I've essentially been self-employed for the past 2.5 years. For 17 years I worked full time and received a stable, consistent paycheck from my employer. I worked on a team with dozens of others. I went into an office, had hallway conversations, and contributed to a meaningful vision. I hired and lead an extraordinary team of passionate, difference makers. I had an administrative assistant who I miss constantly (Jen, you're the best).
But these past couple years have been different. Yes, I've contracted with a few organizations that mean a lot to me and allow me to creatively use my gifts. But I went from contributing to a larger ecosystem to a very different reality.
The work I've done through my personal networks and connections has been hard for me. I've made it hard. I've questioned whether the value I can provide is worth their resources. I've been insecure about inviting people to hire me to speak and coach them. I've wondered if I am really worth my clients' commitment and trust. I've struggled with being out of my main domain (the church world) and doing my work somewhat independent from it. I've doubted my ability as an entrepreneur. I've found myself shrinking back just a bit when I negotiate a contract fee or request a higher honorarium. I've hustled and sweat to the point of exhaustion because of how I've made this hard.
And yet...for the past 2.5 years I have done it. And done it successfully. It's provided for my family in pretty remarkable ways. It's given me opportunities to speak, coach, travel, endorse, support, and work with unbelievable people all over the world. I have seen leaders blast through mental barriers, break lies that plague their thinking, significantly grow their ministries through disciplined attention, and find joy in their present again. I have worked in my PJs in my home office, spoken to thousands on big stages, made hundreds of coaching calls, traveled tens of thousands of miles flying coast-to-coast and once internationally. The past couple years have been some of the most difficult, lonely, life-giving, faith-building, and stretching years of work I've ever had. It's left me breathless and humbled. And it's left me wondering if I should continue this path or explore another way.
This post by Michael Hyatt was so validating and helpful for me to get over myself and grow in my courage to charge a fair cost for what I do. The work I do now is meaningful, and it is my work. It's how I continue to provide for my family today and into the future. It's how I value myself and the nearly 20 years of leadership and ministry that's lead me to this point. It's how I'm deliberating making choices to steward my gifts and add the most value to the world around me.
The truth is...I'm good at what I do.
I'm an excellent coach, a dynamic speaker, a passionate developer, a creative thinker, and a quality author. And so, I am continuing on in this work. And I will straighten my shoulders, hustle less, honor more, lift my head and eyes up to the One who's gifted me and called me to uniquely contribute to the Kingdom in this year.
On that note, I'd love to talk with you about how I can speak for an upcoming retreat or training. And I'd love to consider with you how coaching may be exactly what you need next.
Maybe you need to hear these words today, too. Maybe my story and Michael Hyatt's words will trigger something for you so you can take it to the next level and stop hiding behind the hard and excuses. Value your work. You are worth it.