The Steak Story and Being Paid a Good Price for Your Work | No BS Coaching Advice

In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter tells two stories to help you remember who sets the rate for their work. 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Let me talk with you today about setting the price because it’s probably the most important thing you need to pay attention to in order to be successful. You see, you can have great clients, you can wind up having great work, but you sell yourself short on the price you work. You just don’t charge the right amount of money.

They make you crazy because they say things like, “well, so and so’s will charge me x minus 20%. Why can’t you do the same thing?” Many business owners,steak especially particularly small and medium sized business owners and sales people sit there and go, “Okay, I’ll do that.” The result winds up being people work really hard for less money than they’re entitled to and they deserve and their skills come to bear and the result winds up being you resent it, you do a half- assed job (excuse my language) and you know it doesn’t help you.

Two stories, if I may. First of all, you know I have an MSW and I attended Institute training from a very, very good therapist. In learning from him, one of the things he said along the way is that, so often, therapists charge too little for their work. And it’s a mistake. And the mistake is, if the therapist isn’t able to afford to be there to help the client, then the client loses out. So, you need to charge a fair price.

The other story comes from my work as a headhunter and it comes from a client that I’ve known for a long, long time, and we’ve joked about this with one another and it’s referred to as “the steak story.” The steak story involves a time where she was working for a firm that wanted to reduce my fees. She called me up one day and said, “management has told me that I can only afford to pay 25% less than what we’ve been paying up until this point.” I said, “thank you. And let me tell you something else. When I go to supermarket, when you go to the supermarket, when you go to the meat case and you order a steak and, then, you bring it up to the register and the package says, (I’ll pick a number $20) and you say, “I’ll offer $15, what do they tell you to he answer is, put it back.”

“Well, this is what I charge for my work. I’ve charged a fair price for a long time. If anything, I’m looking at raising my rates. Regardless, I set the price. If you don’t want to pay it, that’s okay. But to tell me that my work is worth less is a mistake.”

We became great friends from that because she understood what I said. The fact was, I did provide them with a great service. They hired many people from me over the course of years. All those people were profitable; almost all of them were still in their employ. What was the problem? Answer. They thought they could push me around.

They didn’t. They continued to hire from me for a long period of time. So when you’re going to meet with a client or a client is trying to negotiate with you, telling you that your work isn’t worth what they’re willing to pay for it, well, you have a choice at that point and the choice is to value your work or to be desperate and say,” okay, I’ll do it. Okay.” And whatever it is, you still have to provide the same high level of service. Would you rather do it for 25% less? I doubt it.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2022

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

Website: (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)



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