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16 Apr 14

Never Say It’s Too Expensive

At a recent networking event, I witnessed an impassioned conversation between a man and a woman. She was describing a training course she offers, priced at a few thousand pounds, and he was incredulous. “But it’s not fair!” he kept saying, polite yet exasperated. “It’s not right!”

Scales representing justice. Is the price fair or too expensive?Her price offended his sense of justice. It bashed up against his vision of a fair and equal society. In particular, he couldn’t stand the idea that she’d created content in advance that could be delivered without much in-the-moment input from her, yet was charging premium rates.

I’d go out on a limb and guess that at some point you’ve thought somebody was charging too much. You’ve heard their price and responded, “Ooh, that’s steep!” I’ve heard it recently from friends who baulked at me paying £10 for Rock Choir sessions, or £12 for Five Rhythms classes.

If you’ve ever thought somebody was pricing too high, or being greedy or unfair in their pricing, I want to make something clear.

It costs a lot to make money

The person we call “expensive” probably paid a significant amount of money to train. We’re talking hundreds, if not thousands, and with that came travel costs, course materials, childcare, in addition to not being able to earn money elsewhere – possibly for years. The cost of her services today has to cover all the years that went before, if she’s to break even.

The person we call “expensive” probably pays out a huge amount each month on business expenses. As her business grows, so do these expenses. PayPal charges, venue hire, the cost of designing and distributing flyers, business cards, networking meetings, website design, website hosting, printer, printer ink, postage, a web developer, travel, business banking charges, webinar services, teleclass services, email list services, landline, mobile phone, internet, laptop, camera, professional headshots, office desk, work-related equipment – the list goes on. The cost of her services has to cover all of these expenses, and that’s before we even get onto hiring a team and paying income tax, corporation tax, dividend tax, VAT. Her revenue is not her profit, and her profit is not her take-home cash-in-the-bank.

The person we call “expensive” probably does a huge amount for free. She blogs, or records videos, or gives free consultations, or shares inspiration on social media. She doesn’t get paid by anybody for any of that, so the cost of her services has to cover this working time too. I don’t see many people advocating on her behalf, passionately arguing that it’s not fair that she has to do all that work for free.

The person we call “expensive” – the hourly rate you see on her site does not equate to what she receives per hour. She may have invested days, weeks or months in creating a product. Unpaid hour after unpaid hour. Let’s be careful not to muddle our maths and think someone’s hourly rate tells us their income.

Woman looking sad - too expensive? The person we call “expensive” is not just paying a financial cost. She’s living on a daily basis with lack of security and with the constant risk of rejection. She is paying an emotional cost when she lays awake at night, anxiously wondering, “Will anybody buy? Am I good enough? Will anybody want this?” We pay for it to be worth it for her to put her soul through that. If it’s not worth it, nobody would do self-employment.

The person we call “expensive” – we don’t know the circumstances of her life. We have no idea what she needs money for. We don’t know if she’s using some of that money to help a family member in need or tithe to charity. We don’t know the debts of her past, or her hopes for the future. We don’t know – and quite frankly, it’s none of our business.

We never really know what happens behind the scenes of somebody’s life. When I watch the credits roll at the end of a movie, I always wonder, “How can they pay this many people?!” and I therefore couldn’t consider £10 to be “steep” for a DVD or a cinema ticket. (Even the actors who earn millions, the price they pay is often their privacy – something many of us would not be prepared to give up.)

Every time I see a yoga teacher charging £8 per class, trying to keep her classes “accessible to all”, I guess at her behind-the-scenes. I guess she’s likely to be working in a day job (if she’s not sustained by a partner), behind her computer for half the week, desperate to get back on the mat and help people.

No more “It’s too expensive”

If we care about fairness and equality and justice, we must check we’re doing the maths properly before we deny our friends the right to make a healthy living through their innate gifts and talents. They are fulfilling their duty by sharing their passion with us, with all the costs that are associated with that. Let us celebrate their ability to earn well through that.

Nobody is ever “charging too much”. It can’t happen. If it’s too expensive for you, fine. That’s about you. It’s not about the person generously offering their heart out into the world. Don’t buy from her; it’s that simple. But please: stop telling her she’s overcharging.

But the most important reason for stopping with the “It’s too expensive”?

Whatever we deny others, we deny ourselves.

Our disgust at her price is preventing us from setting a healthy price.

