In Part II of our deep dive with Cassidy, we unpack her top three learnings from polyworking: including valuing her work product, asking for help to negotiate, and staying curious along the way.
Let's get into it.
1) Never undervalue yourself
I didn’t realize I was undervaluing myself for a long time. I would say, “Whoa, I’m making $100 every month on this,” or, “Wow, they’re gonna pay me $50 to speak at this conference.”
Then I spoke to other people who also had newsletters and livestreams. I realized that, even though we produced about the same kind and quality of content, their checks had way more zeros on them than mine did.
Another time I told someone how much I charged for conference appearances, which didn’t include travel and lodging costs — and she essentially yelled at me over my Twitter DMs.
So I said, “Wow. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve just been working in my silo.” I didn’t know how much I could get paid for the longest time because I didn’t ask.
2) Ask for what you want
Eventually, I also realized you could get other folks who do understand your worth to negotiate on your behalf. It felt unbelievable when I first heard about it.
- One of my friends had her partner negotiate her job offer on her behalf over email. She got paid about $70,000 more than she’d anticipated.
- When a friend of mine negotiated on my behalf for a newsletter sponsorship, I received more money than I ever had for a newsletter before.
To this day, it can be so difficult to negotiate for myself. I thought about how it might be cool to have groups of people negotiate on each other’s behalf… then I realized I invented unions.
3) Always ask questions
Maybe the common thread is that I’d tell younger Cassidy to just ask for advice from so many more people. It does not require a full mentor-mentee relationship to ask a question. The worst they can do is say no, or ghost you.
But the best thing they can do is give life-changing advice within a few minutes of their time, or if you’re speaking to a company, they can supplement really helpful income. It’s obviously easier said than done.
But every time I’ve asked questions of anyone who’s further ahead in some aspect — maybe they’re more consistent or confident in their content, or they’ve made X amount of dollars from teaching, or they’ve written a book — I’ve been able to gain something.