One of the hardest struggles I continue to have is deciding how to price out my services. Perhaps it’s the Pisces in me and those little fish in constant opposition to each other doing my head in, more realistically it’s the little voice in my head that tells me I’m not good/smart/successful enough to place a high value on what I put out into the world. That I struggle to see the value of what I am sharing and what it’s worth. Ironically, I’m the first person out there telling others they should be charging more for their work and helping them understand the value of what they do. I’m also very lucky to have many friends that do the same for me. I still can’t help but wonder why do so many of us struggle with charging what we are worth?
One of the first things we need to do is actually look at that sentence and change the object. It’s not “we” it’s our education, experience and time that we are charging for. There isn’t a price scale based on how nice we are, pretty or fit we are, how good at recycling or whether we lost our tempers with our spouse this morning. What we charge for our services is a reflection of the service itself.We don’t go to a 5-star restaurant with a top chef and expect to pay the same price as fast food. When we have put our heart and soul into our education, multiple weekends away from family and friends to become certified, invest all the scrapings we have for said certification, spend countless hours building our brand online and then become meek and humble when asking to be paid appropriately, I hope you can see how ridiculous this sounds. The average fitpro works 10-12 hours per day, 5-7 days per week and most of us survive on a moderate income for it if we are lucky. I was one of the first people to say, I do this for the passion of fitness not the money. But now, I kind of want to go back and shake myself a bit. First of all – yes! Get into fitness because you are passionate about it or you will burn out quickly. But there is no reason to think that this can’t be a reputable career as well. The fitness industry has expanded by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, you can do what you love and also make enough money to enjoy your life, but first we must adjust our attitude around money and how much our contributions to our clients, students and this industry are worth.
To help you on this path, here are my suggestions and what I currently do:
1 – Read or Listen to “You’re a BadAss at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. She is awesome and inspiring through her tale of rags to riches but also specific things you can do to put this in action.
2 – Review your prices with a mentor from the industry. If you haven’t done so yet, and you are a woman working in Yoga/Fitness, I strongly encourage you to join WIFA, Women in Fitness Association. They have a strong mentorship program but also offer monthly webinars etc.. to help you build on various elements of your business skills.
3 – Be fastidious in discounting. Once you begin to discount your prices you set the expectation that this will happen again, some may even hold out until you do so you feel forced to discount more often. Also, don’t be afraid to be firm with friends. This doesn’t mean don’t help others out there’s such beauty and karma in that, but don’t feel guilty in charging full price either.
4 – Learn to negotiate. Some people love to haggle and through this will cause you to question once again the value of what you are providing. Hold firm and here are those words again – don’t feel guilty for charging your full price.
I know the doubts will come back, but for when they do keep these points in mind and just one more. When you de-value your services by not charging their worth, you actually de-value the services your friends and colleagues are providing as well. We all want to do what we love, but the hard truth is the passion quickly dissipates when we aren’t earning enough to make it worth it. It’s also time that we not only make enough to get by but actually financial thrive in fitness. It is a massive and growing industry, you deserve your fair share – but you also need to ask for it.