As women, I feel like it is safe to say that we give certain duties and responsibilities to every title that we have. For example, as “friend” it is your responsibility to speak up when asked about Mr. Wrong Now and Forever. As “daughter” it could be to help your parents with smartphone or email questions. The title of “employee” is no different. Go to work, do our best with whatever is asked, and go home. Easy enough, but what about the title of “business owner / entrepreneur?”  Eeeek!!

I don’t know about you, but several years ago, had someone asked me MY hourly rate I would’ve been hard-pressed to give them an answer. I mean…my parents and friends think I am priceless, but just starting out, was I? I knew that I had a solution to a need, but what dollar figure do you put on that? I knew that I wasn’t an ER doctor at midnight when a child stopped breathing. I also knew that I CLEARLY wasn’t Ms. Starbucks when I was out of coffee and up for a 5am flight. The part that I was missing was that I WAS that person to someone. When I began tracking my time on each project – remembering to add my hours on the elliptical to think, write, design, you name it – my own employees were making more than I was. Wait?! So, how can I work for me?

Now, here is where most people would drop in some crazy mathematical solution that somehow takes away glasses of wine and bubble baths. I’m not going to do that. The reality is that I can type for three more days about this, but if I never realize that I am Ms. Starbucks to someone, it will be a colossal waste of my time. Don’t get me wrong. There are times that I still make less than my employees, but the difference is that when it happens now it is by choice.

Some women do have a way to figure it that would rival pie r squared to determine their “hourly rate.” Is it an arbitrary number that you have always used, or some “x years of experience divided by daily cocktails to deal with z client?” Share your secret formula with us!