Our resistance to her healthy earning is preventing us from enjoying a healthy income.

Our muddled maths is leading to our own numbers not adding up.

So even if you don’t want to stop judging her, do it for your sake. Be selfish. Don’t sabotage your own chances of happy, sustainable self-employment.

What has it cost you?

How many hours per week do you work for free? Include all admin, marketing and professional development time, as well as travel, free consultations, networking, social media, blogging, and preparing resources.

How many years have you invested, so that you can now offer what you offer? How many books did you read, courses did you take, personal journeys did you go on? Did anyone pay you for any of that?

How much money have you spent – and do you spend monthly – to be able to provide the product or service that you pour your love and care into?

Leave a comment below, join the discussion.


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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2014

Top Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan / Flickr / Creative Commons
Bottom Photo Credit: ukg.photographer / Flickr / Creative Commons

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  1. anne

    Do you know the Picasso story? He was approached by a lady in the street who asked him for a drawing. He made one and asked her 10000FF for it. She objected saying “but it only took you 5mn!”
    His response was “on the contrary it took me lifetime!”.
    Your blog made me think of it.

    I find that price is an issue when you are asked to pay for a lot of money before you have thought through or are convinced of what the costs are of your current solution.

    Most people I talk to have a paper diary or a free online system, it works OK but it does not help them grow their business.
    If they cut 1 no show what is the impact?
    If they get 1 new customer what is the impact?
    If they get people coming back more often what is the impact?
    proving the value to them and seeing them get more relaxed, and happier because their business gets easier that’s my reward!

    1. Corrina

      Anne – YES! Great story – I include a version of it in my book, actually. 🙂

      I love that you’re connected with the solution that you’re offering – and the cost that you’re wanting to save people from incurring.

    2. Audria

      This HANDS DOWN the best Blog Post, I have ever read ONLINE! This speaks to my heart on so many levels!! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with the world!!!

  2. Sarah Hennigan

    I love this post Corrina…. If we consistently believe people are over-charging, it’s unlikely that we will ever be in a position to charge premium prices ourselves!! A change in mind-set is definitely needed here and your article points this out beautifully!

  3. Tara

    Wow Corrina, what a fantastic post. I am going to smear this all over the place! It is indeed timely for me as I’m about to release something into the world that I have poured hours of time all my energy and love into, and pricing it has been challenging. I’m still not sure if I’ve got it ‘right’, although I’m asking a little more than feels comfortable. Anyway, I thought this post was beautifully and passionately written and I’m sure it’ll comfort, inspire and resonate with a lot of people. Thank you for saying this!

    1. Corrina

      Tara – All thoughts and love and power to you as you launch your love-full offering into the world.

      You’ll discover if it’s “right” from noticing how you feel when people pay you. Like Goldilocks, you’re looking for that “ah, just right” feeling 🙂

      1. Tara

        Thank you so much Corrina! I appreciate that. And that is an excellent gauge ~ I will use that. 🙂

  4. Emma Holmes

    What a great blog! Thank you for this post

  5. Lucy

    We were talking about this only this morning, I am sure all of us who are involved in self-employment that requires direct pricing to the customer must think about this all the time. My problem is not just assessing the cost of my time teaching and all the associated work I do that I don’t get paid directly for (as so eloquently listed above) but also the prices others charge for the same kind of service locally (in my case yoga classes), and the quality of the venue and what I feel I can charge related to that. Also what will my customer will pay? I have been told I charge too little by some and too much by others! I make my living solely from teaching yoga and do this full-time but I do have a class that costs £8 (in London) because I feel this works in relation to the venue and what I take home at the end of the class, but it’s never going to make me comfortably off, or in that matter help me to afford the huge hike in rent we are facing at home. It’s tricky!

    1. Corrina

      Lucy – I so hear that it can feel really tricky.

      Consider this: Nobody can get the same yoga class from another teacher. Only YOU can provide YOUR yoga classes.

      I recently paid £23 for a dish in a restaurant and I could have paid £8 for the same-sized plate in virtually every other eaterie along that road.

      I wasn’t comparing; I was eating where I wanted to eat, based on the quality and experience. Only that restaurant could provide it in its unique way, so it was a comparison-free zone.

