The Real Reason Something Is Too Expensive For You

Let’s talk about spending money.

Have you ever had the thought “that’s way too expensive”?


The cost of something is relative. It’s neutral.

I had an experience the other day that I found fascinating.

My husband and I were in the grocery store and we went specifically to buy a box of tea.

Here’s a picture of what we were looking for.

sml tea.png

We found the box really quickly and it was $4.99.

I went to grab an additional flavor (peach), and my husband said, and I quote, “we don’t need both, that’s expensive, it’s not on sale.”

Let me repeat, the box of tea cost $4.99.

He’s not a cheap man in general. BUT, he does have a lot of thoughts about money and value. We all do.

My guess is some of my husband’s thoughts were:

  • That’s more than I usually pay for a box of tea.

  • That’s expensive.

  • Who knows if it will work.

  • What if it doesn’t work?

  • It’s not on sale (he actually said this one).

  • I don’t want to spend more than I have to.

Now let me give a little background, we were buying the tea because he has afib. A heart condition that is extremely uncomfortable to say the least. He is on medication for it, but does not like the side effects.

While he’s doing what his Dr. has suggested, he’s also looking for alternative things to try. A number of people in an online afib forum suggested this tea. It had helped to keep their afib at bay.

When I saw that the tea was $4.99, I had completely different thoughts than he did. Here are a few of mine:

  • That’s so cheap.

  • If it works it will be so worth it!

  • It’s worth a try.

  • One tea at Starbucks costs $4, and this has 16 bags for $4.99.

  • This may help to keep him out of the ER.

  • This may help him feel better.

  • This may help us both get more sleep.

  • It would be great if this helped.

  • His health is invaluable.

There are plenty of things that my husband buys that aren’t on sale. Cars, DirectTV, restaurant meals, gas, yard maintenance, pool service, cell phone service, and Starbucks to name a few.

But for some reason, this box of $4.99 tea seemed expensive to him.

Why? Because he didn’t yet value it. He was thinking about the cost if it didn’t work (what a waste), rather than what it would cost him if it did work, but didn’t benefit because he never tried it. What if he missed out because he didn’t try it, but it was just the thing he needed.

He was focusing on the teas potential to fail vs. the potential for it to work.

The question he could’ve asked is “if this works, and I’m in afib less, will the $4.99 be worth it?” Of course it would be. No brainer.

I used this example because people think it’s the amount of money that makes something expensive or not. That’s just not true. It’s how we think about the item and whether or not it’s valuable to us or not.

It’s perceived value.

When you’re not sure that something will work, it may seem expensive. But what if it did work and you never gave yourself the chance to find out? What would you be missing out on then?

$4.99 is just a number.

$600 is just a number.

$2000 is just a number.

$18k is just a number.

If your life is forever different because of what you decide to invest in, is it worth it to you? What did did it cost you if you are a better version of yourself? What did it cost you if you feel better? How many hours of your life could you reclaim that would’ve been spent in suffering or confusion?

When you’re ready for something different, the amount won’t matter. It’s all figuroutable. It’s just math.

What matters is when you want to invest in something that feels right for you, do you realize that how you choose to think about it is up to you.

You get to choose what you can afford. If you prioritize something and choose it, you then have a better chance of being able to “afford it”.

If you value something, it will be valuable to you.

If you’re ready to book a coaching consultation click the button below, pick a day/time and let’s do it!

Making Money As An Entrepreneur

Day 29: Money and Entrepreneurship


Today I want to talk about something that I see a lot of. Entrepreneurs who want to believe that if they work hard and deliver stellar service it will all pay off in the end.

Now I don’t want to knock hard work and karma, but there’s one thing that also needs to happen. As a business owner you need to value yourself before others (your customers) will value you.

If you take a wait and see approach, believing that if you do what you love the money will follow, you won’t be doing what you love for long. You’ll burn out.

You also need to become comfortable realizing what you provide is valuable (in fact invaluable), meaning it’s probably worth much more than what you think. You then need to begin to ask for what you’re worth.

