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20 Nov 13

Is It Wrong That We’re Getting Paid To Care?

“That’s not nice.”

Michelle and I had an agreement. Her organisation were paying for her to have coaching with me. At the end of our six sessions together, I’d be invoicing them for £1,000. We’d already had a free 45-minute consultation, she’d already received preparatory emails, she’d already received a gift copy of my book.

But here we were, on the phone, and for the first 15 minutes of our coaching session she’d been talking through whether she actually wanted coaching. She felt she wanted to take a break from the treadmill of continual professional development. She talked about how exhausted she was, with small children and earning little money.

I got all this – completely – and yet I was finding it hard to listen fully. Because I didn’t know where we stood, my empathy was distracted. Were we coaching, or not?

In true coaching style, I interrupted, with hand on heart, and articulated what was going on.

Taxi meter “Michelle, it feels like we’re in a taxi. You’ve got in and you’re telling me you’re not sure where you want to go, and whether you even want to be in this taxi. I’m the taxi driver, and we’ve been sitting here for 15 minutes and I don’t know if I’m meant to be starting the meter. So, either we’re doing this and I’ll coach you about your career or your exhaustion or your financial situation. Otherwise, it sounds like we need to stop.”

And that’s when she said it, very quietly.

“That’s not nice.”

I inhaled and exhaled. I knew this story. “Say more…”

“Well,” she continued. “You only care if I pay you. That’s what I hate about this whole profession. That we pay coaches so that they’ll listen to us and like us.”

It was at this point that something snapped.

The dirtiest belief

I’ve been in this profession for nearly a decade. My clients are predominantly in similar caring professions. And this belief – that we’re paid to care, and that we should be available, like a public service, even when we’re not being paid – is one that smacks us in the face, time and again. It cripples businesses and it has to be addressed.

I asked Michelle this – and I ask you too.

With over 2,500 beautiful souls on my email list, how could I possibly give each of those individuals the same level of focused care and attention that I give my partner, my mum, my sister or my best friend?

How would I have the resources to write a blog every week, show up on social media with useful insights, and lead courses, workshops and webinars if people didn’t pay when they wanted my eyes specifically on them?

Let’s clean this up once and for all

It’s not that people pay you to care. They pay so you have the capacity to give them your full focus. They pay so you can turn your care completely in their direction.

It’s not that people pay you to like them. It’s that when they pay you, they get your full undivided attention… and that’s when you fall in love with them.

You run a business? You’re like a jukebox

Do you consider a juke-box ungenerous because it won’t play music until you slip it a coin?

Do you consider a shop ungenerous because it closes at 5pm?

Do you consider a taxi driver ungenerous because he doesn’t want to have a 15-minute conversation with you about where you might want to go?

Is a human being, who chooses a helping/healing profession because they care, ungenerous because they won’t devote their professional attention to someone until they’re paid to do so?

I’d love to know what you think. Join the discussion; leave a comment below.

Fed up of the ickiness around charging for what you do?

If you’re giving your work away for free, if you feel guilty for charging when your work helps others, or if you simply don’t know who would pay you, then click here to get front of queue for the Turn Your Passion To Profit course. In the company of inspirational like-minded others, you’ll discover how to set healthy prices and earn a healthy income doing the work you love.

P.S. PASS IT ON

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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes

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57 Comments

  1. claire

    Wow. What a perfect post. I can’t quite believe how obvious it is, now that you’ve put it like that!!!
    Nobody would ever get in a taxi and expect a free ride, even if it was already heading in the same direction.
    I love how you phrased that with your client – I’m going to have to commit that to memory.
    Thank you!

