5 Money Mindset Tips to Help You Charge Enough When You First Leave Your 9-5

Ready to leave your 9-5? Congratulations! This is a big moment and also probably one of the scariest jumps you’ve ever had to take. You’ve got a lot ahead of you in establishing your new business, but besides all the things you’ve got on your to-do list and the systems you want to get in place, there’s one thing you’ve likely not considered. 

It’s your mindset. 

So much of working for yourself is a mind game. You’re suddenly the person who says where your boundaries are, when you work and where, and how much you charge for your time. These are all the things you’re leaving your 9-5 for, right? 

The problem is, we often don’t advocate for ourselves when we don’t have a large company behind us, and that can lead to overwork and undercharging. (Especially as women.) It’s crucial you start working on your money mindset now so you can set yourself up for success.

5 Money Mindset Tips to Help You Charge Enough

#1 Start analysing your money blocks

‘Money blocks’ are any thoughts you have about how things are or have to be done that may limit your ability to charge your worth. These thoughts are usually given to us through a negative experience or through societal expectations and limitations, and when you identify them you can start to disprove them. 

Money blocks may sound like: 

  • You have to charge very little when you’re just starting 
  • You need X qualification to charge X amount 
  • Wealthy people are selfish/rude/bad people 
  • If I make more money than [person in my life], they won’t like me anymore 
  • You have to work 16-hour days if you work for yourself to be worthy of the money you make 

These money blocks often sound absurd when you say them aloud or read them on paper, but you’d be surprised how many of these limiting voices are knocking around in your head, causing you to make potentially damaging decisions. 

When you hear or discover one of these beliefs, call it out in your mind and tell it why it’s wrong. If you can’t, look for people who do prove your belief wrong.

#2 Set goals and track income

This may sound like a very general tip more than a money mindset one but stick with me. Unless you come from a sales background, you likely haven’t ever had an income target to work toward and instead got your set salary each month. 

When you work for yourself, that set salary isn’t guaranteed, so it’s a good idea to set an income goal for your business so you can work toward it and try to ensure you’ve got enough work coming in. Provided you set a realistic goal, it will help you stay motivated toward finding new leads and making sure your clients pay you on time. 

Tracking income in some way (besides what your accounting software may do automatically for you) is also a good way to help you see exactly what’s coming in and feel motivated to make more.

#3 Start tracking your time

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make when they leave their 9-5 is not tracking how long it takes them to complete certain tasks and projects. If you don’t have an accurate idea of how long something will take and how much you want to be paid per hour (even if you don’t charge per hour – and it’s often a good idea not to) so you can give accurate quotes on projects. 

If you plan to start charging at the lower end of the scale for your time, consider adding 10 or 20% on top of what figure you come to when quoting for a project to allow for scope creep and admin work you’ve likely not considered.

#4 Start an ‘I’m worth it’ folder

We all have days where we feel like everything we’re doing is a load of tosh and isn’t worth the money. The good news is that’s just imposter syndrome talking. If you can, avoid giving quotes to clients on these days, but if you have to, look through your accomplishments before you do so. 

It’s a good idea to start collecting examples of your best work and testimonials or emails from happy clients so you can reflect on them when you’re feeling down on yourself – and yes, you can use any you got while you were in your 9-5, too. 

This folder could be on your browser, it could be a bullet journal or scrapbook, or a corkboard on your wall – just find somewhere to put all the things that light you up and make you feel proud of the work you’ve done so you know your worth on those bad days as well as the good.

#5 Start looking for your “it” factor

One of the biggest difficulties for new business owners when they leave their 9-5 is they realise they’re not any different than all the other thousands of businesses out there doing the same thing. When you don’t feel like you can compete on quality, you start to compete on price. 

Start looking for your “it” factor – that thing that makes working with you unique and keeps clients coming back (or referring you to others if it’s more of a one-and-done deal). Your “it” factor doesn’t need to be something revolutionary, it may be your style of producing work or working with people, how quickly you can turn around projects, or how well you serve a specific niche.

Leaving your 9-5 is a big step, so make sure you’ve got a plan in place and some savings that will stop you from panicking in those early days which can quickly lead you to drop your prices. There’s plenty of room for everyone to succeed, so find what makes you unique, set a price you feel comfortable charging that will ensure you bring in the income you need (for all your expenses), and put yourself out there!

Woman At A Desk With Her Laptop And Money In Her Hand

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