Don’t charge what you’re worth

Healing yourself, loving the world

Look at most business advice on setting rates and you’ll find something along the lines of “Charge what you are worth” or, “You are not charging enough.”

Many business coaches advise their clients to raise their rates.  There is an assumption that if you are not getting top rates, you have a self-confidence issue or a hidden limiting belief.

This is simply not true and in fact, I have found the opposite to be true.

As my self-confidence and satisfaction with my skills grows, I find myself feeling more comfortable offering a variety of rates to clients.

What I’m paid is not a function of my value and to suggest otherwise ignores the many interdependencies that in our lives.

This perspective of charge what you are worth is amazingly insidious in what it is assuming:

  • That you are separate from others and need to get your piece of the pie.
  • That your value is measured in financial terms.
  • That people who have less financial means are to blame for their situation.
  • That the only way to have a decent income is by charging a lot.

If you look at each of these, you can see how limiting it is and also how it takes us away from the concept of generosity and oneness.

In Human Design, the heart center, sometimes called the will center, is the center that has to do with money and resources as well as courage, loyalty, and will power.  It’s about material support and what Zeno calls “material love.”  I find myself realizing more and more how so much homogenized advice is out there and how limiting the current views are.

Whether you have a defined or undefined heart center, you get to decide what values you live with respect to money, giving, and receiving. For myself, I have decided:

  • I trust that there are many avenues for me to receive the resources I need.
  • I like having a variable structure for rates. It feels really good to recognize that folks are at different income levels.

And with my undefined heart center and identity center, I recognize that questions of value and worth and rates are really not mine to worry about.  I am invited to trust what the universe brings to me as I follow the energy of what shows up for me.

Thanks to the following for inspiring this post.

Frank Butterfield’s book Spinning Straw Into Gold.

ZenHumanDesign: the Course in Human Design

And thanks to Sunday Coté for her work with Oneness.

Photo by Christine Roy

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Deborah Donndelinger

Deborah Donndelinger

I'm writing from Maryland, but my heart goes out all over the world. I'm cheering you on as you tackle the hard stuff, embrace the easy, and show up to help others.