How To Change Your Mindset Around Your Rates

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Are you struggling to change your mindset around your rates? Do you feel like you’re undercharging but are afraid that if you raise your rates, you will lose your clients? Or perhaps you’re simply lost on what is the best way to price your interior design services?

Whatever you’re feeling right now, if you acknowledge it as a limiting belief that keeps you from thriving in your business - it’s time to change it!

You need to know that not every method of pricing your services will be right for you. But no matter which one you choose, you need to feel good about your rates

Working for less than what you *truly* think (even deep, deep down) your work is worth - is a road straight to frustration and burnout. Charging according to the value you provide to your clients is essential to keep your mental well-being.

Now I know that working on your mindset to break those limiting beliefs and rewiring it for a better approach can be challenging. And most likely it won’t happen overnight. But it’s essential to let you stay passionate about what you do and earn proper money while you do it.
Because, *newsflash*, earning money on your passion is not a crime! (in case that was one of those limiting beliefs of yours 😉)

Let’s Dive In!

Here’s a little heads-up of what we’re going to go through in the article:

  1. I’ll help you understand your worth. That’s the key to starting the mindset shift.
  2. We’ll identify your limiting beliefs. Or at least some of them, for starters.
  3. I’ll show you how to reframe your thinking. 

Ready? Let’s go!

How To Change Your Mindset Around Your Rates? Start With Understanding Your Value.

understand your value to change your  mindset around your rates

You’re An Interior Designer. 

You’re doing what you know. What you’ve learned. What you’re passionate about. You’ve spent several years delving into the secrets of this profession (even if you’re a beginner, you surely took some time to look into it!) and mastering your skills, like creative thinking, problem-solving, empathy, composition and so much more. It all seems so obvious, like “Sure, I can do it, easy peasy”. So why would you charge a lot for something that comes so easily to you? 

Yes, that’s a generalization as we all know not every aspect of interior design is easy. But since this is something we are trained to do, it might seem silly to charge a lot of money for something that is our second nature (guilty as charged). 

But Look At It This Way…

You take your time to solve someone else’s problem that they either don’t know how to solve, don’t want to do it themselves, or simply don’t have time to do it. You take care of the spaces they then live in, make memories, relax and unwind, etc. 

YOU HELP THEM LIVE IN A BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL HOME that is designed to fit their needs, taste, and desires.

Now isn’t that a ton of value you provide?

Do you ever second guess the value a dentist provided to you by fixing your tooth and ridding you of pain? I don’t think so. So why would you second guess your value?

An Exercise For You

Make a list of the special skills you have that help you being an interior designer. Every one of them. Even the smallest or most obvious ones.

Then make a list of all the values you provide to your client. How do your services help them in their life?

Then, whenever you feel the doubt creeping in - just read it. Over and over until it goes away.

Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are essentially negative beliefs that we might have about ourselves, others, or the world around us. It’s not something we’re born with, it’s something that gets inserted in our minds from our previous experiences, by the people we surround ourselves with, by media or societal conditioning.

Sometimes you might not even realize that the truth you believe in is actually a limiting belief. Especially if you’ve been hearing it your whole life.

Ever heard that “money doesn’t grow on trees”? Yep, that’s a limiting belief. It doesn’t mean that you have to believe that it does grow on trees. We all know it doesn’t. But what this belief does is it makes you think that money is difficult to come by. That you have to work super hard to earn it. And this way it limits your potential to make money easily.

Now let’s identify some of the most common limiting beliefs you might have when it comes to your rates.

I’m Not Experienced Enough To Charge Higher Rates.

This limiting belief can be particularly strong when you’re at the beginning of your design journey. Or if you’ve decided to become an interior designer without a proper degree. You might feel like you have to know more to be able to charge more. That your clients will realize that you don’t have enough experience to be charging those kinds of rates. 

But how do you actually measure that? How do you know when this ‘enough’ comes? And what standards are you measuring this by?

I’m Afraid Clients Will Think I’m Too Expensive.

Thinking this way is like going out on a sunny day with an open umbrella. You expect something to happen before it happens. And as much as it’s not a bad thing in the essence, in this case, it is a limiting belief. You presume that the clients will think something, even before they even get a chance to decide for themselves. You prevent yourself from experimenting and actually seeing for yourself. And who knows? You might get surprised if you stop worrying.

I Don’t Want To Be Seen As Greedy Or Money-focused.

You think that by charging higher rates, that you think your services are worth, you will come out as greedy. It kind of links to what I wrote earlier - why should you charge a lot for something that comes so easily to you? You probably also believe that it’s noble to do things for others and not charge them too much, since you know how to do it and they don’t. But it’s the opposite you should be thinking. But we’ll get to that soon.

Those are only a few from (unfortunately) plenty of beliefs that you might have. It's important to note that limiting beliefs can vary from person to person, and not all interior designers will experience the same ones. Identifying and reframing these limiting beliefs can help you feel more confident in charging rates that reflect your worth and ultimately help you build a successful business.

