Vanessa Ugatti is The True Worth Expert, finalist for Influential Woman of the Year (Venus Awards) and author of the book True Worth: How to Charge What You’re Worth and Get It.
#TeamCoco had the pleasure of reviewing her book and we were so intrigued to find out more so we tracked down Vanessa who took some time out of her busy schedule to tell us more…
Here, House of Coco hears all about her life, plans for the future and her proudest moments…
What is your background?
My background is incredibly varied. I actually started life as a bilingual P.A. so communication and language has always been an important skill which I have continued to develop. I then worked in export sales, HR, welfare and spent five years living and working in French-speaking Africa where I mixed with an amazing variety of different nationalities. It wasn’t until later on in life that I discovered my passion and innate ability for developing people. This breadth of experience, though, gives me plenty to draw on in my coaching.
How did you begin a career in coaching?
In 1997, I was sent on a Presentation Skills Course as I had been seconded to help implement an appraisal system into the Export Department of the organisation I was working for at the time. During that course, I discovered a talent and passion for public speaking. Two years later, my Mother died and I spoke at her funeral. It was a very powerful experience. Shortly afterwards, I just knew that I wanted to train people, though at the time, I didn’t know what or how that would happen. Sometime later, it became clear and I set up a company training businesses in presentation skills, with a focus on overcoming the fear of public speaking. Along the way, there have been many courses and plenty of personal development.
This then developed into coaching businesses on overcoming the hurdles that were stopping them from moving their business forward, such as being uncomfortable making telephone calls, networking and of course the dreaded public speaking.
Finally, two years ago, I came across a marketing course specifically for coaches which said that you must have a niche. On one of the initial workshops, the idea of value or worth just emerged from my subconscious mind and True Worth was born. It took time for me to realise that not only had I already been helping clients with charging effectively but that in fact, it was also a problem for me too. So developing True Worth has been my own journey. In the process of creating this niche, I learned to really understand my own value, be able to communicate it effectively and got comfortable discussing fees with clients. I finally understood that I could still genuinely help people and charge what I’m really worth. So I deeply understand the process.
What is your proudest moment in your career?
I’m not sure if there’s a proudest moment or not as for me, it’s really about the shifts which clients make that is the most rewarding aspect. However, if you were to press me, on a more personal note, I guess it would be seeing True Worth in print and a number 1 best seller on Amazon.
I found your book really helpful, why do you think people are fearful of asking what they’re worth?
In my opinion, there are two key reasons: their beliefs about money and their fear of rejection.
As far as their beliefs about money are concerned, most people just do not realise the impact that their subconscious beliefs have on how they operate in the world, both in their professional and private lives. For example, one client, a Senior Partner in a firm of lawyers was routinely discounting invoices, because he didn’t feel comfortable with the amount he was charging. I discovered that one of the reasons was because he had come from a poor background and therefore his view of money was tainted by this. In reality, he was looking at the invoices through the eyes of a child (our beliefs go back to childhood), rather than through the eyes of a qualified lawyer! With coaching, he is now able to view things from a different perspective which means he no longer discounts his invoices.
I believe that the fear of rejection can go very deep because it’s complex. First of all, there’s literally the fear of someone saying no as that can impact on a person’s confidence, particularly if they are sensitive. Rather than understanding that it’s their service which is being rejected, they may experience it as actually being rejected as a person, which is painful for them. As already mentioned in the paragraph above, it’s usually an automatic reaction based on the person’s past programming and subconscious beliefs, and the person doesn’t understand what’s going on and doesn’t feel in control. The answer therefore is to not charge what they’re worth so they reduce the risk of rejection!
The second aspect is the fear of losing the business because they think the client will go elsewhere. People listen to the stories in their head and take action based on those stories, which many times are just not true. So again, they don’t charge their true worth.
For any new aspiring entrepreneurs, what 3 pieces of advice would you offer them?
- Focus on value, not on price.
- Decide who your ideal client is
- Read my book!
If you could change your career, is there anything you would do differently?
It’s easy to say that I wish I’d discovered coaching earlier in my life. However, in actual fact, it’s my wisdom and understanding of life coupled with my broad professional experience and on-going personal development which add to my ability to coach effectively. And the skills I’ve learnt in previous roles have proved and continue to prove valuable in my current career.
In 5 years’ time, where do you see yourself?
In 5 years’ time, I’d like to think that True Worth is known throughout the world as, in reality, I’m working with a human condition, it’s not just a British challenge it’s a universal one! As much of my coaching is done on video Skype, I would envisage having clients all around the world, as I love variety and diversity. In addition, as I want as many people as possible to benefit, I would have created products which are affordable to all those in need of understanding their true worth, so that those not in a position to access coaching, could still apply the knowledge and techniques themselves.
Finally, I would like to be known by the media and have a platform for spreading the word.
Where can people find out more about you?
To find out more about me, please visit www.thetrueworthexpert.com.
To get your free copy of True Worth, go to www.thetrueworthexpert.com