Perceived value, by definition, is a consumer’s perception of the value of a product or service and its ability to meet their needs. Every day, in my various blogging groups, I hear from women who are hesitant to charge for the goods or services they create.

Why do so many women seem to feel that their time and products aren’t worth selling and should just be given away?

I wonder if this hesitancy becomes worse as we age. Do we feel that what we have to offer is less valuable as we get older? On some level, I think we do. We doubt ourselves. We are more likely to criticize our appearance.

Some of us may be struggling with not being needed as much by our families who may have once defined us! I find myself slowing down just a bit at my job which is one that requires energy. It can cause me on a bad day to feel like I’m “washed up.”

Why might this come up as an issue after 50? For many of us, who want to continue to remain busy, our lower perceived value can get in our way. What are some situations where this would come into play?

When We Consider Continuing Working or Starting a Business

Many of us might be looking to revise what we are doing for work or even go out on our own. Many of us are looking to redefine at this stage of the game.  Maybe we are looking to change or begin a new habit. Whatever it might be, we often have imposter’s syndrome. That awful, “who do I think I am” mindset barrier that can rear its ugly head.

A lack of perceived value might cause us to:

  • Accept less money than we are worth as a consultant or part-time employee;
  • Not even try to pursue a particular opportunity because we’ve just decided it’s not possible or that no one would be interested in what we have to offer;
  • Give away valuable services for free. The simple act of giving away valuable products or services makes them worthless. And, in turn, increases our weakened perceived value.

When I set out on my blogging journey, I paid for a fairly expensive course to help me understand all of it.  At the time, there were many who were complaining about the cost of the course. I listened to them and sat back and asked myself, “Would I be taking this project and blogging as seriously had I not paid for this?” The answer is most definitely NO.

If I’m being honest, I’ve downloaded tons of free content that I haven’t even looked at yet! The fact that I paid for it adds value. And why should it be given away for free? It’s important content that the author worked hard on.

When We Have a Hobby That Could Be Monetized

One of my co-workers brings her 8-year-old daughter, Allie, to work with her frequently. Last week, Allie came up to me and asked me if I would like to purchase one of her custom-made drawings. I asked her how much they cost, and she said, “Two cents.”

I replied, “Don’t you sell those beautiful pictures for just two cents! I’ll give you 25 cents. I’d like my custom-made picture to be of five dogs.” And Allie proudly went to work on her commission. I was proud of Allie for realizing her artwork was worth money, but we needed to work on her perceived value.

Perhaps you have a hobby that could be monetized? Artwork or craftwork that could be sold in an Etsy shop? Maybe you love to write short stories and they could be published. Are you a gourmet cook? You could start a blog and teach online cooking classes.

When you hear these ideas, is your inclination to say, “Nah. That won’t happen.” Or is it to say, “What have I got to lose!!! I’m going to go for it!”

If We Don’t Realize Our Value, How Do We Expect Others to?

Women, and especially women over 50, need to realize their value and the value in what they have to offer. Women downplay their worth overall and women between the ages of 55 and 64 experience the widest gender gap in pay.

We are able to identify needs in the market based upon our perspective. We are empathic. We are listeners. We have half a century of life experience to offer. We bring a lot to the table and what we bring is worth paying for. But WE are the ones that need to realize that.

What is a hobby or business that you’ve thought about monetizing? What is stopping you, if you haven’t yet? What are your thought on free versus paid content? Are you as likely to work through the free as through the paid?

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