Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Going From $25 To $25,000 A Night

For three years he slept in his ‘76 Ford and told jokes for 25 bucks a night. Every day he continued to tell $25 jokes until they started paying him $250 a night. Which later became $2,500 a night. Then $25,000 a night. Now he’s earning millions telling the same $25 jokes.

That man is Steve Harvey. And his secret was repetition.

He never thought big. He had a schtick worth a few dollars and kept on selling it over and over again.

Does that mean Steve’s formula will net you millions?

Unlikely.

But combined with common sense, showing up every day will get you enough to make ends meet. Keep it up long enough and you’ll have more than you need.

At least, if you can do what Steve intentionally left out of his story: raising your price.

Because how do you raise your price if your clients can find a substitute willing to work for less? 

Asking more money could mean losing business. Are you willing to take that risk?

Not if you’re like most experts for hire. You probably feel more comfortable working longer hours for the standard fee. A strategy that will make you overworked, unhappy, and close to broke.

But Steve didn’t have that problem. He increased his price tenfold. Where did he get that confidence from? Was he the best? 

No. He just had better clients.

When Steve first started, he traveled the country and took any job he could get his hands on. But once he did Showtime at the Apollo, he never worked at a club that didn’t have his name on the marquee.

So your first job as a freelancer is to get better clients. People who push you to the edge of your ability. And reject lesser clients.

People aren’t paying for your work. They’re paying for what they feel your work is worth.

If you buy a brand new $5,000 diamond ring from Tiffany’s and put it up for sale on Facebook, still in its original packaging, people probably won’t pay more than $1,000. What happened? It’s not used.

Someone who wants a Tiffany’s diamond ring wants to buy it from Tiffany’s. That’s part of the value.

The same goes for sneakers and comedians. 

When someone’s in a Footlocker looking at Nike shoes, they don’t want any tennis shoe, they want the swoosh. When a big network exec rings up Steve Harvey’s agent for a gig, he doesn’t want a funny man who can make the audience laugh, he wants Steve Harvey.

Your work isn’t as important as you think. Yes, it needs to be good. It’d be even better if it was great. But if you want to raise your rates, you need a better reputation.

Get better clients.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach