Five Reasons I Gave Up “Charging What I’m Worth”

by | Mar 23, 2023 | 0 comments

Category: Business | Inspiration

Updated: March 14, 2024

I want to talk to you about a phrase that I have used in the past, and has swept like wildfire through our industry, and many other coaching and 1:1 service based businesses: “Charge what you’re worth.”

This phrase had great intentions. It’s supposed to be an empowering phrase – one that makes us feel confident and proud and valuable.

What “Charge what you’re worth” has done, however, is the opposite. It has turned an already competitive field, often rife with scarcity and toxicity, into a field where an individual’s self perceptions have replaced math.

It’s a phrase that implies that who you are is the same as the things you do and sell. Which is patently false.

And I just can’t stand on the sidelines and watch it any longer.

Please do not use the phrase “Charge what you’re worth.”

And please, no longer “Charge what you’re worth”.

Please do not use the phrase “Charge what you’re worth.”
And please, no longer “Charge what you’re worth”

Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Here are five reasons I gave up “charging what I’m worth”

  • The idea of “charging your worth” connects personal value and merit to a financial position, a business, and some accounting. Does that mean if someone else charges more, they are better than you? Or if they charge less, they are not as good as you? I see people price erroneously this way ALL THE TIME when they don’t charge enough because the professor down the street is undercharging, or they don’t feel as fancy as their own coach or teacher. SOMEONE’S DEGREE DOES NOT INHERENTLY MAKE THEM VALUABLE. This is silly.
  • If our personal worth is connected to our price points in one business, and then we open a different business, with a different model, that charges more or less money, are we then forced to reassess our worth? What if my business model is high volume, low cost? Or what if I put out a loss leader, where I am charging “too little” as a way to introduce people to my product and services? Pricing is a function of business sustainability AND MARKETING. If you use pricing as a measure of worthiness, then you’re stuck. This is also silly.
  • An individual’s worth is not recognized as a viable substitute for means of exchange. (Ie, money) therefore, the electric company doesn’t care about how fabulous I am and will not take my fabulosity as payment to keep my lights on. I cannot trade my identity or perceived worthiness for goods, services, or commodities. Therefore identity and perceived worthiness should not be the units we measure our pricing by.
  • In the times you struggle with low self image, you’d set yourself up to never make enough money, because you’d never charge what you needed to in order to pay that silly electric company. In essence, you’ve based your ability to have light and heat on a perception of confidence. Conversely, what if you’re having a great day and feel confident? Do you raise your rates to match that and then resent your clients for not paying more? That’s also ALSO silly.
  • Your worth as a human isn’t a commodity – in this broken world, there are bodies that have monitory worth, and this is wrong. This is manifested in human trafficking and slavery. Since I began speaking out on this more, I have been taught about how it happens in the adoption industry (yes, the word used was industry!). Let’s not make mockery of it by using our feelings around what is “owed to us”, or “what we deserve” or “what we are worth” to determine price points. (This is a good example of a way core values can manifesting in a business, BTW)

There is no possible way, in all of God(dess)s green goodness, that anyone, ever, could actually afford your worth.

You are too valuable to put a price tag on. And so is everyone else.


Your services and offers are what need valuation – NOT your identity.

People cannot and should not pay what you’re worth.

People can and should pay what you charge in order to run your business effectively.

If you aren’t charging enough?

Well, that’s a math problem, not a you problem.

What we do in our How to Run Your Biz Without Hating Your Boss Accelerator, program is teach you how to charge, so you never have to charge what you’re worth again.

We show you how to do the math, then take you through the five other factors of Pricing for Generosity. We explore your options and revenue streams, and we work to begin to build the life you want to experience.

We reiterate, over and over again, that the work of a micro business owner is to run a sustainable business so that it can pay the salary and taxes and other needs of the business owner, NOT so that it can prove to the business owner what an amazing human they are.

THIS is the very beginning of pricing

What life do I want to live?


What do I want to give back to the world?


What do I want to save for?


What do I want/need to spend?


What revenue, therefore, does the business need to create?

All my BeastyBoss,

Michelle Markwart Deveaux blog signature
Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Michelle Markwart Deveaux (124)

As CEO of FaithCultureKiss Studios, LLC, I lead underestimated humans through the personal and professional development needed to create successful solo and team-based businesses.

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