Self-Esteem, Value & Pricing | My Biggest Insight Ever | I Know Kung Fu

I just had an epiphany.

Probably the biggest insight of my professional life, ever.

You know that scene in The Matrix, where they upload a martial arts program into Neo, and Keanu Reeves gives his trademark deadpan look, and says:

“I know Kung Fu”.

That’s how I feel right now.

Minus Keanu’s glassy eyes.

This insight explains why I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on training and coaching and education.

(Which proves itself over and over as a pretty wise set of decisions).

It also explains why once, when I was still a bespoke tailor, I bought 7000 dollars worth of suit cloth.

Which proved to be totally dumb, because for me to turn all of that material into suits would have taken me decades.

So the savings I envisioned from that investment were an illusion, while the 7K sat mostly unused on a shelf, in the form of many bolts of luxurious worsteds, tweeds and silks.

But enough with the stories: what IS that big insight?

It’s to do with pricing.

When you put something out there, and people want it, and you run a business, it needs a price tag.

And it can be REALLY hard to find the right price.

Most of the time, people price things too low, whether from the point of view of your enterprise’s economic sustainability, or in terms of value delivered.

And that last bit, the value of a thing (be it art, or an app, or a course or training) is where it gets hairy.

Up until now, I used to think that setting the right price on a thing had to do mostly with the value you-the-maker assign to it.

Tie that to self-worth and how much value you assign to yourself and boom: let’s do some psychology, so that you get to set a better price.

As of today though, there’s an extra element in how I see things.

Because while out on my morning walk, listening to a podcast, I learned something fundamental.

Whatever value a thing has, and whatever price you put on it, and however little or much you value yourself and your work:

Throw it all out the window.

The lot, all of it.

When it comes to someone deciding to purchase from you, none of what you think has any importance.

It’s not about you.

Take yourself out of the equation, because – and here comes the insight:

It’s only ever about ‘what it’s worth TO THEM’.

Maybe you think this distinction is no big deal.

But I know Kung Fu. And I’m telling you: it’s a huge deal.

How much is a piece of art, or a book, or a car or a training worth…


There are many reasons why this matters, but the first and most useful is this:

Now that you understand that it’s about them, and what your work is work to them, you can start to identify, and look for, the kind of people to whom your work is worth what you charge.

And that will make your business and your marketing a lot easier, because you’ll be able to filter out the people who don’t value your work enough to buy it.

So you save lots of time and effort and money, by being more focused, on the ideal buyer for your work.

If you have any questions about this, or how to use it in a practical sense, hit reply and let me know.



Also published on Medium.

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