Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a firecracker named Carla. Carla was full of spunk and I immediately felt like she had missed her calling; this girl needed to be a preacher! She needed to preach. It was all over her energy.
As Carla was leaving, we began casually talking about what life as a “mystic” was like. I told her that I love my “job” but that I sometimes stayed frustrated with the controversy around charging a fee for services. I explained that I often hear people say: “Jesus didn’t charge people, so where do you get off charging people?”
Sometimes, I refuse to answer. I don’t like to argue and I’m not going to argue with someone about it. But if the person asking the questions wants to engage in an honest dialogue, then I will say that although the Bible doesn’t say Jesus charged for his services, we are told that he told his disciples to go to the people – but he said do not take money or belongings. He told them that they will be cared for by the people they help/serve. (Matthew 10 and Luke 9) So Christ and the Disciples were cared for by the people they helped. Their needs were met. They were provided housing, clothing, and food. So maybe Jesus didn’t technically charge, but he did receive compensation for his services. And today, that compensation is in the form of money.
Carla went home that evening and reflected on our conversation. Something within it touched her “inner ping” and she sent me the following message. And to be honest, I think it’s brilliant. I think she eloquently provided insight in a way that is easy to understand and assimilate. So now, I share it with you.
There really is no value in free.
At least – if researchers in the phenomenon of “value attribution” are right – that’s what people THINK, even when they don’t realize it.
I was on my way home last Monday, reflecting on our sitting, and suddenly thought of hot dogs.
Yes. Hot dogs.
When I was in my early twenties, I worked for a small radio station. Among the things I did was plan remote broadcasts for local businesses :“Hi y’all! We’re out here at Harlan Ford, where the biggest sale of the year is happening on F150s! Come on out and take a test drive, stop by the KOKL 1240 AM radio van and say hello! (yada, yada)”
Because I’ve always been wound a tad tight about work (I’m working on that), I devoured all the information I could get my hands on about how to be the most Kick-A** Remote-Radio-Broadcast-Planner ever.
One of the strongest pieces of advice I found:
Don’t give away free hot dogs.
CHARGE for the hotdogs.
Really?! So, we want people to come buy trucks, but we’re going to make money off of them while we’re at it by selling them hotdogs…?!
Not at all.
It’s all about people’s perception of “FREE”.
Now, hotdogs that are FREE, well, something certainly must be wrong with them. Or, at least, if not “wrong”, then inferior in some way. A free hotdog simply can’t be of the same quality as a hotdog that costs something … (in the study cited in the research, partakers of FREE hotdogs rated theirs as less tasty and less satisfying than did those who purchased their hotdogs for a quarter each – and we’re talking about the SAME hotdogs). A value interpretation is made by every recipient of any product or service. And that interpretation is largely based on the price assigned by its offerer.
It’s a matter of expectation.
Let me ask you this: How much does a client’s expectation affect the outcome of a reading?
My goodness, if the quality of a HOTDOG can be compromised by a person’s expectation, how much more is a psychic reading affected —something that challenges people’s faith to begin with?!
My reading was amazing because I expected it to be (Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen – who says the Law of Attraction isn’t Biblical – ha! ).
BUT- aside from my spiritual faith- I have to confess that my Small Self reasoned that you must be legit since people were paying for your services. You wouldn’t be charging the particular prices you charge if people weren’t willing to pay them. People wouldn’t be willing unless they were receiving something back from you that was at least commensurate with their investment. Wrong or not, I attributed validity to you in part because you have an office (which has overhead ..which you are obviously paying…which you can do because people pay for your services…which they do because you’re the Real Deal. See what I mean?).
Put plainly….My faith in you was bigger because you aren’t free. And your gift met me at my point of faith.
I didn’t spend nearly as long considering these things as I just spent typing them; all of this thinking happened in a flash, but the take-home point stands:
To offer your services for free, Leslie, would be a disservice to your clients.
People believe that “you get what you pay for”, whether they claim to or not. And it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
One of these days mankind will have grown in Truth enough to cease making value judgments based on man-made, false constructs (ie: money). Until then, you are doing us a favor by requiring a fee, and this Truth is not altered by anyone else’s failure to view it thus.
This is sent in Love, and I hope you’ll forgive me if I have overstepped any boundaries….it’s just that I was visited by 23-year-old hotdogs Monday night and I thought that you should know
Carla, I think it’s quite possible you are a genius. And I think that you are speaking a Truth that so many of us struggle with: our own value.
I’ve been helping people – in one way or another – for most of my life. And Carla’s words are true. When a client invests in her own healing, empowerment or success, she almost always finds it quicker, easier and in greater supply than the client who doesn’t.
I’ve done all kinds of intuitive consultations. I’ve done free ones. I’ve done love donation ones. And I’ve done ones for individuals who paid. And the truth is this: the people who pay for the session get far more out of it than those who do not. Truth: the sessions are identical. I am the same person. I offer the same quality of information. And the Angels always offer the same level of insight and advice. But the difference is how that information is received. And if you are investing in it, you are more likely to listen and follow the advice.
The person who invests in their own success by paying for the session almost always fares better than the person who does not. The person who invests in prosperity coaching finds far more prosperity than the person who seeks only free or donation only services. The person who invests in healing sessions finds far more wellness than the person who asks for services for free.
And it comes right back to Carla’s hot dogs. That 25 cent hot dog will taste better than the free one, and the $1 hot dog will taste better than the one that costs a quarter. Value attribution.
And the truth is that I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of free sessions. I’ve heard countless stories of scarcity and lack. I’ve always been a bleeding heart.
I’ve given a session away to a woman who claimed she couldn’t even afford to shower daily because she could barely afford her water bill, and yet, a month later, she posted pictures of her family vacation from Disney World. I gave sessions to a single mom with an autoimmune disease who couldn’t work but always managed to have money to shop and travel. Far too many people will say “I can’t afford that” but what they really mean is “I don’t want to pay you when I can manipulate you into giving it to me for free.”
Scarcity is a mind set. And if you are gifted a session for free, chances are that you will not assign the same value to it as you would if you were paying for it. The cost of the session is more than valuing the person providing it; it’s valuing yourself. You are indeed acknowledging that you deserve the life that you seek.
So thank you Carla. Your eloquence serves, and your light is certainly illuminating.