My daughter and I just finished a Newberry Award winning novel called, The Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale. I am sharing its message with you because it is a very striking example of how important it is to enter into the world of commerce from a place of knowing and owning your true value. Sometimes it’s easier to see the lesson when it comes from a different direction.
In the story, the people of Mount Eskel are strong, loyal, psychic, and closely bonded with each other and to the mountain on which they live. They mine stone called Linder, which is used for building, and trade it to “lowlanders” who visit in the summer months with food and other essential supplies. The mountain folk live a subsistence life, with barely enough food to survive the long winters, threadbare clothing, and rudimentary dwellings.
That is until a number of the girls of the village are forced to attend the Princess Academy, where they learn to read and write, and learn of various aspects of the lowlands. The heroine discovers a book on commerce, and in her efforts to understand, she looks up the value of Linder, the stone her people mine.
To her amazement, Linder is such precious stone that it is only used for floors in the King’s castle! Down in the lowlands it is traded for many, many times more than what the mountain villagers receive from the traders who make their way up the mountain.
Empowered by this knowledge, our heroine returns to the village and exhorts her fellow villagers to demand a higher price for their Linder. Taking the risk involved, the elders of the village agree to her idea, and bargain strongly and purposefully with the traders when they return. Realizing that the villagers have become better informed, the traders eventually agree to much higher prices. The entire economy of the village is transformed, living conditions improve with much more food, new and better clothing, and all sorts of new items that the villagers can now “afford” to pay for.
~ > All because of one young girl’s willingness to engage the world of commerce—to learn what others know and to bargain from a place of owning their true value.
My question to you today is: Is how you are engaging in the world of commerce serving you or compromising you?
- Are you engaging from a place of strength?
- Or are you letting other people determine the value of what you are offering?
- What can you do today to own your own true value and the value of your services so that you can bargain from a place of strength?
- What beliefs would you need to let go of, and which would you need to build?
Leave your comment below—and make your declaration of what you will do to align your prices with your true value!