by James Chartrand
This is the second post in a series on increasing your rates and getting more money writing for a living. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment section, and we may cover the answer in an upcoming post.
Last week we discussed circumstances
when you shouldn’t ask for a raise, but there are definitely times when you should seek out that pay hike to better compensate yourself for a job well done.
The problem is that many people feel very uncomfortable discussing the subject of pay increases and money with their clients. Most writers don’t enjoy the game of negotiations, and they end up never asking for anything at all. They get stuck in a rut and stay there for a long, long time.
Why, though? What makes people stop themselves for asking for more money, especially when the situation proves a pay hike is deserved?
Fear: The Ultimate Killer
From childhood on up until the day we pass on, fears rule our lives. We learn to avoid unpleasant situations. Events shape how we perceive the world. We develop all sorts of inner whisperings that control how we behave and act.
Fears take on many forms: fear of embarrassment, fear of change, fear of condescension, fear that we just don’t deserve something. We talk ourselves out of all kinds of good things because we’re damned scared of what someone else might say, think or do.
Fears hold us back from what we want. Fears keep us from having a better life.
The Steps to Finding Confidence
If you never ask for anything, you’ll never receive anything. Writers need to learn how to ask for what they want, and it all comes down to having the confidence to pose the right questions.
Finding the confidence to ask for what we want when we’re scared isn’t so hard. All that needs to be done is examine the potential consequences and sifting reality from our negative perceptions.
Consider the outcomes of asking for a raise. What are all the possibilities? What would a client potentially answer to the request? Try to figure out all the results ahead of time. List them out.
Include as well what you think your possible reaction might be to each outcome. If you write that a client might say yes, how would you feel? If you wrote he might say no, what would you feel – and what would you do in that case?
Determine all the possible scenarios and be honest about your potential reactions.
Also examine whether these scenarios are realistic – would a client truly laugh or fire off a long letter criticizing you? Probably not. Would a client really fire you for asking for a raise? It’s unlikely.
Think about why you fear these negative outcomes. How do you feel you might handle them? Why do these fears show up? Are they realistic fears? Are they holding you back? Are there other ways that you might handle the situation?
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you fear you’ll lose your job because you asked for a pay increase. You fear this because you’re worried about getting other clients. You’re mostly worried about financial security. You fear not having enough income because when you were younger, your family was poor.
Are you poor now? Would you truly fall back into poverty because a client fired you? Would the client realistically fire you? Could you potentially get other clients? If so, how would you go about finding new work? Would losing this client actually be beneficial?
With a clear game plan in mind that covers all potential outcomes, your possible reactions and solutions or an action plan, you’re much better prepared to face your fear, realize it isn’t worth worrying over and dealing with the situation.
You’ll be ready to ask for that raise, know what might happen and what to do if it does. Suddenly those fears you had don’t seem so scary after all, right? You can handle this. Your game plan is right there in front of you.
And if you get a yes from your client and your pay rate does increase? You’ll be able to realize that good things do come from asking after all, and gain a little more confidence to ask for other things in life.
Soon enough, you’ll be going after what you want – and getting it.
Do you have other tricks for finding confidence? Have you ever faced a fear and had surprising results that helped change your mindset? Share them with us – you might help someone else through a tough decision.