  2. Rebecca

    This is such a tough one! And one for me that requires on-going thought. My experience of being on both the giving and the receiving end shows me that underlying this issue is fear – fear that we are not really loved or loveable…fear, insecurity, even self-hatred around our own relationship with money. When we love and value ourselves and the work we are doing (on either side of the exchange), as well as what that exchange of money is – both practically and symbolically for both the giver and receiver – the issue becomes a non-issue. Because it’s not really about the money in such a limited fashion – but about what we love and value, how we love and value ourselves, and allow others to love and value us. When these things are in alignment, it becomes a pleasure to pay that money…and to receive it.

  3. Kay Gillard

    You’re so right Corrina. I recently had a client show up over 4 hours late for a session and cry and beg me to do the session anyway. And I felt terrible about it because it felt like by going into professional mode (saying no) I was not nice and didn’t care. Actually I do care – and that’s why I said know. There was not physically enough time left to do the work safely, so it would have been irresponsible and dangerous for both me and my client if I had tried to do any of the work crammed in to the end of the day.
    I have also had clients begging me to call them and reply to their queries outside of their allotted time with me. Most recently a client that I had sent free resources to before our session to help him in the interim period, I had also given a long, free phone consultation and an email of reassurance. Now that same client is asking me to call and discuss the work that we will do in our booked session, when I am 10 minutes from walking into a group session I am running. In saying no, I am told I don’t understand what they are going through – again I am not nice or caring. I was very firm though and pointed out that when that client is with me, I will not be taking calls or emails from other people, he will have my undivided attention. And that I have other people I am taking care of right now and I need to fulfil that obligation. I also referred him back to the resources I had already gifted him and asked him to ensure he had other people/appropriate professionals from his local area around to assist him if in crisis.
    I frequently feel like shit when I have to say no to people who are struggling like this, but actually you are dead right. It is not about money or even about time, it is about honouring the clients that we are serving in that moment as well as we can, and about keeping ourselves strong and clear so we can be the best people to be in service.

    1. Lynn

      “Actually I do care – and that’s why I said know”

      Kay, you said “know” instead of “no”……..interesting no? :-).

      Kindest Regards

      Lynn

  4. Claire Zarb

    Hi Corrina, thanks for this. You’re so very right! I never give free consultations mainly because I will feel begrudged and the client won’t take it as seriously either. Although, sometimes I think it’s ok to give, as long as it’s from the right place and isn’t interfering with your finances. For example, I’ve had a student contact me recently saying she wants to write a dissertation on the contraceptive pill and had read a few of my blogs about how I detox it through homeopathy. She’s asked for a bit of my time to find out more about how homeopathy works and what I do in order to help with her studies. I did um and arr a bit about whether I should charge for this time. But my thoughts are that it’s for the greater good and that the Universe will give something back for being generous, plus I will get quoted in the dissertation too..so who knows who might read it! 🙂 xx

  5. Jane Horwood

    I have had potential clients ask me to come up with a design for their website and then they’ll decide if they want to go ahead. I explain to them that coming up with a design and layout for a website involves research, making a site plan, looking at content, their marketing message, business strategy and target market. That is part of the project and when they hear that I am not willing or able to spend several days working for them for free they are often surprised. I refer them to my portfolio … if they like what they see there, they can rest assured they will get something of equally high quality but tailored for them. That’s what they are paying for and that’s why I need to charge for my time.

  6. Rosie @1manbandaccts

    To me it requires that the caring professions stand up, one by one, and say no. I will not stand for that belief, that if you care it means you prostrate yourself and destroy your life to serve others.

    Profit is only a dirty word if the creation of it means only destruction and all other values are swept past.

  7. Jac McNeil

    Truth. I’m sitting here nodding yes in agreement. For me personally, the slippery areas happen after I’ve completed with a client– the relationship is closely connected. In some cases we’ve worked together for a year. I need to be careful how I set boundaries with my time and generosity at that point because of how close we’ve become. It’s easy for me to want to be as responsive and helpful and focused on them as I’ve always been. So, that’s the area I watch out for.

    Great piece again darling. Get feisty more often.

