The Art of Raising Your Fees

Money.

Abstractly it seems like a good thing to have.

But talk to most conscious entrepreneur types about doing one of the central things that will open the door to more of it appearing in their lives?

Stunned silence and utter emotional shut down.

Money is fraught for everyone in this culture. We’ve all done things with money we regret. We’ve all had people use money against us in ways that didn’t feel good but… add a social, political and spiritual analysis to this?

My oh my.

You’re about to watch a 26 minute video (it’s worth your time) about this thorny topic of raising your rates. My guess is that you’re walking into it with some level of confusion around not only how to do it but if you should at all.

Of course, this comes often in my workshops and whenever people lift up this topic with all of their halting, “But is it right?” and “What about the federal reserve?” and “But what about class dynamics?” I want to fall on my knees and kiss their feet for being willing to even think about this stuff because most people don’t.

What must be faced is that we who are living in the dominant culture of North America, live in a mad culture. It’s a culture of hyper individualism where village-making is sorely needed. It’s a culture where the gifts we might freely give to each other in a healthy culture (e.g. affection, listening, cleaning) are turned into services that are charged for. That’s how it is. You are unlikely to solve that on your own. And yet you want to. And yet the bills. And yet and yet.

So what do you do?

The first thing that must happen, is to have reality-based conversation about money and what we charge. As Lily Tomlin put it, “I can handle reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle, it’s much too confining.” It’s a good laugh but most of us have also confronted the limitations of illusions too and the ways that refusing to face the truth ends up being an inescapable jail built of everything we refused to consider with bars crafted from everything we’ve banished from view.

We need to talk honestly about money and what it takes to sustain us.

This is a topic I’ve thought about a great deal. I wrote an eBook called Who Am I To Teach and Charge Money For It?

One of my most popular blog posts is entitled Why Charging What You’re Worth Is Bullshit.

My next eBook will be me sharing how I’ve managed to lead almost all of my live daylong and weekend long workshops on a pay what you can basis since 2005 (and done well financially from it).

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 8.20.35 PMBut, having said all of that, this is not an area I have focused on deeply. It’s not a place I feel the most solid in offering advice.

But, as good fortune would have it, life introduced me to a good woman named Tiffany McLain (pictured here) who sent me an email of appreciation about a blog post I’d written and telling me she was planning of writing an article inspired by it. Which she did.

I went and checked out her site and was delighted to see her focus on helping therapists raise their rates.

I dug about a bit and asked her if she might submit herself to an interview for my blog. I was about to hit the road and I sent her the following questions.

  • What’s your story? how did you end up having so much to say about raising fees for therapists?
  • How do you define under-charging and over-charging?
  • Why do so many people feel guilty about charging anything at all?
  • How should we feel about what we charge?
  • Why do so many therapist under charge?
  • A lot of people would say that the politically correct thing is to charge less so that people in lower economic classes could afford to hire you and that charging higher fees is classist or only allowing those with economic privilege to access your services. what’s your take on this?
  • What are the three biggest blunders therapists make in raising their fees?
  • What tips would you give to those who feel nervous to raise their fees? what’s most important here?

She sent me, in response, the video below which was put together with so much care, thought, humour, candour and love that… She’s officially one of my new favourite people.

We would both love to hear your thoughts, reflections and further questions in the comments below.

About Tad

  • Hils Crisp

    Thanks Tiffany (and Tad) for the video, I love your style and all that you shared. I help women entrepreneurs to market themselves more confidently, authentically and effectively and I’m preparing for a new workshop I’m running in November (in the UK) called Price Yourself Confidently. It is SUCH a big issue and I think it affects women more than men (for many reasons!). So I really resonated with so much of what you shared for me personally and for my tribe. I love all that you shared and its helped clarify some of my ideas for the workshop so thank you so much. I love that you’re talking about this awkward, uncomfortable issue and I hope to do the same with my community :-) Hils x

  • DonnaPowers

    Loved the questions and the responses! Most helpful is to make decisions on facts not feelings and the downloadable sheet you mentioned. Thank you Tiffany…and Tad.

  • Beth Crittenden

    Such a challenging topic, and I LOVE the fresh air policy of just getting it all out there. I’m a financial wellness coach and bookkeeper, and it is quite often tough to charge well, especially when I know that someone is in debt, or doesn’t yet have healthy boundaries to support their financial decision-making. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to not project my own scarcity onto others. And also to trust that competent adults are responsible for their “yes”, “no” or “not now”. Thanks to you both for the authenticity and inspiration!

  • Tiffany

    I’m so glad you’re doing this work, Hills!! We definitely need more women empowering each other to step it up and take control of our financial well being. Thank you for all the kind words and, right back atchya!

  • Tiffany

    I’m so glad it was helpful, Donna!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Beth! I LOVE that you’re out there helping others get clear about their money situations in a compassionate and direct way.

  • Hils Crisp

    Thanks – rock on sister!