Why is it Hard to get Paid for Helping 1?


Here are two beliefs: “Money is the root of all evil” and “Money is one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind”.

By the end of these series of posts over the next couple of days, I hope to have changed your beliefs in relation to both of these popular beliefs, beliefs which go to the heart of why it is often hard for complementary therapists to make an adequate living at what they do?

Hard sell?

Well, I am willing to give it a try.

You see… There is a Facebook Group focused on the spiritual / healing side of life, which I follow, and occasionally someone posts the question “Should someone get paid for teaching spiritual material… or for providing healing?

And then… 5 weeks later… when the thread has finally ground to a halt, and it is probably 600 posts long… by then people will have expressed some deeply held beliefs, some people will have become even more entrenched in their views, a couple of open conflicts will have broken out, egos will have become bruised along the way… and no common ground will have been found or achieved on either side of the argument.

And you will find the same kind of schism when it comes to the question of whether someone should charge for practising a complementary therapy… “But shouldn’t you be giving it away for free?

Why that question is only poised to complementary therapists, and never to doctors, surgeons or nurses is beyond me… but complementary therapists are usually on the end of such questions… and some struggle with it, endlessly, and it can seriously impact their business, and their ability to make the money they need to support themselves.

The other question they sometimes face is, “There is another therapist down the road, doing exactly the same therapy as you… Only they don’t charge, they do it for free… So why do you feel that you should be charging?

When a complementary therapist has to face such a question, immediately they often feel put on the defensive, feeling they have to defend themselves, their integrity… and even their right to earn a decent living.

In fact, complementary therapies is one of the few business areas where someone practising as a business is continually undermined by some of the very people they are trying to help.

There are very few businesses were the businessman is continually under pressure for their right to earn a decent living.

Just think about it…

Do those same people who tell complementary therapists they shouldn’t charge ever go up to plumbers and tell them it’s wrong to charge for fixing their leaking pipe?

Or to car mechanics, saying it’s wrong for them to charge for fixing their broken exhaust?

Or to dentists, saying it’s wrong for them to charge for removing their painful tooth?

No… of course not.

Then why it is that complementary therapists are on the end of this barrage of criticism… why is it that complementary therapists (and spiritual teachers, and personal development coaches…) are often expected to work for free, or at a discounted rate… when in fact they are offering a service which can transform lives?

For the rest of this blog series, we’ll be exploring this whole getting paid for helping people issue from a number of different directions,

And exploring what a complementary therapist can do to safeguard themselves within their own psyche, so that such limiting beliefs do not undermine their ability to earn a rightful, adequate income.

I am hoping, that at the end of this series of posts, we have hopefully got you to a place where, when someone asks you…

So… why aren’t you giving away your products and services for free?

You can confidently reply:

Well, because I feel I absolutely deserve to get paid for what I am worth… Now, if you don’t mind, I have a line of super-appreciate clients lining up for me and my services, all of whom are willing to pay me my current going rate. Thank you.

(c) Brian Parsons, July 2016