      1. Lucy

        Thanks Corrina. It has been really good to think straight about this. I think as I progress and build my business my prices will go up steadily, in line with my experience. I am already taking this approach but this post has given me some fire to do it right away. Interesting though that I started a class recently priced £3 more than my other local classes – it didn’t take, I had a couple of people who loved it but I couldn’t build it. I dropped the price by £2 and, bam, my class is full. So maybe now, once I have my clients I can creep the price back up? 😉

  6. roxy

    Corrina – Loved this post!! OMG its so timely as i am in the process of creating a product an putting out into the world and all those thoughts, fears and doubts of what to charge, will people buy, what if they thinks its expensive have been playing in the background. But i also have been the person in the past who thought “thats a bit expensive”, but you only truly appreciate the value of someone else’s product when you then later find yourself in the same position as now a creator. Thank you for the reminder and emotive post. Right off to share this – its needs to be shared and heard by people on goths sides of the coin! 🙂 xx

    1. Corrina

      Thanks so much for sharing, Roxy!

  7. Linda Anderson

    Go, Corrina! A really inspiring post, truly from the heart, and with what passion!

    It’s easy for us to be knocked off course and somehow feel guilty when we hear “that’s a bit expensive” but the truth is, if we’re working with integrity and really wanting to make a difference with our gifts, then the work we do in the world is actually priceless.

    I also love your acknowledgement of the courage it takes to give up the seeming “security” of paid employment and take the risk of launching into full-time self-employment so we can reach more people with our work.

    Thank you for being such a brave and articulate advocate, and reminding us not to buy into that Old Paradigm belief that it’s somehow wrong or greedy to make money from helping people.

  8. Christelle Maignan

    I’m about to launch my new career as a personal coach and I am still indecisive about the prices I should charge. But you are so right, I am investing A LOT both personally and financially into this new venture and this should be reflected in my prices. After all, I can only live my passion and help others if my business is sustainable.

  9. Justin Bonnet

    A fab post indeed!

    “What other people charge” is a massive source of mental traffic and judgement for me. At least it’s very obviously none of my business, which makes it easier to take a step back and do a little bit of work around my reaction :-).

    Seriously, my mind is riddled with judgements on this topic, both on what other people charge and what I might charge. When someone with very little training or experience (maybe 2/3 weekend workshops under their belt) charges the same as someone who’s spent many years and invested a lot financially in their training, it kinda feels like it’s taking the piss. It comes across to me as arrogant, and disrespectful of the people who HAVE invested in their craft.

    And if someone charges too little, I think they’re being amateur, not taking themselves or their craft seriously.

    So on one hand, I get annoyed by people over valuing their professional worth, and on the other hand, I’m annoyed by people under valuing it..

    This is what goes on in my head alllll the time!! 😉

    1. Corrina

      Justin – I am SO grateful for your honest sharing – I know a LOT of us will relate to the chatter in your head 🙂

  10. Derek Hassack

    Fabulous post again, Corrina. I’m loving the hint of anger that comes through about the topic here. Passion at work!
    It’s also true of course that from the client’s perspective paying a price that feels ‘expensive’ can motivate them to get the max out of whatever they’re paying for.
    So win-win :-0

  11. Joey Clifton

    I friggin’ love it when you get ballsy about a subject – you ALWAYS make me think in a different way about something. You really are a superstar. Thank you for endlessly opening my mind up. XX

  12. Christian Marie Herron

    Spot ones always, thank you!

    So good to see this articulated so well and comes at just at the right time for me. It’s interesting because I’ve been thinking a lot about “numbers” in general and the meaning that gets attached. It’s all so subjective. What’s expensive to one is fair to another and so on. The people in my world that I surround myself with, the healers, coaches, artists and other service providers- every single one of them brings their whole selves to the work. Imagine having all that experience, talent and well… love focused on you? Worth every penny.

  13. Zelah Senior

    YES, YES, YES, Corrina!

  14. Catherine Watkin

    I love this blog Corrina, thank you. In fact I wish I had written it myself (!) but since I didn’t I shall content with sharing it far and wide. Thank you so much for the most well written, well thought out and articulate argument I’ve ever seen for charging what we know we are truly worth.

