Why I charge for my services

Desk and contractPhoto courtesy of 24oranges.nl

I am not good at asking for money.

If you want an example of my personal hell, it would be to be one those of people who stand on street corners and accost you as you pass. “Hey friend! You’re looking sharp today! I bet you like [whales/children/whatever they are fundraising for].

(Although, come to think of it, another example of my personal hell is being accosted by those folks. But I digress.)

Soliciting just isn’t my thing. It feels icky. It feels presumptuous. It feels like I’m wasting your energy and trying to take something you don’t want to give.

This makes it a challenge to go into any sort of business for myself.

I’ve been offering my services for a few years now, and have had quite a few satisfied clients (I have yet to have a complaint, in fact). I’m very confident of my work and the power of making small intentional behavioral alterations to create larger life changes.

That said, I wouldn’t say that I’ve really “sold” my services that much. It’s been more of a passive process.

As of this year, that’s changing. Here’s why.

There’s an irony here

It’s one thing to charge for services of a, say, purely emotional nature. No one would want a therapist to work for free.

But there’s a certain irony in charging those who wish to do better financially. As my target audience isn’t millionaires, my services could seem, at first, a little at cross purposes. (“Want to save money? Don’t pay Mike!“)

But that’s a very short term way of thinking. When you invest money (say with a Roth IRA), you know that the company that takes your money will eventually give it back to you and then some.

I put forth that I offer the same type of thing. When we work together, I will help give you the tools to come away with much more money than any amount you’ll ever pay me.

I’ve seen multiple cases where people have hundreds of extra dollars in their budget (that supposedly had “no room” in it) after a single month. One month! If a single session could yield that kind of benefit, what could a few sessions yield?

I’ll tell you: tactics that you can use for the rest of your life.

You have to do the work, of course, but I still believe that the amount you give me will be paltry compared to what you can net.

Why not free?

I would say emphatically that directly helping other people makes me feel the most satisfied of any activity in my entire life. I live for the moment where I’m able to connect with someone and see that “a ha!” moment, where something clicks.

If I love helping people so much, why not just offer my services for free?

Well, I hate to tell you, but I’m doing that right now. You’re reading it.

I’ve been posting every Monday and Thursday since November of 2011. (That’s over 400 posts and counting.) Tips, tricks, advice, empathy about your situation and your dreams, all available twice a week. I have never charged for this site, and notice that there aren’t any ads gumming up the page either.

You’re welcome.

So if you want help with having more money without getting a raise, read this. If you want help with getting out of debt, read this. If you want help with your emergency fund, read this. If you want advice about affording a home, read this. Etc. Etc.

That’s not enough

But I want you to succeed, and not just read.

And I know that we need more than just free stuff. We also need accountability.

I could just schedule a session with everyone who writes in and work with them.

But as I’ve also written, we also need to feel ownership. And when we pay for something, we feel a sense of ownership over it that we wouldn’t if we didn’t.

And you know what stems from ownership? Urgency.

As in (roughly paraphrased): “Oh crap, I’ve paid for this! I better make use of it.

This is a point I’ve only recently come to. Charging isn’t something that gets in the way of the service: it’s a fundamental part of the service. I want to light a fire in you, and that’s one system I can employ to do that.

And if it turns out that I’m able to make a living through helping people, that is terrible how?

You see where I’m going with this

I charge because I want you to succeed.

I charge because I know that you’ll work harder because of it.

I charge because I know that people will give it more value and more attention.

I charge because it weeds out people who aren’t really ready to make change.

I charge because I want to remind myself that I have something to offer of value.

I charge because it will enable me to continue doing this.

I charge because it helps me as much as it helps you.

I charge because I want both of us to win.

From there, it’s up to you.

But enough about me. Do you have trouble charging for your services?

Mike Pumphrey

Mike Pumphrey

I'm the founder and author of Unlikely Radical, a site to help people succeed with money, achieve their goals, and live intentionally.

I offer a free phone consultation to anyone who is interested in changing their financial narrative. Are you ready? Click here for details.
Mike Pumphrey
Posted on January 5, 2017