When it comes to business savvy, I’ve always been kinda like a porn star in a pulpit — just no firm grasp at all on what’s happening, when best to shout Jesus!, how to commence exactly with the laying on of hands…

Just a big old hellish fish out of water.

Which is why in my last conventional job, I settled for as little as $32,000 a year, never negotiated my salary, never demanded substantive raises, and fumed while other, less-talented workers made more money and rose faster to the lower-middle.

I have to admit, my chosen industry always did suck at compensation. Plus, I wasn’t always the most dependable worker. And yet, knowing myself, had the work been profitable and I the most stellar of the bunch, I still wouldn’t have pushed for pay and position equal to my worth. Asking for MORE than what I considered might be Charlotte-worthy was never even an option.

It came down to confidence. Or, the lack of it. The old Take what you’re given and be glad for it or walk mentality. People don’t tend to walk. They need the money. Or, because of their low self esteem, they think the amount some man in a bad suit prints on a piece of paper and tells them to sign is adequate.

Guess what, Bubba? You can bet your britches — adequate, it prolly ain’t.

As an independent writer, it has quickly become apparent to me that commanding in compensation what I’m worth is key. Key to fulfillment. Key to me reaching my goals. And whatever confidence is lacking, all there is to do is unlack it. I’m an artiste and a laid-back creative type, for sure. But if mama wants to keep eating those $5 Edwards Cookies and Creme Pies, she’s gonna have to handle her bid’ness!

(I’m mama, by the way.)

Today, my business coach asked me if I’d heard of WIIFM. Not wanting to appear too biz weak yet wanting to know what WIIFM is, I said, “Uh…no? WTF is WIIFM?”

“What’s in it for me,” he said.

What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me? Hmmm. A little self-centered. Maybe not the very first question the truly delightened might ask a prospective client at the start of a business relationship. But, certainly, the second question, right? Just after, “Do you do background checks?”

Old Charlotte had no idea what her worth was. She got along well enough, and accomplished some of her goals. New Charlotte, though, is all about the WIIFM! In every aspect of her life. Not in a way that’s selfish and egotistic but in a way that honors all the talent and creativity she possesses and is willing to share!

Til next time.