Last week, I got an email with the subject, “Pricing Made Human – End of Trademark Project…”
The email was from the attorney who represented me on this matter, Autumn Witt Boyd, and the first sentence read, “I’m happy to report that I received your trademark registration certificate!” Yippee…
As you may know, the trademark registration process is quite lengthy, so I have been waiting to hear/read these words for a while. Almost a year, actually.
Needless to say, I squealed with delight and much gratitude. For several reasons.
First, it is an incredibly big deal to own a federal trademark registration. It’s even more so when the trademark has personal meaning, as Pricing Made Human® does for me.
What’s in a Phrase?
Get ready for a long back-story…
After 30+ years in the industry, the details of how I work, with whom, and what I offer have definitely evolved. But centering people and their relationship with money has been the hallmark of my body of work. This intention and focus hasn’t changed – even when it wasn’t en vogue.
Part of this centering involves shifting your focus beyond the numbers. Getting you to see that success with money involves more than crunching the numbers. Getting you to see that there is incredible power in acknowledging your emotions and working with them – rather than suppressing them or behaving as if they don’t matter.
This is why the phrase Pricing Made Human® is important to me. It embodies all the dynamics of what I want to be known for. It reflects my non-traditional approach to money and pricing. But it’s not the phrase I started with…
The framework that is Pricing Made Human® – PMH for brevity – is something I’ve been utilizing with my coaching clients, who work as entrepreneurs and small owners, for years. But, because it was so deeply ingrained in my coaching process, I didn’t “see” it as a wholly-separate process.
It wasn’t on my radar to (a) separate out the individual pieces of my process, (b) weave them together into an offer that could stand on its own, and then (c) use this “new” configuration to focus on a particular area in the business coaching space that I felt I had a different take on: pricing.
(I was simply doing what I do. LOL)
When entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle with pricing, it is typically because of one, a few, or all of the following:
- Pricing taps into your emotions.
- Pricing can sometimes cause you to question your confidence.
- When you see the number on paper, or on a screen, or you say it aloud, you can sometimes begin to question your value and the value of what you’ve created. And, how that compares with your competitors.
- You did what you were told — you streamlined costs or boosted volume — yet, the bottom-line results you were expecting didn’t materialize or didn’t last for long.
- No one told you that as your revenue increases, you’d have to navigate and negotiate the new financial, emotional and (possibly) spiritual responsibilities that come with.
I know this first-hand because of my many years working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. And, because I am one of them! I have bumped up against the same, too.
What was really clear to me is that the traditional pricing models and approach was failing us.
Promulgating an Approach
As is usual with me, many of my best ideas are sparked by conversations when I’m not trying to figure out something. Such was the case in the Fall of 2018 when I got the idea for the first iteration of what is now known as Pricing Made Human®.
These conversations then morphed into targeted discussions, which helped me with connecting the dots and with gaining better insight about what I did – differently.
Most of my peers who provide business coaching don’t include the personal finance piece. And when they talk about pricing, they utilize the traditional count up your expenses, calculate your profit margin, and use that to back into your price.
I, on the other hand, tackle pricing from three sides: the financial, the emotional, the personal. And by “personal,” I mean making business and pricing decisions that prioritize the health of your personal finances.
Que the light bulb moment. Once I realized (a) I could extract a piece of my coaching process and offer it on its own, and (b) saw very clearly what made me different… ooowee! I had a similar feeling as when I recognized I had a different take in the personal finance space. I was “onto” something. And that feeling energized me.
I got to work on a one-day retreat, then called “In the Zone: How to Price Your Genius.” That then became a VIP Intensive. The name then changed to “The Hidden Impact of Pricing You,” which became a signature talk for conferences. And then March 2020 happened.
And the more I taught inside other people’s businesses, the clearer it became to me that not only is another name change required, but that I needed to protect my intellectual property around my framework. Especially as I entertain additional ways to get the message out about tackling pricing in a way that considers your relationship with money, with yourself, with your business, and with your buyers.
Oh, the Gremlins
Even with a track record of helping my clients with their goals of having a thriving business and thriving life. Even with a track record of seeing my own results improve from “practicing what I preach,” self-doubt occasionally crept in during this trademark registration process.
I’ve never been just a “how-to” person. I lead with the “what” and “why,” which influences the “how.” As a result, my approach rarely meets the expectations of people looking for an easy, mathematical formula to their pricing (and money) questions and challenges.
What if the registration gets challenged? I started my list of potential names to trademark in September 2020. If you’re curious, I stopped at 26. Once I settled on Pricing Made Human®, I knew deep in my bones it was the right and perfect name. Yet, even though the initial search results by my attorney’s team gave us the all-clear, there are no guarantees until the very end.
After investing money and emotional energy, will I still believe it was worth it –regardless of the outcome? Well, lucky for me I don’t have to contemplate what my next move would have been otherwise – LOL!
Because I am beyond excited and grateful the outcome was in my favor. And yes, I do, indeed, feel a little fancier 🙂
Thanks for reading and celebrating with me!!