Setting Prices As A New Entrepreneur

I spent the weekend in the Los Angeles area (a place I once called home), and had a fantastic time At The Helm, a unique event for women in business where entrepreneurs, small business owners and community leaders join together for a powerful day learning and business growth. It was refreshing to see such a diverse group of women, learning, leaning and gleaning from one another. I met the organizer of the event Alaia Williams, CEO, One Organized Business, a few months back while doing some online networking in the Ambitious Diva Facebook group and we have just began our journey (she will be contributing to CAREER Magazine soon, so stay tuned).

During one of the break out sessions, Haneef Jordan, Owner, Touch My Closet (another member of the Ambitious Diva group) asked a question about setting prices as a new entrepreneur and I shared with the group the formula I used to set prices when I first began my business, well over 10 years ago.   Almost immediately, I realized that I had a similar conversation with Colletta Abernathy  just last week as she was sharing with me some new services that she will be adding to her virtual assistant business, Tru Level Concepts.

As a new entrepreneur, one of  most challenging areas will be defining your worth and communicating your value to potential prospects.  It’s easy to “throw out” a price based on what you  feel you should be paid, but to be effective, you will have to understand your target market, how they do business, what the competition is charging for the same/similar services, and most importantly how to sell your business to a new customer base.

Setting prices as a new entrepreneur seems to be an on-going conversation, so I’m re-sharing this video with a formula for “setting prices as a new entrepreneur”.

If you are an aspiring business owner or setting up your side hustle, take a peek at this video and it will give you some starting points on how to set prices. While understanding your time/value are important, here are also a few things to consider:

1. You have experience/skill as an employee, but you still have to learn how to become an entrepreneur
2. Set competitive pricing because people will search competitors sites and compare pricing/services.
3. Don’t sell yourself short, but be realistic about your prices. You can’t pull prices out of a hat.

If you are in need of business development consulting, feel free to visit the website and drop me a  note and the best times to reach you via the “Let’s Connect” form!

What’s printed is what’s preferred!

Recently, I had the pleasure to be a featured “diva” panelist for the Exceptional Women of Color Networking Conference, an annual event held in the Sacramento, California area.   The Conference was fantastic and while this was about “Exceptional Women”, the Distinguished Men’s panel certainly stole the show – but that’s another blog.

Because I’m not a regular blogger, when I do, I’m always looking for things to discuss that you wont see on most blogs.  While this topic has been something that I’ve addressed privately with various organizations who have requested my presence, today I’d like to blog about “getting it right” publicly.   What is it?  My name and the names of others.

As customary, the beautiful and funny host introduced those of us selected to be part of  the “diva” panel to the audience.  Even though the program had my name printed as “Stephanie C. Harper”, the host introduced me as Stephanie Harper.   In true form, I pushed the little button to engage my mic and corrected her, stating “it’s Stephanie C. Harper”.   She laughed, called me a Diva and responded with “okay,  Stephanie C. Harper!”   Since the was the “Diva Panel”, I too laughed and didn’t take any offense to her remark.   While we laughed about it, this is a very serious issue for me.  See, what’s printed is what’s preferred!  Why?….it’s my brand!

For any business or business owner, branding is crucial.  Having a public career, “Stephanie C. Harper” is my name BUT ALSO A BRAND!  The “C” is one of the many things that set my brand apart from others.  The bigger issue is anyone in the audience who may have wanted to  connect with me and decided to do a Google search may not have found me.  If you Google “Stephanie Harper” here are several things you find.

So I think you get my point!  Stephanie Harper is NOT JUST ME!   I’ve been around a while so I was fortunate to purchase the domains and {and they both point to my personal website} and I typically come up first in the Google Search, but if you want to find me…and a ton of info about me, please search for “Stephanie C. Harper”.

The overall point of this blog post, especially for those of us with blogs, radio shows, TV shows and such,  how a person submits their name in print, is how they prefer to be addressed.  People take the time build their brands the way they wish to be represented.   In many cases, they may have paid someone to write their bios, content for webpages, media kits and the likes.  When people are asked to submit a bio or profile, others should be mindful of the details which may not seem like a huge big deal, but as I have shared above, you see how minor details can make a major difference!  If you Google “Stephanie C. Harper” well, here’s what you get!


I have worked VERY hard on creating the Stephanie C. Harper brand, so much so that I have a presence on the first 40 pages of Google.  I’ve worked hard on inserting that “C” into the mix PURPOSELY to stand out and be set apart! So ya see, it’s not about being a “diva” at all, just proper representation of the brand!

*********just thought this was a good teachable moment!********

What It Takes To Be Successful

Deep down inside I don’t think anyone wants to be a failure or live a
sub-par life. But I have found many people just give up on the idea of being successful, and I know success is relative to each individual, but most have given up on their own idea of success as well.

I have studied, interviewed and talk with some highly successful people, and there is always a few common threads that run through these individuals.

I was told long time ago that success is like a combination lock, and if you put the numbers in the right sequence, the lock will open for you, no matter who you are. So what have I found out about successful people that make us admire them. These ideas are going to be so common, you will be tempted to say, I have heard that before. But it’s not what you have heard before; it’s about what are you doing with what you have heard. How committed are you to doing what you have heard?

Here is what I have learned:


Whether it’s Martin Luther King Jr. dreaming of a better society or Mother Teresa believing that she could change a child’s life one at a time, the dream on the inside of them was bigger than the environment they were in. Successful people just refuse to believe that the task is too great. The dream on the inside of them will not allow them to give up.


