I just sold a book. Just now, to a friend of a friend, who had already read it.
They were both amazed that I had written a book, that they were meeting a real author and when I said I had written ten I thought they would swoon and need to fan themselves and have a seat. She insisted I sign it and went on and on.
To this I reacted as I typically do.
“It’s nothing, really.”
Then I charged her $8, even though the price on the back is $11 and tucked the cash in my pocket, pleased that I would have lunch money today.
Why did I do that? Why did I undercharge? Why did I shy away from my well-deserved praise and why do I act as if writing a book is no big deal?
We musn’t do this to ourselves. Whether we have written a book or a book report, cleaned the house or caught a fish, we must accept credit and hold our heads high! If we do not place value on the things that we do, then how can we expect anyone else to?
I think some of this stems from childhood anxiety, not being able to take compliments, not ever being taught to receive compliments and instead being taught that to boast or commiserate in one’s own successes is somehow arrogant or prideful. Well I’m not arrogant, but I am proud, of myself, for writing TEN books! There, I said it. It is a big deal. It does take countless hours and it is worth eleven dollars! She probably would have paid twenty, but I’ll never know will I?
I did the same thing the other day with a photography client and I knew the minute she reached for her checkbook that I had charged too little. She jumped too fast and I knew she was surprised, pleased, but fully prepared to pay more. Why do I do that? My husband says I do the same thing with our furniture business, that I have never charged too much, so I let him give quotes more and more.
So, how to handle this differently, next time. Say thank you. Tell a story about how many nights you sat up, how many rough drafts you had or what you’re working on now. Share the credit with an old teacher or your mother or your children. Ask them to please get back to you and let you know what they thought. Care. Be gracious.