I wish to share with you some insights i received recently about how to manage the turbulent World of business by fairly charging payment for my services as someone who is self employed. If you are a holistic practitioner or teacher/facilitator, for example, then likely there has been a point during your path where you have questioned how much to charge for what you offer. A charge that is fair, affordable and plentiful for all concerned. In this piece i also share some of my experiences trying out different payment structures and conscious outlooks.
As i approached the question, how much to charge? Many other questions began to be asked.. Do i charge an hourly rate? How much per hour? I wouldn’t charge per hour for a day retreat so how much for a day retreat at a fixed cost? Do i charge an hourly rate at a group class? How much? Lots of possibilitites and lots of variables. If i aim high for an expensive retreat, im making it exclusive to those who can afford it. If i set it too low, do i make enough money out of it with the amount of guests that can participate? I have found these descisions challenging to settle on something i am happy with.
Having set up and run a independent yoga and meditation retreat center in Mexico, i know very well this play between wanting to provide a affordable service for everyone and bringing in enough abundance to be sustainable & comfortable. We very quickly (my partner & i at the time), chose to offer what’s called a conscious donation payment where each participant in the retreat would take the teachings and at the end, offer a sum that was affordable and/or which reflected how valuable they felt the retreat was for them. It was a beautiful way to approach that open-hearted project and many local Mexicans took on the teachings that quite likely wouldn’t have taken if we charged a fixed price. This was great; however what we found was we were not receiving enough in donations to cover all of our living and business costs. Either people weren’t able to offer more or they wanted to get it as cheap as possible. Hmmmm.
When we opened, i took on some teachings relating to the heart and manifestation that i feel is of importance that affected how we approached how we charged our retreats and to whom. It basically stated that when we offer something, like a retreat, a session or our services, it is most harmonious when we offer that from a place of detachment, as a gift. When we gift our services from the heart, we cultivate a openness for the universe to provide for us what we need or more (it is suggested not to put a limit on what the universe wishes to provide you, hence the open conscious donation we started with); however we were seemingly blocked by the energy of money or our relationship to it because w ehad many issues regarding abundance while setting up the center and daily living. There was no surprise to see a manifestation of this in the business, resulting in small donations or little attendance. This can be a tricky place to be, wanting to offer donations out of the goodness of the heart yet creating opportunities in which karmic lessons play out that we “need” to see, for example, through a relationship to self worth or abundance. We struggled a lot with this because we really resonated with providing retreats that everyone could attend if they had the desire to do so but it created a uncomfortable feeling of insecurity when attendances or donations were low. All of this was a learning curve and extremely reflective of where i was & we were, at the time.
During the last year we were at the center, we tried added in a fixed price, advertising our retreats on international websites that specifically catered for yoga and meditation retreats. This balanced a beautifully sweet offering for the local Mexicans, with a clear set price for travelling guests. This worked very well. We were able to offer a very good price for 3,7 to 11 day retreats to the international guests and that provided us with the cash flow to continue to offer conscious donation to the locals. This seemed more equal, to charge those that had Dollars to spend more and provide low costs for the locals. In fact we were even accepting exchange with food for the retreat and some money for those that had little to offer. If felt great to receive people who gave what they genuinely could, even if it wasn’t paying our bills.
So having those experience gave me plenty of opportunities to look at and feel into the different ways to charge for services as well as my own relationship to abundance. Now having returned to England to start new projects, the same dilemma appeared. How do i charge fairly my services in the UK, without putting a limit on what the universal abundance wants to share with me? After discussing this with a friend who has been a holistic healer since the 1980’s. She suggested an idea that she had considered for many years yet had never implemented… The idea is, that each person who takes a session, donates for each hour of service, their hourly rate that they earn, creating a horizontal and fair payment system. Each participant honours your work as equal to their own. This way you get paid what everyone else gets paid. If they work at Tesco, they pay their hourly rate, which is always relatively the same as a director who gets paid 3,4 or 10 times as much. This way everyone gives in relation to their own abundance, value and worth. So the same service is valued by the value of the clients own value of their time. Same/Same.. Just as it actually is, we are all the same so why not get paid the same? If they do not give the same as their own hourly wage, they will be sending out some clear messages to the universe about how much they value themselves over others.
When i heard this idea, i felt a deep sense of equality & alignment with a true horizontal value system. This is after all what we want in a transitioning World, out of extreme contrasts of income to a fair, equal and honourable payment/donation system. Of course i do not feel this can be applied to everyday commerce and industry, certainly not yet; however for those self employed in the service industry, regardless if it is holistic or not, it can be a true levelling to a horizontal value payment structure that feels right on both sides, for the facilitator as well as the client.
Since trialing this with clients, i have had a 100% positive response, so much so that it became part of the discussion during the sessions because they were all so amazed by and comfortable with this approach. Each one of them felt it was a fair and positive system and they each paid me what they earn for each hour i was facilitating them. It is important i feel to highlight to everyone the value they put on their health, wellbeing and self development. By offering an amount that is of value to you, you send out a message to the universe that you are committed to self improvement whilst at the same time honouring the work of the practitioner. This is the magic and mirroring of eachother that creates a horizontal playing field that life thrives on.
Another way to offer conscious payment systems is to make a suggested donation, so that the participants have an idea of a considered, sufficient price for their wage bracket. With this model, you suggest a low income, standard income & high income price. This i also like because a) it gives people an idea figure that otherwise might not have a clue as to how much to offer & b) it provides the participant the opportunity to reflect on their income and truthfully give from a place of ability. I feel this works very well for charging for retreats that are days long and may be more rounded then charging per hour.
Feel into the work you offer and the clients you receive and whether one of these can apply to your project. When you implement a flexible payment system like this, you can comfortably suggest this to everyone, from every walk of life because you know it is fair. For me, it brought a feeling of contentment and equality id not felt before. If someone can pay equally for the experience in hours as they charge themselves, they are dropping the hierarchy and ego-inflation that can come with high rolling, successful, sometimes lucky, people.
We can learn some very important lessons in how we value ourselves and each other. The sooner we align to these “New Earth” harmonics, the sooner we can heal the distortions of the capitalist regime and live in peace, abundance & equality for all.
If you found this information uplifting, exciting or enlightening, please share this page far and wide so everyone who can apply this Equal Value Payment System, does.
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