Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What A Special Spiritual Counseling and Healing Team Gets Paid

The conflict Paul and I have been having most recently has been about whether to change how we get paid and how much. We thought we had resolved that one. The subject of money has been a concern since Day 1. But after quite a bit of experimentation we came to a compromise that really wasn't completely satisfactory to either of us alone.

That's not exactly the same as both of us winning. Coming up with a reluctantly acceptable compromise is more like the best most couples ever expect to do. We had worked really hard at being respectful of each other's thinking and the experiences we had had together thus far, so it was the best we were able to think of at the time. But I know both of us were actually somewhat disappointed by the choice that we made.

I always wanted us to charge more for our work. I had already gotten my rate up to the $100/hour rate we finally settled on when I worked alone before Paul and I met. And that had taken a fair bit of trial and error and lots of change and personal growth at the time. I believed I KNEW what we should charge working as a team: $150! After all, we had done extensive research on the web. Individuals working alone doing anything comparable to what we do frequently charge that much, until recently we lived in one of the most expensive places in the country and, despite the old saying, two people definitely do NOT live as cheaply as one! At the very least, we eat twice as much.

Paul was horrified by that suggestion! He originally wanted our prices to be as affordable as possible. He's a true humanitarian at heart and neither one of us has ever been wealthy. If we couldn't imagine paying more for our own services -- $100/hour is the most I've ever paid anyone -- how could we possibly charge our friends and neighbors that much?

He had a point. You have to believe in yourself enough to think that your much wealthier friends and neighbors might think you're worth paying as much as they're used to paying anyone else. But if you've been living low on the pay scale yourself it's heart-breaking to leave people in your own tax bracket out. Maybe we've had a working class poverty-conscious block or two of our own that we needed to work out but we really don't want to cater to the richest segments of our society alone!

So we hemmed and hawed and together went through some of the learning and growth experiences I had partially gone through alone. We tried some things I never was willing to do -- work on a donation basis and then on a sliding scale -- and then wound up exactly where I had been before. No sliding scale and charging the going rate in Santa Cruz ($100) for a practitioner working alone.

Well, guess what? In some parts of Arizona that rate is more than acceptable but in the tiny rural area where we live $100/hour is thought to be an outrageously high fee!

We love working in-person and really want to do that more...but we do a lot of our business over the internet now and we aren't convinced we will stay here anymore... so you can see the dilemma. For the last few weeks it's been back to the drawing board once again.

This time we went for win-win. What did we both want to do? I wanted a higher flat fee that reflects the quality of what we do. We both wanted to be able to help people in our local community here and wherever we wind up choosing to be. So we decided to do both:

Our current flat fee is $150.
We schedule in the afternoon and evenings (including weekends) and are currently able to book sessions 24-60 hours ahead or more.

We also offer half length sessions and lower rates for people with financial difficulties.
We have a sliding scale that goes from $50-150 / hour, $25-75 / 1/2 hour. People may choose whatever they can afford within these ranges.

And what if people are so happy with us that the fee they chose in advance doesn't seem high enough?
That has happened frequently enough! So we have a very clearly labeled Paypal button on our site for tips for exceptional service and donations to help us make our services accessible to others.

Visit our website to find out more or click here to make an appointment now.

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