    Love
    Jac

    1. claire

      Jac – that’s so true. I’ve had former clients who email me with just couple of questions, which I always try to answer, even though there is a funny feeling my gut about doing it. And it’s all part of the same thing: I feel like I must answer them to have ‘completed’ the work, but I don’t feel brave enough to ask them to pay for a session. I’ll get my bravery cap on next time!

      1. Kate Bacon

        @Jac and @Claire – this is SO true. I’ve now offer a Peace of Mind Package to my WordPress website clients – if they want ongoing support it is available on an annual retainer basis. They love it and so do I! x

        1. claire

          Kate – what a great idea. Some kind of peace of mind package…. I like it a lot. Will have a think about incorporating something like that into my work. Thanks for the fab tip!

        2. Leda Sammarco

          What a great idea, Kate. It stops you feeling resentful and sets boundaries for your clients. Plus, as somebody once said to me, if people aren’t willing to pay then they either don’t really need it or don’t value it.

    2. Kay Gillard

      That’s so true Jac, actually that is something that I struggle with even more. I used to give a lot more after care than I do now, I have so many more students and clients now that it would be physically impossible to keep giving free time like I used to!
      I also find that in trying to do that, I am falling down on the things that I *should* be doing as follow up for everyone (check in emails, getting recordings edited on time, certificate delivery). I have realised this year that it is trying to keep giving away my time for free after people are finished that makes me not meet the obligations I really want to meet. Cue shame spiral – honestly am still working on that one, but I’m clearer about it now so I will get there.
      Thanks for sharing that so I realise I am not the only one who wants to keep giving when the ‘contract’ is up!
      Kay x

  8. Hannah Massarella

    I really enjoyed your blog here Corrina, it makes me really frustrated that your client would think like that. It makes me think people are ok paying for things that aren’t good to them (alcohol, unhealthy food, cigarettes) but because we offer something from a place of kindness it should be free! The world is sometimes upside down.

    1. Karen J

      Ooh, Hannah!
      That’s a zinger: “folks are willing to pay for their bad habits, but not for what’s going to be good for them”. Makes me think twice (or three times) about how I make my decisions.

  9. Leda Sammarco

    This is a great post, Corrina, Love the way you tell it like it is. I think part of it comes down to the fact that society in general doesn’t value ‘caring professionals’, and they are often poorly paid. The other challenge is valuing yourself and the expertise you bring to clients, and setting healthy boundaries, and this is something that gets easier over time.

    The classic one I’ve had is someone saying, ‘ I don’t really need any more coaching on this; I just want to run something by you.’ After letting one particular client run something by me for free – for one hour!!! – I learnt my lesson and explained that whilst they may not view it as coaching, they were nonetheless getting my time and expertise for one hour and that had to be paid for. I was amazed at how easily they accepted it.

    Hopefully, with the shifts in consciousness that are taking place, the ‘caring professions’ will start to be seen differently, and individually we can help to accelerate this process by standing in our power and standing up for ourselves and the value we bring to the world.

  10. Janet Kessenich

    Thanks for a spot-on post. I used to teach piano lessons and dealt for years with people’s perception that I was the neighborhood music teacher doing my work as what used to be called “pin money” — money that was just “extra” cash, not true income. It took awhile to come to a positioning within myself of professionally. When I did, everything changed.

    Now, I am an energy healing practitioner and have carried over what I learned into this work — which is even less mainstream than piano teaching was! I’ve learned that giving away my work for free, or even discounting my rate doesn’t yield to return clients. I set my fee (other than the occasional pro bono work for those truly in need) and we go from there. Professional energy breeds professional energy…

  11. Derek Hassack

    I admire your forthrightness here, Corrina. Sometimes anger is a helpful, justified emotional tool.
    I think sometimes people resent paying because in their minds they see money as a purely material phenomenon. This can lead to the expectation that it has to provide purely material ‘things’.
    Of course, and as you know, it isn’t – money isn’t just ‘money’, it’s part of the flow of abundance, the flow of life if you will, and ‘flow’ means receiving as well as giving.
    So not only is it acceptable to charge for your services, you flippin’ well MUST! It’s a break with the flow otherwise.
    The fact is we owe it to ourselves AND to our clients to charge them. Anything else is damaging the flow.
    Dx

  12. tiina

    Corrina! Well said – thank you! Lots of things in there that I will borrow when someone challenges me about charging for my services! Emailing it to all my coaching colleagues now!