Their circumstances may not always be positive, but they have the ability to remain positive. Nelson Mandela’s ability to stay positive and hopeful, and not become bitter after spending 27 years in prison, allowed him to be elected President of South Africa. Successful individuals know that becoming negative will not serve them well, so they focus on the positives of every situation.


Lebron James was blasted and left for dead when the Miami Heat didn’t when the NBA championship the first year after he was traded from Cleveland. Although it was a painful experience, Lebron took the time to listen to what people were saying, some of it was true, some of it was not. He listened for what was true in the criticism, and went to work. He heard the critics say his low post game was weak, so he met with and learned from the great Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.  The result was a better low post game and a much improved Lebron. Successful people are interested in improving, not staying the same, even if the help comes through criticism.


Hard, difficult, tired, disappointed are not words for quitting to highly successful people. It’s just a part of the process. I haven’t met  one person that has had an easy cake walk to success. It has taken years, blood, sweat, sleepless nights and everything under the sun for them to achieve success. The question always remains, how bad do you want it, successful people have made up in their minds, that it is wort


Successful people understand that it takes team work to make the dream work. Even if the team has to change many times, they never give up on working with people. They don’t develop a me against the world attitude. They learn and move on when one relationship doesn’t work out.

These traits are going to be critical to you achieving the success you desire. So dream big, never give up, surround yourself with great people, learn from weaknesses and mistakes and maintain a positive attitude always.

Dr. Will
Author, Genius Potential
America’s #1 Leadership Life Trainer

Yes, CAREER Magazine has an app for that!

In December 2011, I shared with you all that I was in the process of learning video editing and Word Press and that I would be tackling more “technical” endeavors this year.  I must say that I am extremely shocked and surprised at all of the things we have accomplished in the first seven months of the year!  But I’m especially PROUD to say, “CAREER Magazine has an app!” and I created it myself!  *you go girl*

See, I’m a visual learner and extremely analytical.  It doesn’t make sense to me why I need it or how it benefits me until I “see” how it works.  I have a smart phone and so I have downloaded apps on my phone and that part, I get and understand… but it wasn’t until I actually used my app that I really saw the benefit (side note: I seem to have the most amazing encounters while at the nail shop…my last 3 visits, I’ve gained a new coaching client, gained a new subscriber and on Saturday, gave someone access to my app!).

You can also get the CM App and get our tips directly on your phone by scanning this bar code or clicking this link  

If you have what you need, then why are you asking me? (offer something before you ask for something!)

Most of the time, I keep my chat option closed when I’m on Social Media websites.  Mostly because, it’s a distraction.  While many people use social media to be social, I use social media to make money!  I’m an entrepreneur… I’m in business to make money!

So I was sitting here working (on a Saturday morning) when I received an instant message asking me for advice on “how to start a magazine!”    Maybe it’s just me, but if someone whom I initially connected with on Facebook in 2010, but have yet to interact with replied to me that way, I would have immediately understood…

#1…They are not willing to help me for free and #2….They would prefer to have this conversation during normal business hours (not on a Saturday morning).   However, the person on the other end of the instant message did not catch the hint.    They returned the message by telling me that “since I’ve traveled the road, they are looking for a mentor”.  To which, I replied, “I understand what you’re looking for and that is not something I can do for free!”

The next instant message reads… {and I quote}, “Well i know how to start the business piece of it.. i guess what im asking for is the nuts and bolts for the publication its self… As far as good publishers… Good ways to research info, should it be subscription based starting out or maybe just advise so that i dont make a lot of costly mistakes investment wise..?”

To which, I replied, ” I knew exactly where you were going…I get these kind of request all the time…and yes…what you are asking for is business development advice. The questions you are asking are not surface questions…there are a ton of variables. For example..should it be subscription based?… that depends on the goal for your publication and how you plan to market it…all of which are not just simple get to the core of your questions….you have to “develop a plan” for it first”.

My guess is this is where I struck a nerve with the person, because they replied again, but this time added in their response, “I have a family full of networkers…. We have several allstate insurance office, my cousin owns a hair care company in Atlanta… I have all I need.. I only asked you because my cousin said you were a good person to know….. but sometimes helping some one can bring a million fold.. God bless. I believe I have the right to be offended!  But I know being offended is a choice and so I decided to laugh instead.  I have a website, a FB fan page, a Twitter page, a Linked in page and a Youtube page full of FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Information.  I also have nine books and a magazine, that provides even better information for a small investment, but yet, I’m being bothered with foolishness on a Saturday morning and being told that I should be willing to help people.   I could have totally lost it and went on the deep end, but I kept my cool (cause I’m cool like that!)

But he just simply couldn’t get it through his head…and now he is going to tell everyone how terrible CAREER Magazine is because “we don’t work for FREE”  (Is this where I insert a tear?)

I’m not really sure, what part of call my office on Monday was confusing, but it’s clear to me that when they heard the word, CONSULTATION, they also heard, SHE DOESNT WORK FOR FREE (and that didn’t seem to be enough to simply move on to all their family members who can help them better than me anyway).  Okay…now I’ll stop with the foolishness.

The point of sharing this, it to remind everyone NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING…not even conversation!  Everything cost something!  Even, it is just sweat equity!  Imagine how differently, the conversation would have gone if they said…”Hey, Stephanie, I love what you’re doing, and I’d like to start a Magazine one day, is there anything I can help you with in exchange for learning the ropes!”  Ahhhhhhh…..I may have put everything I was working on aside and made them a priority!  Truth is, the time I spent with the inboxer and the time I spent writing this blog has cost me an hour of work.  I planned to do a little work until noon today, but I will be here another hour.  So that I may get back to work, I will end this post puzzled but I  have to ask, “If you have what you need ALREADY, then why are you asking me?”

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