In the world of finance, the “market value” of a business or an asset, is defined as the price that could be agreed between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Notice that there is nothing in this about intrinsic worth.

I come across many people who struggle with pricing and asking for money. Very often, they are professionals, self-employed, or working in the caring and creative sectors. Because of the personal nature of what they offer, it can lead to confusion about self-worth.

If you’re not clear about what you are worth to yourself, and about what you value, it’s easy to let what someone is willing to pay you, or not, define your worth. When this is internalised, you give your power away. Which in turn, makes it even harder to earn what you need.

What you do has a price, but who you are is priceless – literally!

A society’s collective values are reflected in market prices. For example, we don’t value care-giving as much as other activities. As a result, nurses, artists, writers and farmers don’t earn anything like as much as say an industrialist. Women, who have historically been the primary carers, generally earn less than their male counterparts.

But at an individual level, it’s important to recognise that:

You are not what you are paid.

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