  13. Sue Rasmussen

    Oh, this gets my feisty on, too, Corrina!

    I absolutely agree with what you wrote…and with so many of the comments here. I also have another layer to add:

    I’ve invested at LEAST $100,000 (and if I took a good look at the last 15 years, very likely double that number), thousands of hours of study and training, and thousands more hours working with clients and getting better at what I do. I’ve invested a huge amount of time, money, and energy into learning and honing my craft (and I continue to invest on an on-going basis to keep improving), hopefully ending up with skills that save other people from having to spend all that time, money, and energy so they can get great results from working with me.

    Darn right I’m charging for it.

    Of course, if someone else wants to take the long, expensive, and time-consuming route and learn to do it all on their own (thus saving themselves the money of investing in a coach or other professional who has already done that), more power to them. I guarantee, working with a coach, consultant, or other professional is a BARGAIN compared to doing it all on their own. A bargain.

    Feisy, indeed. 🙂

    1. Fi Macmillan

      Hi Sue

      I think this is really interesting the point you make about our investment in our training. I question myself over this. I tend to be quite self-effacing about what I have done, and buy from me because I come across well. However being quite explicit about our training, as well as our track record, it part of setting out our value. I take something from this. Thanks.

      In fact I am going to try it on now!!!! Hi Sue, so you are interested in how I can support your business. Let me tell you a bit about me. I passionately believe that developing your business is one of the most creative things you can do. I can help you develop the next stage of profitable growth for two reasons. First, I have developed two successful service businesses from scratch. Second, I have chosen to do the most in-dept coach training I can find in this country. I already have a Postgrad Certificate in Coaching with Distinction, and European Mentoring and Coaching Council Practitioner status. Further I am on track to completing my MSc in Executive Coaching with Ashridge Business School, be an Ashridge approved coach and have EMCC Master practitioner status next year.

      Hah! Sounds a bit weird and needs refining but I want to find a way to say that.

      Thanks, Sue

      Fi

  14. Clare

    Thank you for another excellent post Corrina. Plus some superb comments from Jac and others about the after care conundrum. For the last year I’ve given away a lot of my organisation and performance time to build a performance community for my former and current students. Extreme version of after care? Leadership marketing?

    Whatever you call it, I’m now at a point where the community is strong enough so I’m deliberately yielding up some of the stuff I do for free to my former students – great for their development and gives me time to break other ground 🙂

  15. Bev Barnes

    I Love, love, LOVE this post. I think that this issue shows up because we’ve not learned to value gifts like empathy and the ability to provide people with safety or helping people to find clarity. Those of us with these gifts think they are “ordinary”. They are not. We are needed. Thanks Corrina. I’ve shared this one with my peeps.

  16. Lon Gibbons

    Excellent post Corrina, thank you. My area in this seems to be clients happy to let me down at the last minute… And I felt very empowered a couple of months ago when a massage client sent me a text 2 hours before her appointment saying that her day had gone haywire and could she reschedule?! I was actually with another client so didn’t respond until I looked at my phone when she was late for her appointment. She had a prepaid session, so I very clearly told her that as my cancellation policy was 24 hours, she would have to lose the session. She wasn’t very happy about it and hasn’t been back. In fact it reminds me that I must reminder her she still has 3 more sessions to use before the end of Feb!!!!

