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Are You Sorry About Charging Money?

In: How to Sell Yourself

I was talking to a client yesterday, who, bless her heart, is LITERALLY working for free.

She feels bad charging.

And my goodness, she’s one of the smartest, most qualified women in her industry! She’s out there helping people every single day, in person, face-to-face! She’s spearheading an entire movement in Canada! And now the goal is to get her going online, translating her offerings into virtual ones so she can have an even bigger impact.

And yet, the moment money comes up, she clams up. The reason: *Because* she helps people, asking them for money in exchange feels too quid pro quo.

“What if I just charge $10 a head for group coaching?” she says to me.

“That depends—do you want to file for fucking bankruptcy?!” I joke.

“I could always just go to work at Walmart,” she jokes back.

“M,” I say. “Unless you’re trying to start a non-profit, profit doesn’t get to be left out of the equation.”

And she laughed, and we laughed, and it was at once apparent that so many of us are trying to do business, without any regard for the business. We worry that we’re being greedy and selfish and smarmy, and that “profit margins” are for people with an agenda. But in making it all about us, we neglect the health of our business. Your business is a living, breathing entity, just like you and I, and by starving it from its main source of nutrients—cash flow—you’re not being philanthropical. You’re being egoistical. You’re preventing the very people that need your help, from receiving it.

Because guess what?

You’re not going to be around for very long.

Don’t think of doing business as a one-sided transaction, in which you escape with all the money (while donning a cape and mustache) and everybody else goes home with less.

Think of it as a group buy in, with every single one of your customers contributing toward something that means something to them—and you.

We co-create meaning every day in our lives, and the truth is, we co-create businesses, too.

But if you don’t give someone the opportunity to buy in, it’s not just money you’re missing out on.

It’s mattering.

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