When someone first suggested I was an underearner, I didn’t want to believe them. I thought I had a healthy money mindset. I’d had a successful corporate career and was proud of my ability to manage money.
My business coach at the time (this was in 2017) suggested I take an underearning quiz. The results were hard to argue with.
The quiz listed 15 signs that you are an underearner… I had more than half of them. I was severely underearning.
Since then, I’ve worked to transform my money mindset. And the effort is paying off. Now, I want to help you do the same.
So, could you be underearning in your business?
If you are – don’t worry, you’re in good company! And you CAN turn things around.
In this post, I share 10 signs that you are underearning. If you have at least two of these, then you’re also an underearner. Keep reading to find out what they are and what you can do about it.
1. Frequently Give Away Your Services or Products
People who frequently give away (or discount) their products or services are often avoiding something. It may be a fear of rejection. For example, you give away your work rather than risk discovering its true value.
High earners think differently. They are confident about receiving money for what they do in the world. And they don’t give away their best work.
Now, you may be thinking “I’m just being generous”. Giving is not the same as underearning. I fully support giving free value to build trust and grow your audience.
But be careful, fear of rejection can look like generosity. Examine why you are giving away so much and be honest with yourself.
Make sure you like your reasons for doing free work. If you are giving away ALL your best work because you are afraid to charge. Then you are underearning in your business.
2. Struggle To Raise Your Prices
Many business owners struggle to raise their prices. Again, this is usually driven by fear or self-doubt.
Perhaps you think people will judge you for charging more. Or you’re afraid you will lose too many customers if you raise your prices.
These thoughts are created by your brain to prevent you from taking risks in the world. They keep you safe. But they also prevent you from earning as much as you’re capable of.
High earners charge what they are worth. They don’t let doubt keep them from showing up fully in the world.
3. Proud of Your Ability to Run a “Lean” Business
This one is sneaky. It makes you feel like you are a good businessperson. After all, what can be wrong about keeping your expenses lower than your income?
Well, there’s nothing wrong with balancing your books – this is sound business sense. But not investing in your business keeps you small. It prevents you from seizing opportunities that will accelerate your growth.
High earners make smart investments – in themselves and in their business.
They spend money from confidence and not from fear or desperation. They know which investments will create growth and aren’t afraid to commit to them.
4. Attribute Your Results to External Factors
High earners accept responsibility for their results and believe in their power to achieve the desired outcome, no matter what happens. This is one of the three habits of successful people.
If something goes wrong in their business, high earners don’t blame the economy or their customers. They understand that they are responsible and have the power to turn things around.
If you ever find yourself blaming your results on an external circumstance – such as the IRS, the economy, a competitor, your customers, or a service provider – then look more closely. Attributing your results to something outside of yourself is just another way for your brain to protect you.
Your brain wants to prove you right in all things and ensure you never fail. This is normal but it isn’t helpful if you want to change your results and start earning more.
5. Always Put Other People’s Needs Before Your Own
Number five is another sign that seems like a positive trait. Putting other people’s needs before your own makes you a thoughtful person. Right?
Well, it depends. If you are a people pleaser then you need to ask yourself why. Are you coming purely from a place of compassion or is there some other reason? One that relates to how you want others to perceive you.
For example, many people fear being judged or seen in a negative light. And to avoid this outcome, they strive to meet other people’s needs.
Trying to control what other people think of you never works. It’s also exhausting – it takes energy away from what you CAN control… your actions and your results.
Now, I’m not saying you need to be selfish to succeed. You can be compassionate and a high earner.
In fact, the more you focus on what you do best and how you can do more of it in your business, the greater impact you will have. And the more money you will earn.
6. Avoid Dealing with Bookkeeping and/or Money
Do you avoid looking at the numbers in your business? Perhaps you put off bookkeeping or ignore your analytics. Maybe you prefer to use credit cards so that you can’t see how much you are spending.
These are all signs of a negative money mindset and are attributes of people who underearn.
High earners are comfortable reviewing their financial data – even when the numbers are negative. They want to know how money is coming into and leaving their business. Because this gives them the knowledge to earn more.
7. Frequently Change Directions in Your Business
Frequently changing direction in your business is a form of self-sabotage. Every time you change business niche, switch up your products and services, or abandon a marketing strategy you are setting your business back.
These activities are usually triggered by fear – of either failing or succeeding. They are yet another way for your brain to maintain the status quo. Which of course means you continue to underearn.
Your brain does not want you to change your circumstances. It wants to keep you safe. And the moment you enter new territory or take a risk, your brain will offer up convincing reasons to dial back your efforts.
If you want to become a high earner, you must stay alert for any self-sabotage. The moment you find yourself wanting to make a change in your business, ask yourself why. Do you like your reasons? Or should you re-commit to the path you are currently on?
8. Always Busy in Your Business
You don’t have to be busy to earn a lot of money. In fact, many “busy people” are also underearners.
Being busy usually means you are doing tasks that aren’t important or that can be delegated. This includes updating social media, responding to emails, tweaking your website, designing a new logo, and planning a new product (when the current one isn’t finished).
If you find you are always “too busy” then look at exactly what you are doing.
High earners focus on the important tasks in their business. They don’t let “busy tasks” distract them from making more money.
9. Dislike People Who Talk About Money
If you don’t like money, then you’re going to struggle to earn more of it. This is another area I have found challenging.
As a child, I was taught that it was impolite to talk about money. And as an adult, I learned that the best thing to do with money was to politely refuse it. This didn’t hold me back in corporate where promotions meant my income kept increasing. But it hasn’t served me so well in business!
If you want to join the ranks of high earners you MUST be at ease with money. And especially with receiving it.
Money is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. But having more of it empowers you to create good in the world.
10. Often Worry About Money
People who worry about money – not having enough, how to earn more, what to do with money you already have – are almost always underearners. Their negative thoughts about money are more likely to repel money than attract it.
Whereas, high earners are confident about the value they create in the world. And are certain in the knowledge that they will be amply rewarded for doing so.
High earners don’t waste their precious energy feeling anxiety, doubt, or desperation. They know that the biggest results come from positive feelings like commitment, certainty, and determination.
Transform Your Money Mindset And Stop Underearning
If you have two or more of the above signs, then you are underearning in your business. You are falling short of your full potential.
But don’t worry – there is something you can do about it.
First, you want to become aware of your thoughts around money. Then, you want to practice feeling your negative emotions without reacting to them. Finally, you can create a new money mindset by replacing your negative money beliefs with positive thoughts.