This week I share reflections on not needing to know where you’re going, how it is going to work, or what is “right.” What if we don’t need to know these things before we try something new? What if life will teach us what we need to learn? I talk about this in terms of my experiment with the gift economy, and it looks to me like it applies to every area of life.
Where are you holding back because you don’t know what comes after your very next step? What are you not doing because you can’t be sure how it will work out? Play with the possibility that each step you take will show you something about the step after that.
Soul Speak: An invitation to wake up and light up the world
While we are on the topic of transformation, if you haven’t already heard about it, I invite you to check out Soul Speak this season in honor of Wayne Dyer.
When Sheldon Pizzinat invited me to participate in Soul Speak, I hesitated. Does the world really need another telesummit, even one with a spiritual theme?
I said yes because something in Sheldon’s vibe just felt right to me. I sensed that he would be having conversations with the potential to enliven and awaken listeners. Conversations that would add light and meaning to the world.
The intent of the series is to promote awakening so you can more fully embody your talents and gifts and light up the world, something Dr. Dyer did with grace.
In this issue of the “Simple Wisdom” ezine I announce Pay What You Choose Coaching. This is something I have been dancing with for a l-o-n-g time. Dancing or going around in circles.
I chose this pricing decision as the topic of a session with my own coach last week. As I told her, I have been coaching for nearly 20 years, and I have never had an issue with pricing my work.
I started low
In the olden days, as a newbie, I was happy to price my services near the bottom of the range. In fact, my first rate was $175 a month for four one hour sessions, which was well below most posted rates.
I was happy to earn that, and I never seriously questioned my choice to low ball my prices as a newcomer to a brand new field in a market that was largely unfamiliar with the concept of life and business coaching.
My rates went up from there
As I gained training and experience, I raised my rates. The first change was an increase to $240 a month and a reduction in the amount of time to three 40-minute sessions. I raised my fees regularly over the next few years and played with various lengths and frequency of sessions until, in 2013, I was charging $5,000 for six months of twice monthly hour-long sessions.
I’ve written and taught tons about pricing
Over the years I have written and taught a lot about pricing. I’m familiar with the notion that people tend to value more what they pay more for, and I think that is often the case.
I’ve coached clients who had blocks about charging for their services, and I kept questioning my motivation. Was I suddenly in the grip of doubt about my value? Had I turned over night into someone who couldn’t have a straight up conversation about money?
The truth is I don’t know what’s up with this shift
I honestly don’t know what’s behind this pricing shift. That troubled me until my coach asked me a question last week that shifted everything.
The way I heard it, she asked what happened if I let go of the need to understand.
Letting go of understanding freed me to do the obvious thing
Letting go of needing to understand what’s going on freed me to notice a simple fact: except when I was second-guessing myself or trying to figure out what is going on, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I wanted to offer Pay What You Choose Coaching.
I could follow my inclination or fight it
I realized that the only thing keeping me from being 100% comfortable with doing what I wanted to do was analyzing it. And since analysis has never, ever been able to shine much light on inspiration, it wasn’t helping.
There are no rules about pricing
The rather disorienting truth is that there are no rules about how to price your services or run a business or a life.
There are models. There are cautionary tales. There are theories. And they can be valuable. I’ve gotten heaps from them over the years.
But right now models, cautionary tales, and theories obscure rather than clarify, so I am setting them aside in favor of an experiment.
I don’t know how long the experiment will last
Who knows how long I’ll price my services this way. It truly doesn’t matter. Now that I’ve made the decision, I’m excited to see how it goes. As is my wont, I will certainly keep you posted.
Here’s how Pay What You Choose Coaching will work for now
For the time being, I’m offering 55 minute coaching sessions on a Pay What You Choose basis. The ground rules are simple.
Use my online scheduler to select a Pay What You Choose time on Wednesdays between 8:00am and 1:00pm Pacific Time (11:00am – 4:00pm Eastern Time, 3:00pm – 8:00pm UTC/GMT). Click here to choose a time: http://shaboominc.com/scheduling/ NOTE: PWYC Coaching is now available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too!