An Exercise For You

Identify as many limiting beliefs as you can think of. Sit down, no distractions, just you and a piece of paper. Think about all the “truths” you hold around your rates that might potentially be limiting. If you can’t think of any at the moment, try to notice them when you go around your day. Write them all down so you can rewire them next.

Change Your Mindset Around Your Rates

rewire limiting beliefs into empowering ones

As I said, rewiring your brain to get rid of those limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones is an ongoing process. But luckily there are several strategies that can help you.

Reframe Your Beliefs

You can turn a limiting belief into a positive one that empowers you. Let’s take the first example we identified:

“I’m Not Experienced Enough To Charge Higher Rates”

can be turned into

“I’m passionate about what I do and I can learn as I go. I am resourceful so I will do everything I can and research what I don’t know to deliver my best work yet. I will take my assignment seriously so that my clients feel well taken care of. And that has a lot of value”.

Because experience is not everything that counts. Yes, it helps, certainly. But dedication is super important too. If not even more. Your clients will feel that you take your job seriously and appreciate it. It’s always nice to feel taken care of and that your desires are taken into consideration. That really brings a lot of value.

You might be skeptical about it, but trust me, people are happy to pay for someone skilled in the area they are not. Especially if they really care about their house. Why? Because they know that you bring a particular set of skills to the table that they don’t have. You know how to prepare technical drawings so that the contractor knows exactly what to do. You know the latest technologies and the ways to properly use them. You know how to lead a project and a renovation from start to finish. And more importantly - you have time to do it, as this is what you do. You know where to look, what to get, and what goes well with what. And how to put your clients’ ideas together and bring your taste to them. That’s why they need you.

Question The Evidence

Ask yourself, "Is there any objective evidence that supports this belief?" and "What evidence contradicts this belief?". Challenging the validity of your limiting beliefs can help you see them in a more realistic and balanced way and eventually change your mindset around your rates. Let’s see:

“I’m afraid clients will think I’m too expensive”

Is there any objective evidence that supports this belief? Have you tried charging those higher rates and heard someone say you’re too expensive? Even if you did, that’s still not objective evidence. It’s just a few people saying so. But there are almost 8 billion people in this World. You can’t expect them all to think the way those two people do.

What’s the evidence that contradicts this belief? Well, I’m sure you can find at least one interior designer who charges higher rates than yours but has a similar level of experience. There you go. If even one person can do it, why wouldn’t you? 

Not everyone always wants to get the cheapest option. Heck, a lot of people don’t want the cheapest option. Most of them choose the middle section because they feel like they get something valuable but affordable. That can be a good price point if you’re starting. And it only goes up from there.

So instead of worrying in advance, put those rates out there and see what happens. If you believe in them, you’re sure to find someone else who does too.

Consider Alternative Perspectives

Try to view the situation from a different perspective. Ask yourself, "How would someone else see this situation?" or "What advice would I give to a friend in this situation?"

We tend to be more harsh on ourselves than we would be on others in the same situation. So take some perspective and let’s see:

I don’t want to be seen as greedy or money-focused

If you had a friend who is super passionate about what they do and at the same time really good at it, would you not tell them that they should charge higher for their services? If you knew that their clients would benefit a lot by working with them because they always give 200% when they do something for others and they always make sure it’s high quality, would you still think they’re money-focused just because they believe they should get good compensation for it? For all their knowledge, dedication, time spent, etc… 

I’m sure you’d be very supportive and you’d encourage them to charge better for the value they provide. Being greedy wouldn’t even cross your mind. 

You’re not a scammer, you’re not promising things you don’t deliver. You’re quite the opposite. So charging well for all the value you bring, is not greedy. You’ve earned it. And if someone thinks otherwise, they’re clearly not seeing the value and you should not work with them.

Now It’s Time To Take Action.

change your mindset around your rates to be a boss of your business

Break each of your beliefs down into smaller steps and take action to challenge them. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that everyone has flaws and limitations. But then focus on your strengths and successes instead of dwelling on your weaknesses. Reframe those beliefs using the strategies I suggested. 

And if you have a hard time changing your mindset around your rates by yourself, you can always seek support from friends, family, a mentor, or a professional. Remember that reframing limiting beliefs to change your mindset around your rates is an ongoing process and may take time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

You can use positive affirmations based on the reframed empowering beliefs to repeat every morning or every time you need a confidence boost. 

Be your biggest cheerleader, believe in yourself. If you do, others will feel it as well.

hi there!

I'm Aleksandra, an interior architect with multinational experience, on a mission to help beginning or self-taught designers gain confidence and create systems that will help them bring their businesses to the next level.

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hi, I'm Aleksandra!

I will help you create an organized interior design business with systems and processes, and to gain confidence to bring your career to the next level.

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