After having written yesterday that one should rather follow one’s heart rather than look for immediate money, I got a few comments that told me that many people would starve and not earn a penny if they followed their hearts. To everyone who thinks like that I have only one thing to say: learn to love yourself!
Yes, this is a question that people across all occupational areas have to face: how much do I do my work for others and how much for myself? How much can I charge for what I do? Should I provide my work for free?
There are of course areas of work in which people won’t really expect this of you. In a grocery store, people won’t expect you to give away fruit and vegetables for free. If you go by train, you don’t expect your train journey to be for free but buy a ticket. It is a bit easier whenever there are tangible products involved. More difficulties have to be faced by those who don’t sell goods but offer services. There will always be people who expect you to work for very little money or even for free.
People won’t usually expect a yoga teacher, a massage therapist or a meditation teacher to work for free but there is always a question for people of this profession how much they should charge. And just as there will always be people to pay what they charge, there will be those who will tell them they are too expensive.
A person with a good heart who loves his job will sometimes have the wish to give a product or service away for free. That is alright and a good thing – if you help someone who needs it with this gesture, it is wonderful. The problems start when you feel this too often and when you experience pressure from outside to be cheaper or work for free. And if you then feel guilty about it!
You need to know the value of your work. Compare with others in the same profession and set your price. Don’t sell yourself under value and have the self-esteem to stand up for yourself! If someone thinks you should work for free, let the person think this. It doesn’t matter – you know that you have to live, too, and that there is nothing wrong with getting something in exchange for your service.
If you love yourself, you know that your prices are fair. If you have a good heart, you will sometimes make an exchange for something else but money – anything that the other person can offer. From time to time, you will even do something for free. But at no time, will you feel guilty. If you love yourself, you can follow your heart and still ask for money for your work.