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What is charging guilt and how to move past it?

You just hopped off the phone with a new client. This new project has your heart beating a little bit faster.

You're pumped to get started! But before you know it, a little joy escapes you.

There's dread creeping up knowing you're getting ready to send out an invoice out for the project deposit.

I call this dread charging guilt. For one reason or another, you find yourself feeling uncomfortable charging your client.

There are different reasons why people feel charging guilt. We all have different experiences with money and each of our money stories is unique.

Here are the top three roots of pricing guilt, I've encountered:

Price confidence

If you feel a pit in your stomach every time you have to talk price, there's a chance you feel uncomfortable with your prices.

Whether you think you're charging enough or not enough, there's friction between what you're charging and how you feel about.

You need to sell yourself on your prices before you try to sell anyone. If you're not able to sell yourself, people will feel the unease you have with your prices.

To get comfortable with your prices, try this journaling exercise:

First, write down a list of all the things you provide to your clients. Look at that list!

Next, add the experience you are bringing to the table, all of the times you've learned lessons you apply with your clients. Don't take away from your accomplishments. The list keeps growing!

Then, add in all of the ways you've invested in yourself to get to this point in time. Maybe you went to college for what you do or received a certificate to learn a skill that helps you perform each day. Everything you've done to this point is adding to what you bring to the table, your own flare.

Take some time to reflect, this change won't happen overnight but it will start shifting your thinking in the direction where you get comfortable with your prices.

Taking money from people feels wrong

If you're feeling like you're taking money from people, it's time to remind yourself that an equal exchange occurred!

This can be a challenging story to reframe because it's twisted into other money stories we tell ourselves. For me, it stems from at one point believing that money is dirty and the root of all evil.

I still run into this once in a while as I work through my money blocks.

Most recently, my Head of Marketing, Janine Coombes reminded me "Olga, you didn't just coerce someone into giving you money for nothing. Someone agreed to pay for your services. Of course, you're going to do your best to service them to your best abilities. That's who you are."

When I think of this and remember that this is who I am, pricing becomes an obligation.

To start getting comfortable with taking money from people, first, think about all the things you bring to the table that you just listed up top 👆 You deserve to be paid for your expertise, even if you'd do it for free.

Next, it's time to start reframing this story. If a person is willing to pay for your services, you have a duty to accept it to continue the flow. If you tell them no, the exchange is interrupted and so is the flow.

What would you do if this was an unexpected gift? Would you deny this person of giving a gift because you weren't prepared to receive it?

I love my work and I'm supposed to dread what I get paid to do

There is a misconception that if you're getting paid for work, you need to dislike whatever it is you're charging for. After all, work is work. Not play.

There's absolutely no rule book that says you must dislike the work you get paid to do. I believe this thinking stems from seeing that a large majority of the world dislikes their job.

One of the things I uncovered when I followed my passion for becoming a Money Coach is that you absolutely can love your job and charge the money you want for it.

The other thing I uncovered is that there are people out there who love their jobs! It's not just me.

I now require an element of fun in all that I do. If I'm not having fun, I'm not doing whatever is set in front of me.

Now that doesn't mean I don't do things I don't love. But I'm having so much fun with the big picture that doing the rest isn't so bad.

If I used the logic that I got paid for only things I dreaded, this would've become an expensive hobby a long time ago 😅

Want to talk about your prices? Let's chat.

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Kestas Dambrauskas
Kestas Dambrauskas

Thank you for this blog.

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