Please schedule a single session to begin with. When you and I talk, we can determine together if multiple sessions are a good idea and talk about how often they should occur.
When you schedule, there will be a place to tell me how much you choose to pay. I will send you a PayPal invoice for that amount and ask that you pay that prior to our session.
You can choose to meet by phone, Skype, or Zoom.
Is there something you’ve been running around in circles about?
Is there something in your life or biz that you’ve been chewing on for too long, analyzing endlessly without getting any clearer?
If so, I invite you to ponder the question my coach offered me. What happens if you let go of the need to understand?
Find out how to make difficult decisions–such as those about setting prices or deciding what products and services to offer–with ease and grace.
As a coach I help my clients explore the immense practicality of joy. I point them to the spiritual principles behind the human experience. As their understanding deepens, their joy increases. They act with greater ease, creativity, grace, and wisdom. If this resonates and you’d like to have a conversation to see if we are fit, click here to visit my coaching page and schedule an interview.
When I stopped writing my weekly ezine after 16 years, I promised that I would look for other no-cost ways for you to be happier and more successful at self-employment. So I said to myself, “Self, what do you have to offer that would be of obvious value to anyone looking at your work from the outside?” I asked it that way, because I’ve noticed over the years in both art and business that the best ideas are usually obvious, after you’ve had them, and that other people generally see what you can’t see yourself.
I wrestled with the question, and then I dropped it, at which point the answer popped right up: “Go to the library, silly.” That would be the vast library I’ve amassed about how to create meaningful, sustainable success when you work for yourself.
So I went to my library and yowza! As I started reading and listening to my favorite heart-centered business teachers, I fell in love with them all over again. Shoot, I fell in love with my business again, which can happen when you see with fresh eyes.
Fall in love with your business
To you help fall in love with your business as well, I’m giving away five primo presentations, which I selected based on their relevance, style, and depth—that you can download now at no cost. I’m also giving a free live teleclass next week on How to Know What to Do When There’s too Much to Do, because I don’t want this gift to be one more thing that sends you into information overload.
As I said, my library is vast, and my team and I are tapping its resources to create an Enlightened Business Intensive. If after experiencing these no-cost presentations you want more, you’ll have an opportunity to enroll in the Intensive. If not, then not. Enrollment won’t open until after all the goodies have been distributed, so there is no pressure to even think about it now.
Okay, enough with the back story. Here’s the line-up.
Available now: Superpowers, Storytelling and Soul Stuff: How going deep affects your bottom line, Fabeku Fatunmise
As a business owner, there’s so much to focus on. Your business has a million moving parts and they all seem important. But what if you’ve overlooked two of the most essential pieces? Fabeku shows you how to connect with the parts of you that bring what you do into a cohesive, magnetic whole and significantly increase your ability to find your perfect audience, ramp up your income and amp up your mojo, while lining up with the heart of what you do. (Audio, handout, transcript.)
You don’t need to sign up to download Fabeku presentation.Just click here to download it. I do ask you to sign up if you want to receive the rest of the presentations, because I don’t want to clutter your email box with links and reminders unless you are interested.
Available now: Planning for Chaos, Sean D’Souza
Sean D’Souza is quite possible the most productive person I know. He also has a wonderful life, unlike some of the craze Internet marketers out there. In this session (recording, handout, transcript, and mindmap) he shares an approach to productivity that can help you have a more wonderful life as well. If you haven’t experienced Sean’s teaching before, you are in for a treat. He makes things super clear and extremely practical.
In this presentation he explains:
Why most planning systems don’t work. (It’s not your fault.)
How to manage multiple projects simultaneously without losing traction.