    1. Corrina

      Catherine – Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  15. Corinne

    Thanks for this Corrina, it really sang to my heart.
    I always accept charges from others, if I can’t afford it, then I’ll either try to manifest it or move away and look elsewhere, no biggie. My thing is that I’m still trying to price my services. I know I’m great at what I do but am afraid (key word) that if I do charge more, then I won’t have any clients. I know this is ridiculous because I pay over £100 for my kinesiology!
    My confidence will grow and I do lots of free and reduced priced sessions for the community. Now I just need to earn my worth!!

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Corrina

      Corinne – My total pleasure. Come along to one of the free “How to Set Healthy Prices” webinars next week – it’ll help massively with your current dilemmas around pricing. (And I’m going to say something you might not expect about “earning your worth”…!)

      Register here:

  16. Christina L-S

    Fantastic post! Thank you Corrina! I wrote a very similar post a few years ago when I ran a photography business (must admit, though, that it was less concise and more defensive/pissed off). I became increasingly angry/resentful with people writing professional photographers’ prices off as “too expensive” – with no appreciation for the huge investment in training and equipment, plus all usual business expenses and not to mention professional time.
    Now I’m a coach and freelance Business and Legal English teacher in Italy, the prices issue still comes up often – it’s a drag and inwardly I sigh, slump my head and think, “here we go again…” The difference is that the sigh is getting much quieter and the head is slumping ever less – I now try hard to only work with my Tribe and am comfortable turning down clients who just don’t “feel right”. It’s a strain sometimes to stick to my guns, let’s face it, the bills are still landing on the mat and need paying, as does my training and, and, and…; but the peace of mind outweighs the hollering economic panic that sets in immediately after I turn down a non-Tribe client. And so far, when I’ve turned someone down, a Tribe member has often come along and filled the space nicely – and they get my pricing!

    A huge thank you to you, Corrina! Your book and this blog have been and continue to be a great help.

    1. Corrina

      Christina – I noticed I took a big sigh when I read your comment. It’s such a journey, huh?

      And I’m delighted to know the blog and book have been helpful companions 🙂

  17. Helena g Anderson

    Brilliant indeed, Corrine, thank you.
    I also liked the Picasso story- it’s so true. At my ripe age I have many years of experience, which have given me the confidence and belief that what I offer in my field is competence, knowledge, understanding and a passion that is growing. But not only that, what about the quality equipment I have invested in and that I know inside out- and so much more.

    No more guilt!

    Helena x

  18. Alison Matthews

    Well said – and with passion! Hear, hear!

    I have spent thousands qualifying in several different areas over the years – NLP, coaching, yoga, raw food, reiki and it frustrates me to hear people say ‘that’s expensive’. I ask (using good NLP language) “Compared to what?”. Try that question next time someone says it to you – usually they don’t have a coherent answer!

    You are right, if the person can’t afford it, that’s their stuff, not mine. They may not value what I have to offer, it’s not quite what they were looking for, it may not be the right time, they’re a massive bill to pay and they can’t afford it now but will do so next month, they’re testing the waters – I’ve done it myself. In fact, I contacted you about a clarity session a while ago and never followed through – not because of the price (which I think is very reasonable) simply, as it turned out, it wasn’t the right time.

    A yoga teacher friend of mine once told me that several people had asked why they had to pay for her class when she was running it in the park and not at a venue that week. Need I say more …..

    I’m going to spread this post around, like Catherine.

    Many thanks.

    1. Corrina

      Alison – Ha! I was stunned by the comment about yoga in the park – yet I know it’s not an uncommon reaction.

      This is why I really see it as up to us, as a self-employed community, to champion each other and help explain to others – lovingly, kindly, clearly – why offerings aren’t “too expensive”.

      “Compared to what?” is a very interesting response. I’d be curious to hear what others experience when they ask that…

  19. Greg

    This is my first time visiting the site. Loved the post. There is a lot to consider when pricing your products and services. Things that some people just don’t think about or take into consideration. Thank you for pin pointing these things.

    1. Corrina

      Greg – You’re most welcome 🙂

  20. Archontia

    Corrine thank you very much for your article! I am also starting my adventure in self employment as a career coach and I needed this reassurance your article gives, as the price you give to your services reflect the respect you have for your skills and knowledge and your self esteem as a professional!
    Great article!

  21. Felicity

    Thank you, Corinna.

    Pricing is difficult – it makes me regressive. It reminds me of the childhood game “hop-skotch”. I try and hit the right number, the clients cheer me on, then I strenuously hop, skip, reach and twist one way then the other to fulfill the obligation, hoping to gain something at the end instead of giving up, got it all wrong, the game over, starting somewhere near the beginning again.

