We all have to deal with people wanting us to do things for free. There are those who blatantly ask for it, those who try to negotiate on price because that's what they do and those who are just plain cheap.

What does it mean when someone wants us to do things for free or cheap? It means they don't value what it is that we do. And in some ways, that is kind of insulting. Over the years the projects that have caused me the biggest grief have always been the free ones or the cheap ones.

I suggest you take a moment right now and think about the following. How many hours have you actually spent learning about what you do? How much time have you invested in educating yourself? How much money have you invested in your chosen business? How much has getting to this point cost you?

So as an example, I'm an author. How many hours have I spent learning to write books, publish them, promote them and leverage my knowledge? Easily 10,000 hours, in fact many more. How much have I invested in learning to be an author, promoting and leveraging my books? Easily $250,000 dollars over the past 20 years. Clearly that's a big investment and clearly I have accumulated a lot of information, knowledge and expertise, through a lot of trial and error and that is highly valuable. This means I should charge accordingly.

I'm sure that you are the same - you have invested a lot of time and money to get to where you are today and you are probably still investing time and money. You have to value this investment and have the self respect to charge accordingly.

Next time someone tries to get you to do what you do for a cheaper price, think back about how much it has cost you to get to where you are today and consider that before buckling to take a cheaper price. If you have lots of people trying to get you to do what you do for a cheaper price, you might need to rethink your marketing to build your credibility and show the value you bring to the table. And perhaps rethink your customers to find more who will value you and your expertise.