    I think it is so important to be clear at the time of booking. I now have the cancellation policy on my email signature so it is clear when I confirm appointments. But equally important is to uphold the policy and not feel bad/greedy for taking the payment. After all our time is precious and if you are all like me, you put lots of time before the appoinmtent preparing for it.

  17. Stephanie Lin

    Awesome observations! People who choose a caring profession tend to have caring and service in their very nature. They’ve just decided that they want to turn it into work that also sustains their life. That doesn’t mean they turn their “caring” on and off depending on who pays them, but like you suggested, in order to truly serve well we need to be nourished physically, emotionally and yep, materially. It sounds silly to even have to say this (because I can’t imagine a nurse having to explain why she should be paid!) — that we deserve to receive energy in return for the energy that we give.

  18. Julia Anne MacDonough

    Hi Corrina
    Just want to say well done for a fantastic post. Concise , articulate and assertive . A joy to read . you certainly inspire me . . Thank you

    Julia Anne

  19. Lon Gibbons

    Another twist on this is… caring about ourselves, so that we can care for others. Today I had to reschedule a new client as I am streaming with a cold. Part of me felt really scared to let go of the arranged time in case she wanted to go elsewhere … but of course she understood and agreed. Phew!

    1. Corrina

      Love and healing to you, Lon 🙂

  20. Stephanie

    I absolutely agree- I have turned down multiple requests for coaching for free and people think I am selfish. I have to use my time and resources wisely so I can be in an optimal state to reach and serve the most people in my tribe. I also state that when you invest in yourself you will get the most from it. I even sometime turn down clients where the parents or business is paying if I sense they are not fully invested (which often happens when someone else is paying). You don’t go to the doctors or seek legal help without paying a fee, why should you expect any different from coaches?

    1. Corrina

      Stephanie – My earliest experience as a coach was with teenagers, so I hear you on the energetic difference when it’s someone else paying.

  21. Linda Anderson

    Love this post, Corrina, and all the great comments from other folks here.

    It’s interesting how much emotion this provokes on both sides of the coach/client fence 🙂

    For me it all boils down to ME really valuing my time and expertise, and being able to hold an appropriate boundary.

    This was hard at first as I felt obliged to be over-accommodating if someone’s cat had been sick all over the sofa or son suddenly needed driving to cricket etc. However, over time I’m finding it easier to say ‘no, sorry, as previously discussed, a missed appointment will be counted as taken’***. Whatever the client is then thinking/feeling/saying/doing is just where they happen to be right now, and I owe it to myself and to them to be clear on the commitment we have to each other and to our work together.

    ***(within reason – if someone is genuinely in crisis or has just lost a loved one, I will be flexible!)

    Stand firm on the value your time and your ideal clients will follow. The ones that fall away were never your ideal clients in the first place.

  22. Louise de Caux

    Great blog Corrina and it has just made me think about a client I did a whole lot of work for on an issue at his work and I invoiced him. He then asked for another ‘quick’ call to go through some stuff which ended up 45 minutes and I haven’t had the courage to invoice him. I am going to send him an invoice right now! Thank you! love Louise xx

  23. reva

    Excellent post. I would add that we are not paid to care because caring is not enough to be a coach. Just as its not enough for being a masseuse or acupuncture. We are not paid just to listen wIth compassion. We are paid to get results, by providing skilled, creative and — yes — caring support and guidance to our clients.

    It’s sad that Michelle feels she must pay just to receive care. It sounds incredibly lonely, and the irony is that a coach could help her address her isolation, but not through caring alone.

  24. Nick Robinson

    Have you taken this to supervision?

    I’m not convinced this was anything to do with the money at all.

    What does your written agreement with this client and her organisation have to say about when the meter starts; about what the scope of the coaching may or may not cover?

    If you’ve done a chemistry session and have a written agreement in place, why not just start coaching her about what she was presenting?

    You make some great points about valuing self as a coach – and the basic professional steps just make that unnecessary.