    I would like pricing to be more of a ‘gliding through the water like a graceful swan’, a protected species, reflecting the quality and elegance I would like to own and display, and which people would automatically pay for. But they are royal birds, and we are not all blessed with such rare distinction (however unique and loved we all are by God).

    I must therefore take up my piece of chalk, let water find its own level, and draw a plimsole line where I float. There are laws that set the context of the economy, defining how I strike bargains with those I serve, and there is a market equilibrium to find for every product. Whether I must weigh down the balance sheet with expenditures, or can let the profit-margin rise, depends on more than my personal preferences or the rocky waters of breaking-even point. Fair trading is a wavy line but not a random figure. I think it is important to deliver best value for money to the customer, to explain the pricing structure fairly, and not to be greedy or defraud. Following one’s gut feelings and conscience in these complex matters is part of the art of pricing.

    Thank you, again Corrinna.

    1. Corrina

      Felicity – My pleasure – and I love your phrase “the art of pricing”.

  22. Nichola Charalambou

    Thanks Corrina, I was really moved by this blog post and found it empowering. It is a message that so many of us can relate to – if only more people realised all of the behind the scenes blood and sweat that goes into our freelance businesses! Thanks again and here’s to all of us that are brave enough to follow our passion.


  23. Kirstie

    This is really helpful and very astute. Thank you.

  24. Serena Simmons

    Corrina. Thank you so much for this post.

    So many if us who are building a business can relate to the struggle to price their products and services, myself included!

    I notice that for me, if I tell someone what I cost, that my words are ‘giving the price’ but my body language and intonation are saying ‘oh my goodness me….is this price OK for you? Will you pay that? Have I said the right thing?’

    I know that in the rare moments where my price has been aligned with my body, spirit and belief about my product (which ironically I have!), then there is no issue on the part of the potential customer reading cost.

    What I haven’t learnt to do, is how to consistently harness this ‘aligned pricing’…I’m working in it though… else will I make my first million for goodness sakes!
    ; )

  25. Janet Winter

    Awesome might be a word a tad overused, but this was indeed awesome! Thanks so much for this brilliant catalogue of all our hard work, all the stuff we do for free every day, and all the money we have had to spend to get started! It may have just inspired me to do something more to get money off my only non payer! (Of course I get money up front these days!). One client I allowed to pay by instalments, who after my course, which got her well enough to return to work, she tried to negotiate the price down saying it wasn’t worth it for what it was! Grrrr, she would be unemplyable if I hadn’t helped her get on top of her panic attacks..

    1. Corrina

      Janet – I’m delighted you’re receiving money upfront these days. It’s one powerful way to bring more peace and harmony into the whole pricing/money/client experience.

  26. Rosie Slosek @1manbandaccts

    I’m creating a package for women committed to making the leap to self-employment who want one to one support during their first year. It will be priced at £5000.

    The biggest challenge is the voice in my head saying ‘people will baulk at the price’ even though I am creating it because of client feedback and a package that does exactly what I will be offering.

    On the other hand, I know the value of it is worth more than £5000, including the amount of money I know I can save my client.

    My compromise is 5 places at 70% discount in return for detailed feedback, as I appreciate that giving feedback that is worth value to me costs time and energy too.

    I have someone who doesn’t have the ‘it’s too expensive’ issue to help me and her words are what I repeat to myself when I catch it coming up.

  27. Charlie

    This is very timely for me Corrina, thank you for sending such a positive blog to my email 🙂 x

    1. Corrina

      My total pleasure, Charlie. Thank you for being here.

  28. Karen Lee

    Thank you for a superb blog post.
    I have found pricing so tricky – I suddenly realised how much emotional and judgemental baggage I had with relation to how much people charge for things! As I was judging others, I am so judging myself, placing limitations on what I can achieve.
    And fearful too! It really is a fascinating process, and rather challenging. Your words have definitely given me food for thought, and confidence to reassess the real value of my new venture.

  29. Kendrick

    I was forwarded this article by a customer and I must say it’s the best I’ve seen on this topic. As a sales coach I teach about how the real reason someone decides not to work with you has little to do with pricing.

    Many times experienced coaches are fearful of stepping into higher prices. I was. This such a needed conversation and so well thought out. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Corrina

      Kendrick – YES! Money/price is often a red herring – I’m actually going to delve quite deep into this on the free webinar next week.

