Ask for what it's worth

Ask for what it's worth

January 24, 2021

There’s a line in The Dark Knight that’s hard to miss.

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

It comes in that incredible scene when The Joker is talking to all of the mob bosses. It’s shortly after that incredible “magic trick” where he makes the pencil disappear. 

In case you were wondering, Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. The amount of times I’ve watched, absorbed, and studied his films is simply too many to even remember. This one in particular stands out.

But most of all that line from The Joker.

The downside to running a course is selling it.

The downside to work as a coach and consultant is selling it. 

Except everything in life is sales. 

When you want to convince your partner to watch Community on Netflix, that’s sales. Same is true for pitching to investors. Same is true for consulting work. It even applies to dating when you try to sell yourself on Bumble, Hinge, or whatever hot platform is going around these days.

If you don’t sell yourself, who will?

The answer is either nobody or somebody else who won’t do you, your story, or your vision justice. So we need to start taking back ownership of the idea that it’s okay to charge for things we are good at.

I remember one of my now friends talking to me back in July.

We weren’t friends back then but true to my philosophy on how to use Twitter best, we connected and quickly moved to a zoom call. 

During that call he started talking about his career, his consulting business, and his plans to run online workshops teaching his method. I listened as he explained it all to me and at the end simply said, do you want my credit card now or later.

His expertise was clear. Paying him would provide him value for his expertise and allow me to skip so many of the struggles and mistakes in my consulting business. 

I ended up joining his program. Consulting Club by Vik Duggal has been one of the best decisions I made. I took it seriously because I invested heavily in the course.

Thankfully many of the early supporters of Performative Speaking felt the same way. They realized value in the program and signed up no questions asked. 

But many people questioned me. It was my first online course. Shouldn’t it be a lot less?

My answer was always unyielding. No.

Photo by Edmund Lou on Unsplash

3 years of law school, 3 years as a teacher at SMU Law School, and 7 years as a trial lawyer meant I kept that quote from the Joker in the front of my mind.

Later in that scene the mob bosses ask for how much the Joker wants.

His answer: HALF.

And he is justified in asking that because otherwise the Mob would lose all of their money. 

Which brings me to the next part of this topic. 

People value things they pay for. 

Time to be honest about a part of me that most don’t know.

I love shoes. 

Boots and loafers are especially my style and I know one thing about my shoes. The care they receive is directly related to how much I spent on them. 

It’s the same in online courses and consulting. Students or clients who pay more have better completion rates. They see greater transformations. 

Because they are invested.

For years self paced courses at low price points were the model but few students ever finished the course let alone implemented the ideas. 

I have a bunch of self-paced courses that I’ve purchased over the past year and I’ve only finished the ones by Jack Butcher. Part of that is because the Visualize Value courses aren’t cheap. It feels like an investment and one you want to take advantage of. 

That’s not to say it’s okay to price things above the value they deliver. But if you look at most online courses the prices are insanely low compared to traditional education. 

I haven’t been in a course yet that I felt the value didn’t far exceed the course. 

Still those conversations can be hard. I want to let everyone in my course. I want to help every founder as a consultant to tell their story and raise the funding they need.

Except helping everyone means I help no one. And if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t help others.

If I don’t believe in my value, others won’t either.

The funniest thing about The Joker.

He burned all the money.

Because it isn’t about money.

I'm the Founder of Performative Speaking. In December, On Deck acquired my startup and I now serve as the Program Director for On Deck Performative Speaking.

The cohort opens for applications on Tuesday. Want to learn more? Email me:

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Cover Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

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Performative Speaking uses storytelling ideas that incorporate other forms of art, culture, media, and pop culture to create the mood, feeling, or vibe in the audience to convince them of a position.

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