I work with a lot of entrepreneurs. Most of my clients work for themselves, are creative and many are in the helping or service industries.

They love to help people enjoy life, feel better, grow, and learn.

They tend to be big hearted givers. They believe in the inherent good in people.

They work hard and give it their all. They pour their hearts and souls into their businesses and believe that others will see the value and respond accordingly.

I also notice that many of them walk a tight line when it comes to generating revenue.

They want to make sure they’re seen as reasonable.

They have a lot of thoughts about those that they see in business that they feel are “taking advantage of people by charging too much.”

They don’t want to be “that guy or girl.”

One of my mentors, Brooke Castillo talks about how many entrepreneurs have what she refers to as a (Business that you work hard at. Job + Hobby = Jobby)

It’s a business that doesn’t generate enough income to pay yourself. You may be working very hard but you are not able to support yourself on what you bring in.

As an entrepreneur, nobody wants a jobby. Why? Because it isn’t sustainable. Without money it will not last.

One thing that I see that most if not all of my clients have in common is a disconnect between what they offer and what they charge. They tend to set their value and prices based on overhead expenses and cost of product or services being provided, which is a type of “mark up”, rather than perceived value.

The question to ask yourself is how is value determined? Who determines whether or not something is valuable?

Consider the following example:


Option 1: $9.99 at SuperCuts, $60.00 at the neighborhood salon, $700 at a specialty salon.

I’ve tried all 3 and valued each for different reasons at different times in my life.

Option 1: When I’d waited too long to make an appointment and my person was booked, or I was growing my hair out longer, I paid $9.99 and just had my ends trimmed to even things up every now and then. Creativity was not necessary.

Option 2: When I had a shape that I liked and was wanting to get my hair cut more regularly, I found a salon that did a decent job and was easy to book a week out. $60.00 was worth it to me to maintain a cut that I liked.

Option 3: Back when Japanese straightening was a thing, I once paid $700 to have my hair cut and straightened. It was $100/hour and took them 7 hours to do my hair (really!) I was headed on a vacation to humid Hawaii and would’ve paid just about anything to make my hair easier to care for while on vacation. I didn’t want to deal with the frizz and the humidity and the water. The time saved by using this process was priceless.

I felt good paying at all three pricepoints. Why? Because I liked my reason for each. The value was different for each.

For option one, I valued the low price and ability to walk in without an appointment.

In option two, I appreciated going somewhere that they knew my name, had studied how best to shape my crazy curly hair and the attention to detail that they gave.

Option three was about convenience. I valued the time it would save me while on vacation that I could then spend with my family.

The service provided was the haircut. The value was what I gained each time, and the benefit I recieved. Value is individual to each person.

As business owners, it’s not our job to decide what our products value is for anyone. It’s not our job to decide ahead of time what our clients can pay. Their budgets are none of our business.

it’s our job to set our prices at a place that allows us to run a profitable business rather than a jobby. That ensures that we will be able to offer our services for years to come.

It’s our job to show up and do the best that we can no matter what we charge. Overdelivering on value always. It’s just more fun when you are actually getting paid for it.

Thoughts like “what if I seem selfish? what if people think my prices are ridiculous? I want to help people that don’t have as much. I want to reach the masses.”

If you have judgments about “people who have money, rich people, how people spend their money”, there is no place for that in busines. Noticing those judgements and working through them will help.

What people choose to like is individual. I love chai tea. I would probably pay waaaay more for a delicious cup of chai than most people. More than friends that don’t like chai that much.

There is no such thing as reasonable amount. If you’re goal is to only reach people that want to pay as little as possible, becaue it feels more “helpful”, your business will suffer. When you make more money in your business, you can actually help MORE people.

There’s nothing selfish about that.

