ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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The Hot Dog Theory of Money (And How to Ask For It With Ease)

In: How to Sell Yourself

I have a theory about money, and it goes like this:

If you were selling hot dogs at a hot dog stand, and some guy walked up and asked you how much a hot dog cost, would you hem and haw and say to the guy:

“Uh, well, let me see…usssssuually I charge between one dollar and three dollars-ish—yeah, that’s right—but since this is your first time buying a hot dog from me, I’m happy to work with you on the rate, or you could tell me what your budget is and we can go from there. How does that, um, sound?”

No! Because the price of a hot dog is the price of a hot dog—and you wouldn't feel guilty about stating the cost. You’d just state it. Part of the reason why you’d feel comfortable stating the cost, however, is because you’re just an employee, and you’re not setting the prices. It’s out of your hands.

Similarly, however, a lot of the pricing of your business is out of your hands, just the same. Believe it or not, your business is an separate entity from you, and it needs to generate a certain amount of revenue in order to exist. Those are simply the facts. And just because you’re a facilitator of that business, does not mean that you have the power to renegotiate all of the strategic pricing that your business has set. Doing so would be like being the kid at the hot dog stand, arbitrarily assigning different prices to every customer, taking a crap shoot at whether or not you’ll turn a profit that day.

The price is the price—and it exists for a reason.

And thinking about yourself as a vendor at a hot dog stand—hilariously smelly as that might seem—can be really helpful when it comes to getting the confidence to state your rates without wavering and/or shitting yourself silly.

(More delightful imagery, sponsored by The Middle Finger Project.)

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