This post is inspired by a situation I experienced which pushed me beyond my comfort zone when dealing as an entrepreneur.
For my first big entrepreneurial venture, I left home and traveled to a new country. I made a contract with an organization to partner on retainer for the term of one year. I invested much of my time, effort, and capital to securing this contract after it was offered to me. I was reimbursed for travel pertaining to training after one month. All other costs related to my securing the contract came down to me.
I fulfilled more than 80% of my contract with glowing reviews. When the time came to discuss contract renewal, I decided to broach the subject with my client. I mentioned my terms, and waited while they deliberated. They got back to me a week later with their offer which was significantly less than what I expected as a standard renewal offer.
I honestly was not sure what to do.
There I was.
Their most experienced professional being offered 1/4 of the standard renewal offer. I countered their offer, and waited for them to get back to me.
They held firm. I thought about it for a day and returned with my decision.
I used to think it was appropriate to take only what was offered me without countering or declaring my own terms. This type of mentality is not the way to conduct good business.
Since this encounter, I have learned to look at, and take, situations for what they are. Certain partnerships are good for long-term investment and growth, while others are good bridges to finding courage to take real steps forward.
Salary, wages, compensation. Whatever you want to call payment for services rendered is always an interesting topic to broach. The value can easily appear to be too much, too little, or just right to survive until the next pay (which is also too little). I encourage you to take five minutes to evaluate the worth of your time.
When they ask you what you want, say it. If you don't know your own worth, someone else will determine it for you.