Jasmine Gonzalez is a multitalented DEI practitioner, writer, consultant, coach, and founder of Jasmine Gonzalez Consulting and the Level Up Book Club. Her mission is to build up and support leaders from underrepresented backgrounds by helping them connect to the strengths and talents that make them extraordinary.

Challenges

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Jasmine wasn’t used to talking about money in practical terms. “Money was just supposed to happen. You’re supposed to grow up, be successful, do successful things, but there was no discussion of how to do that,” she recalls, “other than go to college, get a good job. That used to work for most people, but society and the economy have made that no longer a feasible option.”

Her quest for clarity yielded only partial answers. “A lot of what is already out there is relatively subjective. There’s a lot of work around money mindset and worthiness and all that, which we very much need. But if you’ve spent years and years getting underpaid in your career, or just not understanding what money or wealth is supposed to look like, it’s very easy to ‘change your mindset,’ but then you’re still actually underpaying yourself if you don’t know the concrete number you actually need.

Amid the pandemic, Jasmine realized she was not making as much money as she needed to be. “I was still kind of skirting around the issue of, ‘How do I make money without feeling sleazy about it?’ It just felt like the right moment to sit down and actually intentionally think about money rather than just being like, oh, money will come or manifest itself.

Solutions

Jasmine enrolled in the first cohort of Hope You Get Rich in June 2021. By the second section, the workbook had answered her most pressing question.

“The most impactful thing, and the one that I keep coming back to, is the idea of the internal hourly rate. It blew my mind, actually understanding the amount of money it takes to just survive on a day to day basis. I don’t think that’s something that people can recite off the top of their heads, but you need to know how much that is! If you’re not getting even that, you can’t really be fully present in anything you’re doing.”

In addition to completing the workbook, which she says she has revisited several times to make sure her internal hourly rate is still aligned with her actual costs, Jasmine also participated in group meetings for accountability and to get new perspectives on money.

Results

After the course, Jasmine had a new baseline from which to make her pricing decisions. And this baseline didn’t shift based on her mood or the circumstances.

Knowing that breakeven point is such an impactful and usable piece of data. I still have that number on a post-it note where I can see it. I have been making sure that any pricing that I set up falls in line with it. It might not necessarily mean charging every single person that exact amount. It might mean spreading this out among [multiple clients or projects.]”

She even uses her internal hourly rate to negotiate contracts at her day job. “I was literally losing money on a job at certain points in my life. Now I have that baseline of knowing what I need to make so that I’m not eating ramen noodles every day because I’m not making enough money.” 

(She adds, and I agree, “I love ramen noodles, but I don’t want to eat them every day!”) 

Her new pricing continues to be an invigorating challenge. “I’m still getting comfortable with the idea of charging higher dollars, but I also know that I can’t be charging way, way under anymore,” she says.

As for her previous habit of “trying to be a people pleaser and trying to get more people through the door by undercharging,” Jasmine says, “That limiting mentality is just completely gone.

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