Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes

So many changes in my worlds these past few weeks. This absolute decision to work on eradicating the things that make me feel badly is really fun and inspiring and hard and a fascinating discovery in to the workings of my brain.

One thing that's been on my brain for a really long time are my ticket prices for tours. They're low. They're low on purpose. I like to keep my tours affordable, maybe even the most affordable, so that anyone can come anytime. And let's face it, 20 people at 15$ a piece for 90 minutes - is a lot of money. For me. A lot and it seems totally fair.

So I went to luncheon thing and a fellow was there giving a lecture and he said that anyone at the lunch could have a free consultation with him for 30 minutes. Awesome, he seemed smart, knowledgable and kind and I thought what the hell.

I overcame so many little fears just picking up the phone to see if I could schedule my 30 minutes, so funny. So scared. Of what I have no idea.

On we go, he starts asking me what I charge, what my competition charges, what my thoughts are on why my ticket prices are so low (no different prices for kids! I say. I don't do Groupons or pay kickbacks to concierge so I don't need to raise my price! I say. I want to stay competitive with the Architecture Foundation - a nonforprofit! I say).

He tells me it's bullshit.

Your competition charges 10$ more dollars for a ticket than you do, are they better? No. Is their tour more entertaining than yours? No. Do they know more or give more information than you do? No.

Are your customers happy after a tour? Yes. How happy? Really happy. 

He starts looking at tours online and sees that 2 hour walking tours in NYC are 69.00. For kids it's 59.00

I start to cry. I'm not kidding. I'm pretty emotional these days anyway, I'm doing a lot of growing and healing right at the moment. But still.

He says "How is this affecting you? Like a punch in the stomach isn't it?"

I say yes.

He says, "your customers value your work more than you do."

Then he says, "raise your ticket prices"

I thanked him so much, we discussed other things too. He helped with quite a few things in a 1/2 hour.

And I cried a little more.

Why oh why is it so hard for us to value ourselves? I know he's right and I still feel like a greedy jagoff asking for more money. I don't want to do it.

I'm working on it. Real hard.


Erica said...

Wow. That's intense. And I agree with that guy. You are more valuable (monetarily and everythingelsely). I'd pay it.


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely worth it. You provide a high degree of value to your peeps. Greed is not taking what people freely offer - greed is wanting what you haven't earned, what you don't deserve. You work hard making your tours good. People like them, you deserve to get paid.

Greed is covetousness. You don't covet money - you work damned hard for it and deserve it.

Melisa Wells said...

I love that you met with him. I'm with Erica and you ARE worth it. Your tours kick ass. I have a feeling that you're not only hung up on the reasons you listed when it comes to keeping your prices really low: I think you probably also think, "It's just lil ole' me..."

The fact is, Chicago Elevated is a brand. One woman may run the show--heck, one woman IS the show--but it it the best mothereffin tour show I have ever seen. You have also been at this for a while now. You have gained LOTS of experience. It's time. You're worth it. DO IT, Hoe Cake.

Hixx said...

Well thank you guys all so much. you're so awesome. Dan, don't think I don't remember you telling me all of this exact information a year ago! I think I needed a stranger.

And Melisa, you are totally right, this is SO personal to me and it shouldn't be.


Melisa Wells said...

Of course I'm right. DUH. :)