Yesterday a young business woman told me that it is easy for her to ask a fair price for her work in one area of her business. It’s the part of the work that she doesn’t care about. But in the area that she loves (where she wants the business to grow) she weakens and gets scared that the customer will say no.
It reminded me of an early customer for me who wanted to buy 50 copies of my book, TO LEAD is to SERVE. I had never sold 50 books to one person and really wanted the sale. But he pushed for such a low price that I wouldn’t have made any profit. Struggling and sad, I finally sent him a message saying, “It’s like a lamp that needs oil. Without oil, there will be no light. I’m very sorry, but I can’t accept your offer.”
I’ll never forget the message he sent back. “Keep the light burning. I’ll pay your price. Send me 50 books.” In the next few years he bought over 600 books from me.
The more you care, the harder it becomes to stand up for yourself. But you have to do it.
– Shar McBee