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Sorry, but I’m not sorry. I simply don’t have the energy for lopsided relationships and full on requests to “take this burden for me so I don’t have to carry it.” I don’t have time for “just this little thing for free”; or give an inch, take a mile semi-expectations. I don’t want to reschedule sessions that you missed and didn’t even bother to call and cancel. If I was there and you weren’t, I’ve fulfilled my end of the bargain.

It sounds harsh, but seriously… If you want my energy, there has to be some sort of exchange and the exchange should be fair.|

I’m done with taking pennies on the dollar for the work I do. I’m not going to discount my prices so low that I can’t actually pay for my phone, computer, space rental (if you’re meeting me in Vienna), gas, parking, and childcare. I don’t want to stretch myself to the limits so you can remain comfy. Sorry. No can do.

I have a family and a business. I have limited time and energy, and I’m not at all interested in endlessly giving my resources to people who don’t really seem to appreciate them. I need that energy for my children, my home, my hubby, my projects and passions. It may seem like my energy is boundless and infinite, but it has a definite end line which I am not interested in hitting. I’ve been dangerously close to that in the past.

If I have to get a job outside of my home to support the work I’m doing for you, then I’m going to have to say no to you and get that job.

It feels so hard to say no, though. Our society has pushed this idea of self-sacrifice and give til it hurts until we are… giving til it hurts. Some of my *ahem* business relationships (read volunteering my time and energy to fill someone else’s void without being paid very much, if at all) are having a negative impact not only on my own time and energy but also on my marriage and my children.

My husband is not so understanding about why I might donate working hours to a virtual stranger and then not have time to do my mom or wife stuff—let alone to develop my OWN business or write my own book. My kids have sat, iPads in hand, while I’ve taken care of somebody else’s work for them. My hubby scrolled while I fretted over someone else’s work. Was I getting paid for my time, I’d have the money to hire a house cleaner or get a massage from time to time, or even pay a VA so that I could offload some of my own tasks. I’d have enough money to take some time off to spend with my kids and my man.

This is something that, as spiritual and sensitive entrepreneurs, we have to learn to avoid and overcome. People like us LOVE to give—we love to make people happy and teach them to do things for themselves. We have to learn the difference between being generous and being enablers. We have to learn the difference between being honored and being taken advantage of.

And as entrepreneurs, businesspeople, we have to understand that we just can’t give all of our time to others without being compensated for it. By “compensated for it,” I mean getting paid cash money. Money might not make the world go round, but it does help me honor my time and energy and the time and energy of others I interact with. It helps me put food on my table and gas in my car.

My kids go to tennis two times a week. Their tennis trainer is a nice guy, but I’d never think to ask him to give my kids their lessons for free. Or just free until they got good enough to, you know, win some money in tournaments so that we could pay him to continue working for us!

And I also go to healers and massage therapists from time to time. I’ve recently started seeing a woman who does pulsing in Vienna. When I go to her, I pay her for her time, her knowledge, and the resources (both internal and external) she’s using to work with me.

The best lesson I can give a budding spiritual entrepreneur is to give the expectation of actually being paid for the time, wisdom, skill, effort, and the resources that person uses to serve me. I can lead by example. I give the people who work for me a baseline standard: their time is valuable and worthy of being paid a fair price. I expect the same in return.

And note I said PRICE—not exchange, not trade. Far too often, budding entrepreneurs, as I mentioned above, are sucked into lopsided trades that don’t fully value their time, energy, efforts, resources, or even financial expenditures. I refuse to do that any more.

The value placed on my time and energy is set by me. It’s my job to honor myself and say no to any business or charity relationship that doesn’t value what I put into the relationship. It might be hard, but being stretched to the point of breaking or actually getting another job to support myself so that I can work for other people is just not something that I am willing to do anymore. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Thanks but no thanks.

*Please note that this doesn’t apply to my dearest friends and family.