As a heart centered business person, you naturally want to help people. As many people as possible. You’ve crafted your message. You can clearly explain to people who you are and what you do, who your services can help, and the benefits of working with you.
People need your help, but some (or maybe even all) of your potential clients can’t afford to pay for your services right now. So you work for “love offerings,” small or nonexistent amounts of money. Because you’re in this to help people, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you why I stopped working for love offerings. And to share with you some reasons why you should stop it, too. Right about now you may be experiencing some resistance. That’s okay. Why would a heart centered businessperson ever want to help fewer people?
Who Does Working For Love Offerings Serve?
I’ll tell you why I did it. I stopped working for love offerings because doing so wasn’t serving me or supporting my right livelihood. By trading my work for love offerings I was keeping myself in a cycle of struggle.
“But Dawn, I want to help as many people as I possibly can! I know I’m here to serve.” I understand. And I agree with you. Yes, you are here to serve the greater good and to help a lot of people with your unique skills. But you won’t be able to help anybody if you can’t support yourself. Ask yourself this: Is it your obligation to sacrifice the quality of your life for an outdated notion of goodness?
In order to do your good work in the world you need to have a strong foundation. You need to be able to thrive, not just barely scrape by. And trading your precious services and goods for love offerings is NOT the way to thrive. In fact, it’s often a one way street to small business burnout.
Please keep in mind that I’m not saying that love offerings are always the wrong way to go. In fact, when you’re trying out a new service or program, or offering a workshop to build contacts, love offerings can be ideal. However, love offerings alone simply are not a business model.
You Get What You Pay For
How much time have you put in to get to where you are now? What certifications and education do you have that qualify you as an expert in your field? I don’t know how much you’ve invested over the years to gain this mastery, but I have to guess it was more than a love offering.
Why are you willing to give away all of your hard work, effort, even the money you’ve invested into your calling for free or little money? When you trade your services for love offerings (which usually don’t amount to much actual money) you’re attracting a certain type of client. One who won’t pay for your services.
If your clients aren’t paying you for the services you provide them, then what are they getting out of working with you? To be honest, probably not much. That may sound harsh but think about it. Since they don’t value your services enough to pay for them, these “clients” are likely not getting much out of the experience. So the question remains, who are you really serving by acting this way? You’re not serving yourself or your clients.
Sacred Service = Vow of Poverty? Not any more!
Often people who are drawn to holistic lifestyles and businesses feel that if we can help or heal others then we’re obligated to keep our prices so low that anybody and everybody can turn to us. But when you do this you’re assuming responsibility for the wellbeing and financial circumstances of others which simply does not make sense.
In this world we live in, money is the system of exchange. When you undercharge or don’t charge at all for your work, you’re sending the message that your services are not worth as much as the services of other professionals. Have you heard of people trying to pay their plumber or their auto mechanic with love offerings?
I stopped working for love offerings because I believe in my own worth and am confident in my ability to deliver the services my business provides. My mastery is worth paying for – and so is yours.
Have you ever or do you still work for love offerings? Share in the comments below what has worked for you and what hasn’t.