      I’m delighted your customer brought you this way. I’ve been humbled and grateful by your sharing of this piece with your communities – THANK YOU and I look forward to getting to know you.

  30. Karen J

    What an excellent article, Corrina! Thank you.
    That extra phrase at the end of “It’s too expensive for me, right now” makes such a vital difference in the energy of the statement!

    1. Corrina

      Karen – Ooh, yes, love that!

  31. Yuni

    This is a fantastic post! Powerful. Thank you for being bold and voicing your thoughts on this matter, Corrina! Really happy to find this site today.

    1. Corrina

      Yuni – And I’m happy you found this site today 🙂 You’re most welcome.

  32. JeeJee

    This is the best article on this subject I’ve ever read. I’ve written something similar but I didn’t go this deep. It was a phenomenal read. Brilliantly expressing the principles of abundance in a practical, real world way. Thank you. A must share…


  33. Helen Reynolds

    What an amazing article. Thank you so much for making such an important point in such a clear and frank way.

  34. claire stone

    Perfect timing – I’ve just done a customer survey about my detox, and one of the comments (made by a few people) was that it was too expensive. At first, I panicked, but then re-read this, and realised that it isn’t too expensive, in fact, if anything, I could do with increasing the price considering how good it is (phew, that was hard to say). It helped me realise that ‘too expensive’ isn’t a reflection on me, rather, it’s a reflection on the other persons inner voice, and that feels soooo much less threatening! Thank you as always!!!

  35. Ginger

    So much truth here. So much truth!! Thank you for this. And thank you for the reminder I needed as I’ve been feeling a little worried lately and wondering if some of my prices are “too high” – and also I’m currently deciding on the price of an upcoming offering, my most intensive (and most expensive) of anything I’ve offered so far. After reading this, something inside myself opened up more. Thank you…

  36. Michaela Cristallo

    Fantastic post! I have experienced this myself and it’s so frustrating to feel like you need to justify your prices to someone who has no idea or respect for what goes into offering a product or service. I’ve just signed up for your webinar 🙂

  37. magenta change

    Another brilliant piece on cost versus value. These are such important issues not only in terms of income but also our self esteem and self worth, and the empowering or limiting beliefs that underpin our decision making. There is also a wealth of wisdom in the responses, so thanks to everyone who has contributed – so good to see advice coming from a place of integrity and authenticity. If I could add one thing? It would be the value of knowing your own ‘congruence signal’. Where is it and how does it guide you? For decisions such as these it is invaluable. Happy to help anyone who wants to get in touch with theirs 🙂

    1. Corrina

      Magenta – Could you let us know more about the “congruence signal”?

  38. Cheryl Pastor

    Great article and very timely for my own business and my view on others. You offered up some great points that we tend to forget when we see a price tag. As I teacher, I realize how many “unpaid” hours it takes to prepare a class but forget sometimes when I see other’s prices they are charging. Thanks again for the reminder

  39. Claire Takacs

    My immediate response to the whinging was that the man was jealous. Although I wonder if he would have had the same reaction to a man with the same programme, same price?

    Corinna, you are right about the amount of time and money people invest in themselves and their business to get to that point of being able to set their prices to reflect their true worth.. Over the past 5 1/2 years I’ve worked a conservative estimate of approximately amount of AUD 50,000 !!!! That includes two businesses that barely got off the ground before they were canned (fail fast I say!) and now it will be third time lucky.

    1. Corrina

      Claire – Wishing you all the best with your third business 🙂

  40. Lesley Pyne

    Fantastic blog Corrina, and very timely too as I’m just re-writing my 1-1 programme & developing more ways of working with clients.
    And such great comments. The Picasso story is to true; it’s taken me 10 yrs of experience & lots of training to be able to do this.,
    It’s a great reminder of the importance of really emphasising the benefits and my experience. I also love the NLP question ‘compared to what?’ – getting clients to articulate this can be really helpful in convincing them to go ahead.

  41. Rachel

    As someone working in a relatively new industry, first in my.area but now with competition, I worry about my.charges.daily. This made me reassess. Thank you

  42. Laura

    Yes! this is an awesome post 🙂 My hair dresser gives me a quick cut and says I won’t charge you a lot, it only took me a few minutes and I tell her .. NO.. I’m paying for your training, your skills, your knowledge, your style, not your few minutes just now!

