An observation from the last 12 years of self-employment:
The more you charge, the better you are treated.
How does that work? I'm not sure, but I would guess a couple things are at play...
1. In order to charge premium rates, you must have a degree of self-respect. If you respect yourself and your customers, they will tend to respond with respect as well.
2. Price is a strong communicator of value and quality. For example, I can buy a golf shirt at Joe Fresh for $15. I can buy the exact same golf shirt at Ralph Lauren Polo for $100. Is the Polo a total rip off? No. People who buy the Polo brand feel like they are receiving something that has greater value than the cost. Maybe a big part of the image, value, prestige, reward sensation, etc comes from the one item being so much more expensive than the other option.
Two real life examples: When I painted dingy disgusting apartments for $250, the property manager complianed that they were not getting enough value and I lost the contract very quickly to a lower priced competitor. And when I charged $50/hour to stain a very large exterior in a paradise-like setting, I got offered to use the pool on my luch break and got fresh baked muffins and coffee served daily at break time. It doesn't always work out exactly like this, but the principle seems pretty consistent. High prices may help you repel the wrong customers and attract the right customers.
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