Charging What You’re Worth is Bullshit!

I hear it time and time again, from coaches, motivators and those just offering advice, “charge what you’re worth”. Well let me state for the record this is one of the biggest loads of bullshit I have ever heard.

I believe everyone has a right to a decent livelihood, which is why discounting irks me so much. And within our industry we are very blessed to be able to do what we love and get paid for it. What I don’t like is seeing people who undercharge, are unable to pay their bills and struggle from day to day, week to week, year to year. If you’re in this situation you probably need to raise your prices!

Anthony, you’re telling me to raise my prices and that charging what I am worth is bullshit? How do you have both ways?

Let me start with this, the biggest complaint I hear from salon owners, and even the clients in my chair is that Gen Y have a sense of entitlement, they want to start at the top… Blah blah blah! Yet is that not what we are creating when we talk about charging what we are worth, a sense of entitlement? And if your income isn’t what it should be, the gurus out there lead us to believe that we don’t believe in what we are worth.

Well we are all worthy of having our needs met. We all DESERVE that. It saddens me when I meet people who don’t believe they deserve to have their needs met. What we DON’T DESERVE is WHAT EVER WE WANT just because we feel good about who we are.

The whole idea of connecting our self-worth to the amount of money we earn or the price we charge is the number one reason most salon owners are unable to increase prices or earn a decent income from their business, not to mention the whole bunch of neurosis attached to it.

Look at it like this, is the client paying you for a haircut or facial or are they paying you for your inherent value as a person? Imagine you have a client in for for a cut and blow dry. You cut what is supposed to be a graduated bob but looks more like a weed whacker has been let loose on them, it comes to the blow dry, your client ends up with some dry and some bits still a little damp, it comes time to pay and when you tell the client the price they loose it and refuse to pay what you’re asking.

Your response, “I’m worth it!”

You see my point? It’s not about your value as a person, it’s about the value you give when providing the service. It is the only factor you should consider, because it is the only factor your client considers. Focusing on our self-worth when we look at our pricing is missing the point.

When it comes to pricing our services we often get caught up in our own emotion of worth than the clients point of view which is the value of the service we provide. When when it comes to your self-worth, they probably don’t think about it, let alone care.

If someone is charging more than you, does that make them worth more than you as a person? If someone is charging less than you does that make them worth less than you as a person?

In case you are wondering the correct answer is NO to both those questions.

When we stop putting a price on our self-worth and we start looking at what prices we need to be charging given our business running expenses, our lifestyle, how in demand our services are and the value we offer, we can create a pricing structure that not only offers value for money, falls within the range willing to be paid by our ideal target market, but we remove all the emotional blockages we have to price increases, the undermining of our prices with discounts tied to our self-worth and need to be liked. If you would like to know more about how to set prices that represent the true value that you provide and will make your salon profitable then I suggest you check out our online pricing master class.


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About Anthony Presotto

Currently one of only two Australian hairstylists who are members of the Hairdressing World Expert Panel, Anthony Presotto is on a mission to empower salon owners, sharing his expertise as an author, international speaker and salon business strategist.


  1. I think “charge your worth” gets taken out of context for many people. It’s about the service you provide not “your worth”. Do you invest in your education, tools, your clients, your consultations etc.? These are the things that improve your service and improve “your worth”.

  2. Thanks for taking the time read and reply to blog. By the sounds of things your ahead of the pack when it comes to getting your prices right! Kudos!


  3. Janie Semprevivo

    Glad you put it clearly in black and white. I increase my prices every year by a small percentage point to coincide with increases in rent, insurance, supplies, utilities etc plus cost of living. I know what I must make an hour to pay my grooming salon bills and my home bills. I am worth a hell of a lot but III charge based on a financial analysis of my business expenses and what I need to Stay in business. Thanks for your insight.

  4. Great! Glad you enjoyed it Ron

  5. Thanks Laurie! I try to keep it simple, no fluff just the facts!

  6. Thanks Cindy! Yes these basics apply to all businesses. Customer service, charging for the value you provide, it's just some of the basics every business needs to consider.

  7. I think every one that owns a business needs to read your article. I don't believe I've ever seen it spelled out so simply. Customer service is your business regardless of what you do. That is what puts you at the top. If you provide top service to your clients the money will follow, Thank you.

  8. Great article for business owners – how long since you've considered whether your charges reflect the true value of your products/services?

  9. Karen Anne Vinson

    You got it right!!

  10. Karen Anne Vinson

    You got it right!!

  11. Diane Sartori Lintner


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