Coming May 19: The Three Journeys of Marketing… why smart, effective marketing tactics fail and what’s missing, Mark Silver
Your clients are traveling towards your business, desperately needing what you have to offer, and yet it’s easy to get lost in the desert of the marketplace. If you don’t understand the Three Journeys your just right clients are traveling, you’ll lose them, no matter how inspired your marketing is.
Mark Silver is the founder of Heart of Business and a successful business teacher and healer, who brings an active connection with the Divine to his work. Heart of Business has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners to integrate the nitty gritty of business with the heart-opening truths of spirit in a way that actually helps the business be profitable and make a difference in the world.
May 26: How to Achieve Joyous Profitability, Michael Neill
(Audio, transcript, visual essay)
One of the reasons so many small businesses don’t make it past the first year, let alone, the first five years is the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to succeed. Michael Neill proposes a new model for creating success outside the pressure cooker. A model for creating the kind of business you can really enjoy.
In this talk, Michael points to the deeper feeling that you carry with yourself into the marketplace. It’s a state of mind. It’s an understanding. It’s not a set of techniques. It’s not a set of practices. It’s not a place you ultimately get to after you achieve X, Y, and Z. This deeper feeling is always available, and when you connect with it, you immediately tap into the wisdom you need to guide your business.
June 2, How to Charge Good Money for Doing What You Love, Mikelann Valterra
After almost two decades of helping people exit the money fog and heal their relationship to money, Mikelann Valterra brings a deep understanding of the psychology of money, a revolutionary approach to money management, and a wealth of personal experience to her coaching practice.
You have a business idea, now you’ve got to charge for it! But how much? You may be scared that you won’t get enough clients if your rates are too high, but your time is precious. Will you end up resenting it if you don’t charge enough? In this audio (with transcript and handout) Mikelann helps you navigate the complexities of rate-setting, while paying special attention to the emotional side of this charged issue.
Three strategies for feeling good about charging good money.
Two ways to avoid giving away too much.
The top five reasons why you should be charging at the top of the range for your service. If you’re tempted to discount, don’t miss this!
We’ve all had friends who repeat romantic mistakes.
You may know a dreamy-eyed romantic who confuses surface and substance. Or perhaps your friend is a sad-eyed victim who sees deception and shallowness behind the face of every prospective mate.
From where you sit, it’s easy to see where they go wrong. Their preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides their innate wisdom and common sense. Dazzled by dreams of the future or blinkered by the memory of past disappointment, they can’t see clearly in the present.
The same thing happens when it comes to money. We may be dazzled by visions of wealth, spend more than we can afford, make shaky investments, or buy into the latest scheme for making money online or off. On the other hand, fear of financial insecurity may cause us to shut down. When that happens, we deny ourselves even small pleasures or starve our businesses because we are afraid to invest in equipment, training, or help.
Just as with romance, when it comes to money preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides your innate wisdom and common sense.
Whether we’re talking about love or money, the problem is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding: the fallacy that your happiness and wellbeing depend on outside circumstances. And because it doesn’t work that way, the harder you try to manage your circumstances to get what you want or avoid what you don’t want, the farther away you get from the very experience of security that you seek.
And the less secure you feel, the more confused your thinking becomes, and the less access you have to the wisdom and common sense you need to make good decisions in the first place.
But as soon as you stop looking outside of yourself for happiness and wellbeing, your thinking begins to clear. You feel secure, because you are secure. Because you don’t need external circumstances to be one way or another in order to be okay, you don’t argue with reality, and you see your circumstances more clearly.
And when you see your circumstances clearly, you naturally make better decisions. And then, don’t you know, your circumstances tend to improve. It’s a virtuous circle.
If you’re reading this, odds are that getting rich isn’t your top priority, but even though your humanity is vastly more important than your bank account, you may be living with confusion, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness around money.
If that feels accurate to you, I invite you to join me for Authentic Wealth, a seven week virtual retreat, a teleconference-based experience designed to shift your relationship to money and wealth. Click here to learn more about Authentic Wealth.