Stop Doing It or Start Charging For It

Wow! This empowering, liberating, affirming, respectful, and somewhat scary message dominated part of the March 27 TwD session. Karin Q was the good natured, curious, courageous, authentic, valuable expert whose knowledge base and practices were the subject of discussion. What a gift to the group that we could all hear, and hopefully learn, so much in the “laboratory” discussion around what is near and dear to her heart.

Later in the day, I felt a jolt! I have already established a market rate for the personal advocacy I have done with friends and family for twelve years! Some years ago, a young adult friend was hit by a car and sustained disabling injuries. She had no local family, and so our family simply said, “We are your family.” I was with her every day for a while, then intermittently for a long time. It was gift. It is simply “what we do in the world.”

But there came a time that she said, “You have always said it isn’t about money, but the reality is the responsible party has taken responsibility for this situation and I have received a check. You gave me the gift that you could give when I needed it, and I fear you will not allow me the same privilege.” I said, “My friend, of course I will accept a gift with gratitude. Just as you did. But this was never a marketplace transaction between us.” We did not discuss numbers, she simply wrote a check that represented value. And let’s just say that no one needed to fear getting in trouble with the I.R.S. over excess gift taxes, but….. the gift was sizable.

The details of that year have faded from my memory, but I knew our discussion yesterday applied to me in some way.  All afternoon I wondered, “what would be a market value for my expertise?” To my surprise, these events came back to me. I did the math in my head and called my friend saying, “I am so grateful for a gift you have given me that I never appreciated before right now. So I called you immediately. Remember the events of all those years ago? Well…. because of you, I can say to future clients, ‘my going rate is [a certain amount] per hour.’ ”

I came to TwD hoping to gain what I needed to simply write a blog that others might benefit. And that will happen. Soon. I have developed content and a blog name, acquired a domain name, and I depart today on what I regard on a WordPress learning retreat. I hope to have a blog to share with you next Tuesday.

I never imagined it might be the start of an income stream. It is not an income stream the family needs to keep the lights turned on, but value is value. The words “Stop Doing It or Start Charging” apply to me.

2 thoughts on “Stop Doing It or Start Charging For It

  1. Powerful post, Good Listener. And yes yesterday was a charged and vibrant discussion. I APPRECIATE how you take what occurs and do such an exquisite job of reflecting and reframing and considering how you are directly impacted.

    That in so short a time you have “launched” by writing here and prolifically, as a warm up to your own blog site as you start your “paid work” as the advocate you are–causes my heart to swell and my cheeks to flush and my breath to quicken.

    I do what I do the way I do it, that people will liberate their creativity, self-express on causes they care about and be more content for it.

    Thanks for capturing yesterday’s core theme #1 so expertly.

  2. I also learned a lot. I have published my book and priced it at what I thought was a reasonable price (35.00) But the fact is that this is the fruit of many months labor and the product of my years of training and experience. People commonly pay 60.00 or more for an hour’s massage. My book and it’s potential impact on their lives far exceeds that. So when I go up into Amazon I will double the asking price, at least…

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