On my plane flight to Ohio on Thanksgiving Day, I was reading Seth Godin’s book “Tribes,” which encourages change and breaking from the status quo. Somewhere over Wisconsin while reading, I had an epiphany: remove price tags from my products and services and establish “pay what it’s worth” pricing.
As I continued to read “Tribes,” I pulled out my notebook and began writing the reasons why I would want to eliminate prices:
• I trust people to do the right thing.
• People are fair, if given the opportunity.
• I want to help as many aspiring and new solopreneurs as I can, and many don’t have money at this stage of their businesses to hire me. When they’re able to pay me for what my services were worth, they can pay me.
• It’s a way to show support for—and invest in—other people’s ideas.
• I don’t want to horde my best ideas. I want them “out there.”
• Price can be a barrier to business relationships.
• I sometimes find myself in situations where I don’t know if a product or service of mine was priced correctly.
This morning, while looking for support for this idea, I remembered a column written by Walt Kania titled, “The scariest pricing idea ever. That Works.” Walt calls it “fill-in-the-blank” invoicing, and he says:
I can guarantee you that it will shake up your thinking about fees and pricing. It will un-stick some old notions. And heaven knows we need that; most of us are way too myopic, constipated and chickenshit about fees.
As an added bonus, you will most likely do the best work of your life, and deliver obscenely wonderful service to your clients at the same time. (Mainly because you’ll be too scared not to.)
One thought: I could try it from now through the end of the year and see what happens, then reevaluate.
What do you think about “pay what it’s worth”? Is it insane? Have you ever tried it? What happened?