Society doesn’t expect a plumber to work for free, why do people think those in a spiritual business are supposed to? It is as if accepting money in exchange for a service means you are less spiritual. To be practical, it is having enough money in your own bank account that allows you to be of service to others, so this idea that money and spirituality can’t go hand in hand needs to be updated.
It is easy to see how this confusion came about. Consider that money wasn’t always the way to pay. Bartering was how a person repaid a service; it showed an exchange of energy. You do something for me and I do something for you. In the past, spiritual practitioners were taken care of by those in the community. That concept is imbedded deep in our consciousness.
Today, money is the way for an exchange of energy just like someone served a dinner or built a building for a monk in the past. I do have clients that gift me cookies, which are much appreciated, but the electric company won’t accept those cookies as payment. When I am paid for my service with money, I can pay my bills and with those bills paid, be in a position to offer my service to my clients.
It is important to be financially strong when you have a spiritual business. If you are constantly worrying about money, you clients will start to look like dollar signs instead of people. You want your service to be offered with pure intention, not with the fear of going without. Also, if your car is breaking down, your computer on its last leg or your rent late, it is hard to have your focus on your work, let alone have the space to do it in. With financial security, you have everything you need to provide the best service possible.
Also, I speak with many people who struggle with knowing how much to charge for their spiritual services. Sometimes it is simply a matter of recognizing the value of what you do.
Here are some ways to help with that.
- Visit a similar practitioner so you can evaluate the value of their service.
- Write down what your client receives from you to see the value of your service
- Look around at other practitioners to see what they charge.
- Price yourself in the middle of similar practitioners who offer a similar value.
Once you are confident in what you are going to charge, there is always someone who is going to try to guilt you or bargain you down. I recommend you stay away from barters and sliding scales. With barters, it is often not an even exchange, plus you can’t pay your bills with a painting or brownies. Sliding scales tend to set up a disempowering situation for your client. No one wants to pay more and you have told your client that if they become more financially sound they will have to pay more. The unconscious tendency is for the client to remain in a disempowered state.
If the person really can’t afford it, first look and see if they really need your service right now. My cheapest session is about the price of dinner for two. If the person doesn’t have enough to pay for it, and I feel it something that can wait, I suggest that they call me back when they have enough. With that said, your service might be a great help to that person, so you might offer a discounted rate for the first session so that they can understand the value of your service and how it improved their life. Then if they want to continue, they will find a way to pay full price going forward. Remember, since you have priced yourself competitively within your service profession, it is unlikely that you are asking an unreasonable amount. So no guilt allowed.
Still, if you are struggling, I suggest you have someone else book your appointments for you or use an online service where people need to prepay. If a person really wants a discount, your booker can have them make the extra effort to contact you at a time that is convenient for you. If the person goes the extra step, and you feel you are comfortable with offering a one time or short time discount, then go right ahead.
One powerful gift is teaching people that they have value, so start with you. Remember that your service has value. You have value. You deserve to be paid. It is through this sharing of abundance and energy that you can continue to bring your gift to this world.
Born a Businesswoman, Cindy Griffith started managing the family business in her early 20’s. In 1993, she opening her first Spiritual Business in Greenwich, Ct. Utilizing a strong Internet and social media presence, Cindy now teaches spiritual development and offers psychic readings in the United States, Europe and Japan. Cindy and her co-author, Lisa K. PhD just published Grow Your Spiritual Business: How to Build a Business in the Internet Age. Available now in bookstores and online.