- What I believe is ethical or moral to charge people who may be in pain,
- What I believe clients are willing or able to pay (Which may not be the same as what they are actually willing or able to pay),
- The extent to which I am influenced by the possible judgement (negative or positive) of my professional peers or colleagues,
- What I believe I am worth,
- My beliefs about success and wealth, and
- My willingness to receive.
Let’s look at these one at a time:
What I believe is ethical or moral to charge people who may be in pain: This is a difficult one, because we can leave our own needs aside in order to take care of the needs we see in others. Rather than go into the nitty gritty of the values (that’s a subject for another day!) perhaps we can make it easier by just separating these two parts: I need to earn a living, and I want to help people in pain. I can do both, but they don’t have to necessarily be the same people. So perhaps I can give generously of my time to those who can’t afford to pay, through some charity or volunteer work, and as a separate issue, can attract clients into my practice who can afford to pay. Does that help you with this dilemma? Leave a comment or question below.
What I believe clients are willing or able to pay (Which may not be the same as what they are actually willing or able to pay): Sometimes we can assume responsibility for our clients’ financial affairs. We don’t know how much clients can or will pay unless we ask. It may be more than we think. Surprisingly, clients may be put off by our fee being too low, as well as being too high. A client may decide that I don’t have sufficient skill or experience if I set my fee too low.
The extent to which I am influenced by the possible judgement (negative or positive) of my professional peers or colleagues: This is a sneaky one! What will they think of me if I charge that! Ask yourself how you’d feel if you learned that a colleague was charging significantly more or less than you. Most of us don’t like to get too far out of line with the herd, and become quite uncomfortable if we appear to be too different.
What I believe I am worth: Personally, I find this an interesting one. Pat O’Bryan (The Portable Empire) tells a joke about musicians, that they spend $50,000 on equipment, and drive in their $500 truck to earn $50 for a gig. Training as a counsellor or psychotherapist costs somewhere between €15,000 and €30,000 depending on the route you take, and many continue to add more training after they qualify. And yet, we still believe we’re not worth, not good enough, or not deserving of a fair fee for our service. What needs to happen in order for us to be good enough?
My beliefs about success and wealth: Our beliefs about wealth and success are often so ingrained that we treat them as fact. The term “filthy rich” suggests that money is dirty. “Money is the root of all evil” suggests that to have money will bring evil into your world, or that you too are evil. “Health is better than wealth” suggests that we can’t have both. And so on.
My willingness to receive: How much goodness can I let in to my life? How much abundance? At what stage do you begin to feel that your receiving more means that someone else receives less? And then (speaking for myself) there’s the fear that if I get used to allowing this in, that I might get dependent on it, and then if it’s gone, or runs out, or dries up, where will I be?
If you struggle to allow yourself to receive adequate pay for the work you do, I can help you to sort through some of these issues and find a more supportive framework for yourself. Contact me here for a free 20 minute consultation, or browse my services here.