork, book, business, etc.) and wondered, "How much do I charge someone for this?" knows my pain. The pain of putting a "fair" price tag on my creations and services.
Trying to figure out your dream's worth in a monetary way can be incredibly insightful as to how you value three things: Your Time, Your Expertise, and Your Best Always.
Let's look at the first Your Time.
"Time is money."
Think about how much you enjoy your "free" time. What are you doing? Catching up on a favorite show. Maybe you are 100 pages deep on your latest fantasy adventure. Or taking a daily walk through your neighborhood.
The point is that most of us would not spend all our free time working. So when you are drafting that novel for your fans, taking the time to meet with clients or customers to provide services, or presenting to others how your creation or services are just what they need you are deducting from your free time, not just in that moment but in all the moments that prepared you for that one.
And remember you are not just taking precious time from yourself, but from your family and friends as well.
Back a million years ago when I was in college and later university, I also had three children during that time. I gave up precious time with my children during their growing years to get the education needed in order to have a better income in the future. My time spent away had a direct dollar amount associated with it.
So the first question I asked myself was, how much is my time away from doing the things that are just for myself worth by the hour? Next, I asked a few of my friends and my family what would they pay to spend an hour doing stuff with me. Be prepared the answer might surprise you. One of my sons said it depended on what we were doing. I took the average of the responses and added it to mine.
But time is only a third of the equation. Get specific about Your Expertise.
We all wish that we were born experts at whatever we are interested in. Truth is though, even those of us who appear naturally gifted spend years and lots of money to hone our skills. I, myself, have taken college courses, participated in workshops, enrolled in subscriptions, attended speaking engagements, and traveled both near and far to do all these things to become the writer I am today. Like many others the realization that being an author in this day and age involves way more than just being a good writer. I quickly found myself having to invest my hard-earned day job money in learning how to build my website, how to navigate platforms and uploads, not to mention how to run a small business.
Developing expertise in what works means you also have a ton of times when things don't work. Trial and error can be expensive. Making the best means finding the right products to work with your customer, client, or audience. They are benefitting from all that investment. So how do you know what your expertise is worth?
Do a little market research. An hour or two spent looking up similar products and services to your own so that you can see an average to give you an idea to start with.
The final part of the equation is Your Best.
That's right how much does your best cost?
Before you jump to an answer consider these conditions you may have to be your best through:
on days when you don't feel good.
on days you feel overwhelmed.
when sales aren't going well.
when reviews seem bad.
when you want to work on a new project.
when you don't like the customer or client.
lots and lots of reasons you may not want to be your best...
What is your best worth in these situations? "One meeeyyyyon dollars!" you and I both say at the same time. No for real though, think about how much you would pay someone else for their best and see if that lines up with what you feel you deserve for yours.
Now let's put it all together!
$ Value of Your Product / Service = $ Your Time + $ Your Expertise* + $ Your Best
*Includes materials and equipment costs
When I applied this idea it helped reduce the "ick" factor I was feeling at identifying monetarily what my worth was concerning my business.
It also made me take a serious look at how far I have come when it comes to being the type of author and small business owner I want to be. It gave me confidence that I do have the skills I need to be successful.
Doing a regular assessment of what you have accomplished, learned, and improved is imperative to keep your business in line with market values, as well as identifying where there is room for improvement or growth. Too much focus only on what needs to be learned yet or improved can lead to putting oneself down or feeling inadequate. It is important that you give balanced energy to both what to celebrate and what to work on.
I hope this little slice of my life has helped you identify some ways you can know your worth. Please join me every Sunday for another look into my hectic Author Life.
Kat Satava is the author of the epic fantasy series The Witch War and the supernatural serial Canton Ghost Town debuting in the Spring of 2024. Her books can be found at all your favorite online book retailers. In addition to her books, she is the owner and operator of Maddening Moon Manuscripts, LLC. Through MMM, she provides author support services including editing, online workshops, and book shepherding, as well as groups that have a safe and supportive environment to improve mental health and wellbeing through writing. To learn more about Kat, her books, and Maddening Moon Manuscripts, check out her website at www.KatSatavaAuthor.com.