    Last time I was in a cab, the meter was started as it pulled away from the kerb, and I was going south of the river!

    1. Fi Macmillan

      This was my first instinct too. How as coaches we are shown the deep dark forest of someone’s life in the work we co-create. Yes, I was curious about the contracting too.

    2. Louisa Burnand

      Yay – someone with the same response that I had! Coach her on her doubts about wanting coaching – payment was agreed, the session was set up, and had started and that was what she brought up – not clear to me why the meter wasn’t on.

    3. Corrina

      Nick (and Fi and Louisa) – If a client is presenting with the issue, “I don’t think I want coaching, I’m exhausted with the whole personal development thing” and it’s a 3rd party paying, then I don’t believe we have permission to coach them.

      Let’s imagine the parallel with a massage therapist. An organisation is paying for a massage therapist. The employee of the organisation turns up and says “I don’t think I want a massage.” The massage therapist isn’t going to make them strip off and get on the couch and massage that reluctance as a “presenting issue”. They’re going to hopefully (!) say, “Okay, I totally understand. We’ve had 15 minutes discussing whether or not you want a massage. I’ll invoice your organisation for those 15 minutes of my time and let’s call it a day, no hard feelings.”

      1. Louisa Burnand

        Yes, I get that “forcing” coaching on someone who doesn’t want it, and just carrying on regardless isn’t the way to go, especially without being explicit, but given the information you’ve given us, I can’t help wondering if it was just a different sort of coaching that she wanted, that perhaps she didn’t know existed – if she thinks it’s all about professional development, then perhaps some explanation that coaching could help her with the issues she was describing would have been useful. And I’m sure we don’t have all the information – we weren’t there – perhaps that wasn’t in your remit for this, and/or perhaps we’re making assumptions about a 15 minute conversation that you have given us a few seconds of.
        Given your example – if I was the massage therapist, I think I would like to say something like “so you’re here now, and the session is paid for – what is the best way that we can spend this time in support of you?” I like to think that the client could just sit in the warm room with candles and smells and perhaps read a book, or have a cup of tea – or leave.
        As Nick suggested – I’m not sure the issue here was money – after all payment had been agreed.
        And is this all just an annoying red herring, as your work and this blog is all about being paid for your passion – which I totally get, as no passion is sustainable in any useful way if the passionate person can’t afford to eat!

  25. Nneka, Working Mystic

    Hi Corrina, you certainly struck a chord.

    Before becoming a coach, and getting on the softer side, I was a consultant. I only learned to value myself as a consultant when I realized that people were paying me to think…AND I got okay with it!

    I mean, before then, I’d spend hours on the plane and at my desk looking like I was doing nothing. All the while, in my mind, I was turning over my clients’ issues.

    It’s the same with coaching. Thanks for helping me make that connection. You can’t turn caring off, just like you can’t turn thinking off. Clients are paying for mindshare – a concept that is revolutionary.

    I could kiss you! Muah!

    1. Corrina

      Nneka – Kisses are welcome 😉

  26. Jo Bradshaw

    Oooh…love it!
    Especially that pause….and the breathing…and the invitation to say more. Gonna use that on my daughters; that and teaching them that being a nice people pleaser isn’t always in anybody’s best interests.

    1. Corrina

      Jo – The breath got me down into my heart. I had a great conversation today with a healer who nudged me that breathing to get right down into my tummy would be even better. And that hula-hooping would be an awesome way to get more tummy-connected. So now you know what to get your daughters for Christmas 😉

  27. Rona Steinberg

    OUCH! Oh I so understand and emote with your pain Corrina – believe me, I like others have so been there. And yet. And yet. For all our assertions that we should value ourselves and demand the respect from our clients that other professions automatically receive as their due, it still hurts when a client says something like this to us. Because deep down we do care even when the meter is not running and that is our burden and our gift. We do not baulk when we thought we were chatting to the solicitor and we are landed with a huge bill from the moment we step in to their office. The same when we go to the private consultant about our cancer – it hurts when the bill arrives yet we accept it of course. Why do people not regard the caring professions in the same light? Perhaps when we regulate ourselves, perhaps when we are a closed profession, perhaps wnen we are licensed, people will understand and appreciate our skill and learning and qualifications and treat us with respect. And at the same time when someone accuses us of not being ‘nice’ it is like a dagger to our hearts and we feel it. When we no longer feel it, that is when we need to start worrying. Go in peace my dear friend – you are so much more than nice.

