Monday, 3 November 2008

Being paid for what comes naturally

It’s easy to negotiate for more money when you are trading what you resent doing for getting paid. The difficulty comes when you begin to do what you love for a living.

If you dislike what you do, trading money for it makes sense. This is how most people relate to their income. However, this way everything is upside down.

You approach a promotion like going to war and feel deflated after receiving it because the next one is now a long way off. You get reinforced for being unhappy.

When you shift into doing what comes naturally, your whole world, including your relationship with income, changes. One of the challenges becomes charging for your work.

That’s because you are now charging for who you are. What is that worth? Your personal identity is at stake and your true self cannot be costed.

You can use market-based pricing for similar services as a guide and pitch yourself on the scale relative to others. You can use your experience and brand reputation as benchmarks, or you can develop a value-based measure.

Still, it may not feel right to you. In the last 13 years, I have never felt comforable setting my rates. On the one hand, my work feels priceless. On the other, I’ll happily do it for free.

So I am trying a new arrangement where I only do work that has a heart for me, work that I find intrinsically rewarding and I will leave my other passions for. I invest in relationships and projects without attachment to money and let it fall into place as we go.

It takes some courage and trust. It seems to be taking me and the people I work with into a new place of sincerity and honesty, where we do business in a more conscious way.

Being paid for what you love is an awakening.


Katie Skow said...

This is now one of my favorite articles. Excellent. It speaks to so many of us. I was just in a workshop yesterday where we were talking about this exact thing!

Robin Wheeler said...

Glad to hear that, thank you Katie.

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