We need to have a conversation about money that extends beyond self-worth.
Every conversation in entrepreneurship is about self-worth. How you’re not “charging what you’re worth.” How you need to raise your rates. How you’re not “valuing yourself.” How you need to be having “10K” months.
It’s pervasive. That seemingly standardized conversation about money. Like it’s objective and means the same thing to every single person.
But money’s not objective. It’s emotional. We all have different relationships to money. It means many things to many different people. And our subjectivity is in unpacking our relationship to money.
We learn about ourselves through how we use, receive, and think about money.
I know a lot of people who say they are committed to helping healers and artists make lots of money. Putting money into those people’s hands. It’s something I’m committed to doing as well.
Except, time and time again, I’ve seen some of those people underpay or haggle artists for their work. Or charge, in my humble opinion, astronomical prices (like five times my most expensive work) for services. So much so that people I know have been in debt for years trying to pay it off.
And it’s certainly not my place to judge how people relate to money and feel called to charge, or to weigh in on someone’s (consensual) business practices, but I have to wonder how that lines up with that same commitment to help artists and healers make lots of money.
With the dominant narrative out there about moving through “money blocks” to continue increasing income and “charging what you’re worth,” we’re essentially justifying ceaseless, extractive quests for profitability through spiritual principles.
Are we being conditioned that charging anything less than astronomical means we have low self-worth? What about billionaire and millionaire philanthropists or entrepreneurs who may charge very little because they want this work out there in the world. Do they have “money blocks”?
Of course, I need to satisfy my own needs and some desires. And I do. And I don’t doubt for a second that my work is some of the most potent I’ve ever seen. We have literally hundreds of case studies to back that up.
But part of my mission is in subjectifying not just myself but my team and my clients. I am constantly making sure everyone on my team feels nourished and satisfied with their pay and the work they get to do. I help them grow their positions based on their skills, interests, and needs of the business. I build the position around them—and why wouldn’t I? It’s where their genius lies and what benefits all parties.
And we actively hire artists for gifts and healers. I take a portion of the income and actively put it in the hands of artists and healers. Rather than use it as a nice catchphrase, it’s important to us to discover artists and work with them. In fact, six of our artists have said that our work has been the biggest order they’ve ever received, and it’s made them believe in their businesses fully. That this can be a reality.
Similarly, I price for the absolute minimum of an equal energy exchange. I use our process from the Sacred Circle to figure out what I need to come out equal and stay nourished in all areas of life. And then I price accordingly so that I and my team can have my needs met. But I don’t arbitrarily keep increasing from there. When I increase, it’s for good reason.
Because, if I’m really committed to supporting my clients, I want to support them.
We, honest to God, get the absolute best people in the Circle and Mastermind. We get people from all walks of life—artists, healer, activists, stay-at-home parents, entrepreneurs, corporate folks, college professors, sex workers. And they’re all just incredible. If I were working with any other audience, I’d have to double everything immediately. Because it’d drain me so much more. But it’s the love and passion that gives so much to me. And allows me to charge a bit lower.
We have to talk about money as more than just self-worth. Because that just reiterates shame. Sure, one reason we’re not feeling an equal energy exchange could be self-worth. And we want to look at that.
But equal energy exchanges are subjective. There’s no one-size-fits-all when we’re talking about money. Some of us live in really expensive areas of the world. Some live in less expensive areas. Some of us have expensive bills. Some don’t. Some have a team. Some don’t. Some absolutely love their work. Some hate it.
So many things going on. Energy exchanges are about all kinds of subjectively defined currencies—including, but certainly not limited to, money.
What about time it takes? Joy? Passion? Feeling purposeful? Your own healing? Energy expense?
All of these things are forms of currency. If something takes me almost no time and energy, gives me joy, passion, purpose, and my own healing, then chances are I don’t need to charge that much for it. I’m already getting a fantastic exchange. And, assuming that I can pay my bills another way, does charging little—or nothing—mean I have low self-worth?
Or does it just mean I’m motivated by something other than just money? And that I subjectify others around me just as much as myself?
Listen—I’m all for making good money. My business grows year over year. I’m happy financially. But I’d be pretty dissatisfied with my work if that was the only form of currency I received. And I’d be even more dissatisfied if I knew that most of my clients were in financial hardship and debt for years because of the work.
I’m not saying my way is right. Or the only way. But we need to widen our conversation about money and how we charge in entrepreneurship.
Because the truth is it’s not always about self-worth. And the more we entangle money and self-worth, the more we reiterate shame for those of us who aren’t making it, and the more we encourage profitability at all costs.
Business can be ethical. It can be a win-win-win for all parties involved. It can be financially nourishing for all of us.
And it starts with having a bigger conversation about money.