  28. Lynn

    Hi Corrina,

    Fabulous post, as always.

    I applaud your honesty and integrity. Getting to the nitty gritty and addressing that which is almost viewed as “taboo” in the caring professions, seems to be your forte 🙂

    Lots of food for thought as usual.

    Many thanks and keep up the stellar work. I’m learning so much from your newsletters. I’m looking to start up my own business in six months or so. I feel that your experienced viewpoint has helped me so much with ground-work. I would also certainly recommend you and do so freely to all whom I think would benefit. I’m sure I’ll do a course with you before I start. I fully understand the benefit of working one-to-one when it comes to actually starting out or growing as a self-employed person.

    Thanks for “freely” sharing your wisdom to all who are considering in the meantime 😀

    Kindest Regards,

    Lynn

  29. Annette Burrell

    Whew! lovely to read your comments, Corrina, and everyone else’s. Very thought provoking and reassuring. I used to give free sessions – believing that what I do is of value to everybody and yet some people cannot afford it. And I learn’t that these are the people that don’t turn up or cancel at the last minute. So no more free appointments. However, I do still have a clitch inside me with the fact that what I charge is of different value to different people – some can pay easily and some can’t. So if they say they can’t pay that amount, I will allow/offer people to tell me what they can pay. But maybe it is none of my business? Maybe I am letting my personal issues with money affect how I am with charging. And I had a client who rang sometime after and more-or-less had a phone session and when she said she felt like paying I said no!! However, few weeks later it happened again and I said what she needed to pay and she agreed – but it has not been paid – from several weeks ago. Maybe I need to develop an invoice and send her one. Would this mean she will pay?
    I

  30. Fi Macmillan

    Hi Corrina

    Instinctively I have always had a robust attitude to what I charge, in all the businesses I have had. For me the rub is in presenting it my offer in such a way as it shows my value. Previously I have always been so busy I didn’t need to worry what I charged. This time the blogging is helping me find my way in to reveal what I do more powerfully. I would be interested in a blog which talked about how you deal with those awkward moments of drawing boundaries around the ‘little extras’ people may be asking for. I think you do that when you set out the format for our Blogging Masterclass and the ways you will do contact?

    Fi x

    1. Corrina

      Hey Fi – Yes, on the Blog for Clients course you’ll see in the FAQ section I share a link to Clarity Sessions, for if people want one-to-one attention. Also, if participants email me a question, I invite them to re-post it in our Community Forum instead so that others can benefit from the response. Little things like this make a big difference and keep everyone happy 🙂

  31. Ferris Jay

    Hi Corrina,

    I just had to comment and say thank you for this post.

    It was perfect timing for me, as it landed in my inbox as I was thinking about how to deal with that very type of situation.

    I had gifted somebody a free mini session for their pet (a friend asked if I could) and they kept wanting more. I wasn’t sure how to tackle it but on reading your post my answer came together – it was all about being able to give them my full attention, which would mean them engaging fully and committing to my paid services.

    It felt great to get those boundaries straight and send off that email – and I’ll think twice before automatically saying yes and going into people pleaser mode for my friends again (they just have to understand that I’m not ungenerous by running my business as a business and not a charity, I’m just being professional). It’s good to remember that.

