say no to $33 million


lisa fabrega

june 28-min

Even though I went to a big football college (Notre Dame, I’m not the HUGEST of sports fans), I never thought I’d be writing you about a football player. But it was one of the most thought-provoking and inspiring examples of boss-level Money Capacity™ I’ve seen in a while, so I HAD to tell you this story.

I was recently scrolling through Facebook and saw a post by a fellow entrepreneur about Dak Prescott, a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. He was coming to the end of his contract and the Cowboys offered him a deal of $33 million a year. 

Dak turned it down.

What fascinated me was the comments section of the post. I was surprised to see many ridiculing comments from fellow entrepreneurs. Some were citing examples of other football players who turned down huge contracts and never worked again, almost gleefully proclaiming he’d end up the same. 

Others made fun of him having said the offer “wasn’t enough.” They called him ungrateful, greedy and an  “idiot.” I couldn’t believe so many entrepreneurs were going in on him like that, given that the whole journey of being a business owner is about owning the value of what you offer and not short-changing yourself. 

Conversely, when I read up on the story, I was inspired by his actions!

First, we can’t ignore the racial issues here. Dak is a Black man, and we all know the NFL has mostly been run by white, privileged men who have made billions of dollars off the backs of largely Black players on their teams. 

You think a $100 million five-year contract for one football player is ridiculous? You should see what the team owners make off the players! What the football players make is nothing compared to what the largely white franchise owners make.

So I’m ALL FOR a Black athlete knowing & standing by his tangible and intangible value to the franchise and asking for what he deserves. He knows how much money he makes the franchise and how many wins he delivers them. 

Second, let’s not forget the injuries football players sustain over their careers which often force them to retire by their 40’s. What is an injured football player supposed to do after that? How are they to keep supporting the large networks of people they financially support? How are they to pay for expert medical care when their injuries linger into their old age?  

When I read about Dak Prescott, I saw a man extremely clear on the monetary value he adds to the franchise. He also understands his future/long-term value. (Don’t forget how much money the NFL franchises make using the images and names of football players now retired!!) 

I didn’t see a “diva” or “ungrateful idiot” who is turning down the “best deal he’s gonna get.” I saw a brilliant negotiator who knows damn well what his talents are worth. 

I thought back to the people commenting on that post, making fun of him. They were really just revealing their own Money Capacity issues. I bet most of them don’t know how to properly negotiate and are undercharging (even when they think they earn a lot).

It also got me thinking about you. How many times have you:

  • been offered a deal and taken it without doing proper research because you felt like it’s the “only/best chance you’ll get”?
  • avoided negotiating or asking for references for fear of losing the opportunity altogether?
  • unconsciously rushed yourself to hire the first person you like because you don’t believe the right person is out there or subconsciously believe you don’t deserve to have a rockstar on your team?
  • taken the first opportunity and unknowingly settled for less? Whether it be in love, business, or any other area of your life?

I’ve been through all of these. For years I hired the first person who said yes or had flashy testimonials because I didn’t believe I deserved to give myself the gift of doing my due diligence. If they had flashy testimonials from “big name” people, I thought they were above me and felt “lucky” to be working with them. So I didn’t bother to ask for references or give a good interview to make sure they were a good fit for me. 

It created so much drama, which held my business back for years. The right team, hired well when you have next-level Money Capacity, WILL take your business to the next level, reduce your work hours and increase your bottom line. The wrong one can create perpetual struggle.

In my twenties, I sometimes dated people just because they liked me. Not ever stopping to ask myself if I liked them or having the nerve to call out red flags. It’s how I once ended up dating a narcissist and another person who semi-stalked me after I broke up with him.

Both my team and the dating situation were ways in which the Money Capacity setpoints I learned in my childhood subconsciously told me I didn’t deserve to ask for more. I wasn’t aware this was operating in the background when I set prices, hired people, or dated. 

It wasn’t until I worked on expanding my capacity that the pattern began to change, and I saw better results in my business AND love life.

I recently helped a client, a brilliant corporate executive, negotiate a deal. Even though they offered her enough money and she’d become the “highest-paid woman in her country in her industry” it wasn’t enough. She also wanted work from home options, more vacation days and to be at home every evening for dinner with her family. 

Everyone told her she was “asking for too much” and to “take the deal.” We were working on her Money Capacity™, so I told her to make all of her requests. Her expertise was highly valuable to them. If they turned her down, it just wasn’t the right fit. Or at least there’d be a negotiation that felt win-win for all parties. That’s what healthy negotiations are.