    1. Corrina

      Laura – Wow, so powerful that you give that gift of acknowledgement to her. I know I’ll speak for many self-employed men and women when I say: THANKS 🙂

  43. Caroline Hearst

    I find the level of agreement her quite un nerving as in fact I strongly whatever people will pay because – essentially – “I’m worth it – Iv’e done work for free – I trained..etc.” It is ignoring the larger context that our humanities greed and belief that we deserve what we want is actually stealing the future from our children and grandchildren by consuming more than our share of non-renewable resources, and living at level that it would take several planets to support. Surely we are only being respectful if we treat others as we wish to be treated. In this context the others whose share of the global cake we are consuming when we allocate a large share of it to ourselves.

    1. Corrina

      Caroline – I so feel your passion. Maybe you’ll set up a foundation, or tithe generously through your business, to honour your value of equality and your commitment to conscious consumption.

      Certainly I know with my small team, self-employment is a big part of how we’re choosing to live more sustainably and compassionately.

  44. Louise

    Dare I say it? I disagree with this post. I understand that these people had to invest a lot in themselves to offer their services in the first place, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that’s ‘none of our business.’ If it’s none of our business, why are we paying for it?

    I’m still at the very, very early stages of my self-employment attempts (i.e. I haven’t even been able to leave the day job yet!) so perhaps I’ll change my mind later. But I am personally put off by charges that seem very high in relation to what’s on offer, especially when I have invested in courses that are a very reasonable price, offered by people who seem to be doing perfectly well on what they’re charging.

    Obviously we don’t know the full story behind anyone’s finances, but I just think a customer needs to feel they’re getting value for money.

    1. Corrina

      Louise – Delighted that you dared.

  45. David Brown

    I’ve been self- employed for 18 years and completely relate to the hours spent on courses, training and self- development to grow myself and my business and offer more for my clients. It is a privilege and there is a cost.

    Someone in employment who was sent on a training course would expect to get a pay rise if it meant they offered more to their employer, or they might go elsewhere for better paid work.

    Knowing what you are worth plays a huge part in your pricing but it has to relate to the people you wish to serve. It is a tricky equation.

    I found myself getting quite emotional as I read through your list of things that the self- employed person pays for behind the scenes that clients do not see or consider. Thank you for reminding me that I am worth the fees I charge (I could probably charge more actually). As I read I felt championed by your belief in what the self- employed person stands for- love, passion and a desire to make a positive difference. Thank you.


    1. Corrina

      David – My absolute pleasure; thank you for being here.

  46. Katrin

    That is an absolutely awesome post! So full of your spirit – Thank you!

  47. Katell

    So inspiring, thank you!

  48. Virgil

    Timeless material applicable in all areas of life.

    I had a recent “Cost of not investing” experience doing a “How are you these days” follow up on a client I had worked with some years ago. She was delighted to hear from me and said, “You could not have called at a better time. I am having panic attacks in anticipation of a life saving surgery.”

    I provided an immediate Behavior Psychology intervention and followed up emailing her a daily journal I had created for tracking and measuring her competency development.

    Overnight I realized I had done a professional intervention for which I usually charge and without a contract to do so.

    The next day we spoke and she was overjoyed as well as realized she could benefit from more. I told her I would gladly offer her more at my regular billing rate. She responded: “My business has suffered from the recession and I do not have the extra money for this.”

    I requested she check in with me via email daily with her Daily Journal.

    That night I emailed her laying out the pain she was in and the accompanying costs of not resolving it she had already shared with me. Believing she would exceed her expectations for not only managing but healing herself of her panic attacks, plus caring deeply for her, I proposed we have two laser coaching sessions at no cost.

    The caveat was that she contribute to Living Well 60 Plus, the non profit foundation I founded, an amount equal to “value received”.

    One week later I received a check to the Foundation in excess of my billable rate.

  49. Olga


  50. Margaret Easton

    Thanks Corrina. In the past as a Counsellor Coach and trainer I’ve tried to offer something for everyone’s budget and ended up out of pocket so I can certainly relate to what you say. I just wish that potential clients could also realise that. Regarding yoga I’ve recently attended a class which was slightly dearer than my usual one but it’s really worth it for the total experience and the passion that the tutor emits.


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