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Making Sure You Get Your Price – The Red Pepper Reasoning

October 12, 2016

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners


The phone rings again. It is a call from my son in New York City heading to another job interview. Every time he has an interview he calls to rehearse his background, experiences and references. Always at the end of the call I say to him, “Make sure you ask about the salary and ensure you get the pay you deserve and if not ask for more.” The answer is always the same, “I know, I know, Mom.”

I’m sure I am not the only woman who gives advice and shares mistakes with others, especially life lessons like landing a first job or first client as a fresh entrepreneur. I am also positive I’m not the only person who didn’t get a larger salary in the beginning of her professional career because I didn’t ask for more. I recall my first job living in Philadelphia as an Assistant to the Corporate Vice President of an Investment Banking Firm as my “red pepper experience,” because I was only making $12,000 a year (with a $3,000 bonus promised at Christmas) and cried in a neighborhood market one day when I couldn’t afford to buy a fresh red pepper. It might be a silly story but I wanted that red pepper and I couldn’t afford it.

Honestly as a two decade entrepreneur, I still sometimes struggle with the amount I list on a contract for business services, always going back to thinking I’m asking too much. When I do, I drift back to the big red pepper sitting in the palm of my hand wishing I had more money to buy it. The vision triggers me to implore my son to make sure he gets paid well for his first job. It also forces me to make sure I am asking the right price for my services because my experience says I deserve it.

Today blog post is to invite you to think of the meaning of the red pepper when you are in the middle of pricing your services or products, preparing a proposal, asking for a raise or accepting a new job. Make sure you are getting the price you deserve for the amount of education, experience and wisdom you have to share with your customer or employer. We are responsible for what we get paid, no one else is. We must be stronger, wiser and more confident when it comes to asking for our fair wage.

I love red peppers. I love making money. I sometimes don’t like asking for money but the only way to be a truly successful entrepreneur is to ensure getting paid the right amount the first time so we can pay the bills, pay ourselves and pay for those “red pepper” items we deserve.

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