She asked for all she wanted. They thanked her for her clear requests, gave her everything she wanted, AND INCREASED HER SALARY. They even told her she inspired them to change their company policies to allow employees more family and work-from-home time! 

People with Money Capacity equilibrium understand their full intrinsic and extrinsic value. They think not just about the short-term value of the exchange they’re making but also the long-term value of what they provide, and THAT determines what they ask for and negotiate. Like Dak Prescott. 

Have you done a thorough assessment on what value you bring to the table, not just in the service immediately exchanged, but also the value your client receives way after they’re done working with you? 

Most people don’t. They think only of right now and quote a price. Or they put themselves in the same category as a tube of toothpaste. You’re not a discardable tube of “Tom’s of Maine” wintergreen. You’re a high-value service. And if you can’t see it, it’s time to work on your Money Capacity.

Why do you do this to yourself? 

Because it’s not as easy as just applying the strategy of raising your prices because some spreadsheet says so. Or doing a revenue vs. profit calculation. There’s all sorts of “stuff” that comes up emotionally and energetically when we start to ask for our value to be honored and stand by it. 

You’re afraid of being rejected. You’re afraid of being told you’re a diva for asking for references before you invest. You’re afraid of turning down a deal that’s not benefiting you at all because you don’t believe you’re worthy of more. 

Whatever your Money Capacity setpoint is, that’s where you’ll stay, stuck. That’s why it’s not about your strategy, it’s about your capacity.

Often when I help clients make this transition, I find they’re obsessed with equating the price of their programs with the amount of “stuff” and “features” the program has. Then they’re surprised they attract people who want to ask for constant discounts or do comparison pricing like they’re at a Walmart. I’m not. The external world can reflect back to you your Money Capacity deficits.

After we make the transition and work on their Money Capacity, that changes. They start charging prices for their work aligned with the results their clients get. They take their time making hiring decisions so they can hire well, and the employees will give them a great return on investment.

When you’re not used to thinking of yourself that way, someone who does seems like a “diva” who “is asking for too much.”  You might get triggered by them, like the entrepreneurs in the comments section on that post about Dak Prescott.

This happened to me once. A participant of a mastermind at which I was invited to speak went behind my back after my workshop and called my pricing  “ridiculous” and assured the other mastermind members she’d “never pay that much for coaching.” She was so triggered by how I owned the value of what I delivered.

Her colleagues who did sign up to work with me despite her gossiping are now at least five years ahead of her in their inner capacity as a leader. As a result, they’re making more money, handling bigger challenges with ease, and leading powerful teams. 

Ironically enough, the gossiper tried to hire me a year later because her business was stuck at a financial plateau. Hmm, I wonder why? Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spot for her because my coaching spots were booked solid with clients who kept renewing because of the value and return on investment of our work together.

For over 12 years, almost every client who invested in working with me told me the work we did is STILL impacting them beneficially for LIFE. Financially, emotionally… on every level. I have clients who have worked with me for over five years, clients who come back again and again. It’s not uncommon for clients to stay with me for three to five years. 

A client who couldn’t find a partner found the love of her life after clearing capacity deficits and is now married with a child. What’s the value of that? 

Another one was able to heal from an eating disorder that had plagued her for 40 years and has never looked back. What’s the value of that?

Countless others have gone on to earn millions and are able to donate to causes they love, get along better with their partners, and feel happy and free every day. What’s the value of THAT?

I even received a lovely letter recently from a client I worked with six years ago, with a copy of the book she just published. She said our work together was the catalyst for making it possible. (See pic above)

An investment that allows you to continuously grow, expand and succeed for the rest of your life is of extremely high value. That is part of what has always set my prices. Every client tells me they would have invested ten times what they did due to their results. That’s value.

Take a moment today to do an assessment of your value. And be honest with yourself about whether you’re undercutting yourself for fears of being branded a diva, difficult, overpriced or ridiculous. If you find you’re having trouble standing by your value without fear or apologizing, you’re always welcome to work with me on that. From group programs to Capacity Intensive Days, I’ve got you covered.

Wanna know what happened with Dak Prescott? 

The Dallas Cowboys ended up offering him $40 million per year, and he got what he wanted. I wonder what all those people who were criticizing him on that Facebook post have to say about THAT? 😉