    So, thanks again for your timely post.

    x Ferris

  32. Victoria

    Corrina, this post was incredible! I’ve been battling with the belief that being paid to care was a bad thing and I was often allowing clients from my tutoring business to underpay me whenever they said that things like ‘if you really cared about me/us, you’d do it for free or for a lower fee’ etc. After reading your post I’ve realised that it doesn’t make me a bad person to charge for my services! In fact, if I want to deliver the best possible service I have to charge and the fee needs to be an amount that makes me happy. Another thing that I’ve realised is that clients who pay less are doing themselves an injustice because the minute another client is willing to pay more, they lose their place on my books. Why would I serve the lower paying client when I could serve one who’s investing more in my services? Often enough clients who pay more give me far less stress and are easier to deal with.

    THANK YOU for writing such a brilliant post and for sharing such great advice!

  33. Linda Connors

    It took me a while to realise that I didn’t have to give so much to others at my own emotional and physical expense. A few years ago I was reaching a point of exhaustion and after much transformation decided to only work with a select few people who are committed to the process – they receive more of me as I have more energy to share.

    Now when I give to others it’s truly from my heart and not because I feel I should or feel guilty about earning a living…and making a profit!

  34. Carol

    Noone else will value our contributions unless we do! I have struggled with the issue of charging clients, particularly those who are friends or have been referred by friends. My upbringing was such that “charging” was tacky and just not done. Just in the past few months, I have I taken the strong approach to raise my rates (stop undercutting myself) and charge what I feel is appropriate and fair.To my great surprise, noone has run away screaming and I feel better about making a decent wage. I am OK with letting a client walk if they are able but not willing to pay me what I am worth.

  35. Louisa Burnand

    Hmmm – despite my bold reply to Nick’s comment, I generally REALLY struggle with this in all sorts of ways. I do a lot for free, and I generally feel it is valued and appreciated. I try to make sure I am only giving as much as I actually have to give so as to avoid building resentment. I also really struggle with the fact that coaching is available to those who can pay, and yet surely there is a HUGE section of society who actually need coaching at LEAST as much as everyone else, and yet can only afford to pay a little or nothing – they’re probably not who any of you are talking about here, but I still feel they need a mention as I’d like to see this addressed more (and maybe it is, and I just don’t know about it?). And on the other hand, I absolutely agree with all the comments here, and I don’t have enough paying clients, and really struggle to ask for money from those who CAN afford it, and feel embarrassed to ask and guilty when they pay. And in case you’re wondering – yes I have had coaching on it – clearly not enough!

  36. Fiona Humberstone

    Wow Corrina! So eloquently put. You’ve managed to articulate something in a few short paragraphs that I’ve considered so many times (it’s not just those of you in the caring professions that are expected to work for free – anyone that shares their knowledge via social media usually is too…) 😉 Wonderful to see that your blog is so buzzy and I hope you’re well xxx

  37. Corrina Lobbezoo

    Hi Corrina, it’s Corrina! 🙂
    Thanks so much for writing this. I love the distinction between being paid for the focused time/attention and being paid to care. This is something I have struggled with and am trying to get over!
    If I’m not being paid, I can’t do the caring work — and that’s not a win-win.
    I’m enjoying your website! Thanks for the intelligent work that you do!
    -Corrina
    P.S. It’s been so rare to meet other people with this name, spelled exactly the same!

    1. Corrina

      Corrina! It’s rare indeed. Named after the Bob Dylan song?

      Delighted you’ve found this website.

      Other Corrina.

      1. Corrina Lobbezoo

        Haha, nope, you? I was named after my grandmother. She was Dutch and her name was Cornelia, so my mum came up with Corrina. Since my nickname is Corri, I’m glad she didn’t go with Cornelia….nickname “Corny?””!!? haha
        🙂

        1. Corrina

          Corrina – My mum knew a girl in Tenerife called Corrina, I think that’s how the story goes. And both parents were big Bob Dylan fans too. How lovely to be named after your grandma.

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