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What is The Generosity Mindset™?

Updated: Apr 22

I’ve had a few friends who are familiar with my work ask me: “Why isn’t your book named The Price and Value Journey?"

It’s a great question. I regularly refer to achieving better pricing as a journey, meaning that there is no formula in correctly pricing your service. It’s a continual improvement process. It’s a journey. My newsletter and my podcast are just two of the places in which I refer to "The Price and Value Journey.”

Effective positioning, business development, and pricing of your services starts, in my view, with your mindset. It starts there because, as a service provider, you are selling your expertise. Your expertise comes from your head, the same place in which your mindsets, whether positive or negative, take up residence.

The negative mindsets that may inhibit the growth of your business include imposter syndrome, a mindset of comparison, and the scarcity mindset. What I’ve found over the years I've spent working with professional service providers on their pricing is that more effective business development and better pricing starts with tackling these self-defeating mindsets.

The most effective way I’ve found to address and counter these negative mindsets is way of thinking—and a way of life, really—that I call The Generosity Mindset™.

What is The Generosity Mindset?

The Generosity Mindset is one that is selflessly focused on others and their needs first. It is one in which your desires and goals take a backseat, but only temporarily.

The Generosity Mindset is living confidently in the expectation that service to others will come back to you. Part of the joy of life with this mindset is living with the expectation that the universe is an abundant ecosystem, and that the generosity you practice today will come back to you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

In business, adopting The Generosity Mindset means cultivating within yourself a spirit of empathy, compassion, and collaboration with others. The Generosity Mindset involves a genuine investment in the success and happiness of not only your clients but of your employees, partners, and even competitors. Instead of focusing first on your own personal success, you begin to view your network as a place where you unselfishly seek to uplift and empower others to thrive. You wake up each morning seeking to be a source of support, encouragement, and inspiration for all who you encounter, without calculating how those individuals can benefit you. Embracing this mindset transcends the boundaries of your business. It extends to all aspects of your life: to your family, your neighborhood and larger community, and society and the world as a whole.

While The Generosity Mindset may seem counterintuitive to achieving personal success, it is paradoxically the key to unlocking deep and lasting prosperity. By genuinely putting others first, you create for yourself a virtuous cycle of trust, influence, goodwill, and reciprocity. The universe responds in kind. You will be able to open doors to new opportunities, form valuable and unexpected alliances, and propel you and your business toward and even past the goals you have set for yourself.

How Does The Generosity Mindset Improve My Business Development and My Pricing?

When you meet a prospective client, for example, you don’t rush in to talk about your service offering. You don’t cause anxiety by charging in with sales scripts and memorized counters to objections. You bring two open ears and one mouth to the conversation and use those tools in that proportion. You allow a client to breathe, to unload, and to hopefully get to a point where they share what has been weighing them down. This act alone is liberating for the client.

When you think about what’s going on in the head of your client, you come to the table with some compassion, understanding, and yes, generosity. You seek ways to help and solve a problem that your client may not be able to communicate well. When you approach client engagements with The Generosity Mindset—whether an initial value conversation or an emergency cry for help when they think the bottom is falling out beneath them—you offer extraordinary value by slowing down and bringing calm to the situation.

With The Generosity Mindset, you momentarily readjust the lens of the client, away from the mud of the problems that have you sitting there, and upward to their hopes and dreams for the business and for themselves and their family. You offer a value roadmap that goes well beyond the completion of a set of tasks. You show a client what transformation in their business looks like, and what it does for them personally. You make the cost/benefit considerations easier for that stress-filled client. You quantify the value they will receive. You price to receive a fee commensurate with the client-defined value of the transformation you deliver. As a result, the client views you as an investment rather than a "sunk cost" or "necessary evil."

The Beautiful Irony of The Generosity Mindset

Better pricing for your services starts with a mindset focused on outcomes and solutions rooted in the value clients derive from the work you do. You do not want to be content with getting paid what you think you are worth. You want to crack open the value your clients see and get paid based on a piece of that value.

Defining value based on how a client perceives value is a much more generous way to approach discussing and pricing your services. None of the value focus is on you. It is not about what you think you’re worth, and rightly so. It’s about the client and where the client sees value. Isn’t that a much better crutch to lean on than those self-limiting mindsets we discussed earlier, or pricing like your so-called competition does, or in some vain attempt to define your own value?

Here is the beautiful irony of The Generosity Mindset: The value your clients see in the transformational outcomes you deliver is always more than you see. If you have the courage, patience, and tools to tap into The Generosity Mindset, your business development, pricing, and the growth in your business will exceed anything you thought possible.

(This post was originally made on LinkedIn on November 16, 2023 in John's LinkedIn newsletter, The Price and Value Journey)


Business consultant and coach, author, and podcaster John Ray advises solopreneurs and small professional services firms on their two most frustrating problems: pricing and business development. John is passionate about how changes in mindset, positioning, and pricing change the trajectory of a business and the lifestyle choices of a business owner. His clients are professionals who are selling their expertise, such as consultants, coaches, attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners.

John is the author of the national bestselling book, The Generosity Mindset: A Journey to Business Success by Raising Your Confidence, Value, and Prices. The book covers topics like value and adopting a mindset of value, pricing your services more effectively, proposals, and essential elements of growing your business. The book is available at all major physical and online book retailers.


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