Money is now one of my favorite areas to coach people on. I’ve done so much work on this area myself over the past few years. If you’re a creative entrepreneur who’d like to earn more let’s jump on a call. There’s still six months left to this year, let’s make that time work in your favor. If you’re ready to take a look at your money beliefs and how they are holding you back, book a free session with me today. ~Shaun

ADHD and Money: Why Mindset Matters

Day 5: Money Mindset


In my experience there is a direct correlation between having adhd tendencies and money challenges. It’s not always that there’s not enough money, or that there’s not money available, or that there are problems doing the math of managing money, but rather there are issues around the topics of value, judgements, earning, saving, beliefs and what we make it all mean.

There are challenges with the mindset of money, which then makes money challenging.

To start with, I’m a “helper” by nature. I love to help others. I’m sure some of you can relate.

I was drawn to Major in Child Development in College (which by the way is an extremely fulfilling yet inherently underpaid profession). So out the gate I was a professional underearner, and remained one for about 10 years. I moved up the ranks (eventually to become the Program Director for a large school district) and still made less than $30k per year, often working 60 hours per week.

My next venture was a dance studio. I owned a dance studio.

As the parent of a dancer, I had always wondered about the high cost of costumes and recital tickets. It seemed so disproportionate for the level of dance (my daughter was 5 at the time). My vision was to do it differently, offering families a high-quality experience for a reasonable price. My program grew and grew, eventually hiring 13 instructors that I managed. Well over 2k children went through my studio in the span of 3 years. I poured my heart and soul into it, and while it was extremely rewarding I never actually drew a salary. Again, underearning.

My question was why?

It came down to a belief that I’d had for a very long time. It was buried so deep, I didn’t even realize it was there.

It sounds like this “I have to work twice as hard for half the pay as everyone else.”

I know, nice thought hunh?

How did I ever get that thought?

I believe it was because of where and when I was raised. It was meant to be protective and a gentle reminder to work hard and always do my best.

It was during the 1960’s and 1970’s and we lived in an all Caucasian neighborhood in Northern Ca. My dad was employed by the largest transit system in the Bay Area and there were a lot of things happening with affirmative action. At the time, there was a lot of inequality in the workforce if you were a minority. My dad saw and experienced much of it first hand and he wanted to instill a strong work ethic in us. It was honorable and came from a place of love. He wanted what was best for us and for us to succeed in society.

It was said in the vein of “remember you’re always going to have to put your best foot forward, make a good first impression, you only get one chance to make a first impression, you’ll have to work twice as hard, for half as much, but you can do it".

The problem was I already had a strong work ethic. I had an example of it in both of my parents. I was wired to want to please people. I wanted to do a good job.

This belief that my dad instilled in me took hold and my brain ran with it. And as brains often do, it ran down a path of it’s own, taking it to a whole new level.

My brain grasped hold of it and took it as literal truth. In some ways I was always operating from a fearful place of not being good enough, needing to work twice as hard for half as much.

My brain used it as a way to show me I was not good enough and not deserving of more pay. That to ask for more would be presumptuous, bold, out of line, unreasonable.

What I know now is negative thought = negative feeling = negative result.

My negative result was underearning.

The good news is that once I became aware of that thought, I noticed it. Saw it for what it was. A thought that I didn’t have to think anymore.

Instead I started to think “I work hard because I love to” “I overdeliver because I want to”.

Just this week I’ve landed on a new money thought that I love.

“It’s possible to make more than I’ve ever made this month.”

That thought creates excitement for me. It’s open to possibility. I work hard no matter what. I’m open to all of the value that comes with that.

It’s also a thought that can compound over time. So no matter the amount, it’s always open to grow.

If you’re reading this and you have adhd or adhd tendencies, chances are you have a belief about yourself, your ability or capability to earn more. Your story of how it got there may not be the same as mine. It doesn’t matter. If there’s a hidden belief that’s holding you back, it’s worth uncovering.

There was an episode last week shared on one of my favorite podcasts, The Life Coach School podcast with Brooke Castillo, called Underearning. She describes underearning as someone who is earning less then they’re capabale of, and they want to earn more. As I listened to this episode, it really resonated with me. It is the space that I lived in for most of my life. If this post resonated with you I’d encourage you to listen in. If you want to explore your money mindset, or just find out what that even means, book a 45-minute session via the button below. ~Shaun