Should we charge for our services or does that devalue them? (part 1)


Example 1. Optical feedback

I started this off as a musing on if we should charge for our services, but found it became a little more personal as I explored options.

I offer it here to others who face the same dilemmas and welcome any thoughts and suggestions on this subject. 

People have strongly suggested that I should start charging for my time and maybe that’s what it will come down to in the end, because what I find is that most either seem to not value what I do, or they will feel that they can’t come back to me because they feel too embarrassed and awkward.

However, I find that this is a controversial subject because, on one hand, there are plenty of scammers out there who are quite happy to fleece people out of their hard-earned cash in exchange for generic information that could apply to anyone and on the other hand, if you do provide a service, some kind of exchange needs to take place.

I’ve been helping people since 1986 and so far, I’ve not charged for my services, help and advice I’ve provided, and normally, I will send people what they need at my own expense. (Generally, those will be Bach Flower Remedies. It’s a shame I don’t get commission for recommending and buying them!)

I find that, in spite of the thousands of bottles of remedies and rescue cream that I’ve sent out since 1995, there is something unsatisfying about it overall. In the end, it leaves you feeling flat.

Over the years, I’ve made the following observations.

Even though people ask for help, they will not actually use what I send them.

They will generally either:

  • Not take the remedies at all.
  • I never actually hear from them again, or get any feedback on if they actually helped or not.Ignore my advice on how they should be taken and only take them once or twice a day. (When in fact, they should be taken at least four times a day when starting out, and every few minutes when things are at a critical point.)

On the last point, I’ve actually had a couple of people tell me that they drank the entire bottle in one go when they reached a crisis point (and also claim it saved their lives!) It’s waste, though, as they are meant to last years.

I even had one person tell me, after I send the remedies, that she didn’t trust anything sent from people she did not know. She could have saved me fifty dollars if she had told me before hand.

When I do get feedback, however, it is mostly positive.

As I’m always learning about what to do, every success and every failure helps me for the next person.

For example, I’ve only recently discovered that the Bach Flower Remedy Mustard is excellent for dealing with negative energy attacks. Some people I’ve helped would have benefited from it if I had known that at the time. However, as it was not sent, they did not get the remedy they needed.

Now, there are a few who do follow my instructions and provide feedback, and generally, it is of a very positive nature. They also keep in contact from time to time, even if it’s just to say hello.

Those people tend to be the most renewing for me, as even their best wishes and friendship goes a long, long way.

I also get the odd person who will write me essay after essay and essentially give me their life’s story. Then they stop, only to return a few months later asking for more help (also in a very long e-mail.)

I find those tend to be the biggest drain on me.

I have come to the point where I feel I can no longer keep up this type of one way energy exchange.

So, I’ve got two options. Either I stop doing this altogether or I start to charge in some way.

Next: Looking at options.

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18 thoughts on “Should we charge for our services or does that devalue them? (part 1)

  1. i hear ya about that exchange of energies here.

    i feel its about offering an affordable wage, not only for yourself, but for the person that is seeking your assistance.

    i know there are a lot of healers that are very “anti-money” but money is just a representation of a currency that is used in an exchange. in anything that one does, its about an exchange of energies. so its only natural to use the current energetic exchange that is used by the common person, aka money, because this is what has been created in the culture of the world.

    money itself isnt good nor bad, but the intention of how it is used is what give money such stigmas.

    i paid big $$$ for my degrees and in order for me to cover the expenses that i spent to get my degrees, i will need to charge money for people to gain access to my services. so, one can say that im not a true healer because i charge money but, i see it as a compromise, when i offer an affordable fee so i can have a “living”.

    its a win-win because, i get to help someone and in turn, that person is helped and i have enough to pay my expenses.

    it is when greed and ego get in the way of healing, where these healers ask for a small fortune for their services, where only those that have big $$$ can see them, this is where that “anti-money” for healers comes from and it gives a bad name to the rest of us that charge money.

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  2. Gary, if it’s broke, fix it! If the thing you’re doing is not fun, it’s time to do something different or do the same thing differently! Free is another f-word, you know? 😀

    Jokes apart, a professional setup actually works much better for both sides. I can’t truly relate to what it’s like to be in your shoes. Only you know what/how it works best. However, you’re one of the few psychics who’s clearly not woo-woo. You’ve made this blog helpful, interesting, varied, honest and give generously of your time. Plus, your email responses are prompt. Too many ‘spiritual/psychic’ people think shoddy standards and bad behaviour are ok because they’re so ‘advanced’. At the same time, too many talented psychics are lost and struggling over guilt about charging money! If you proceed, it could actually set an example on how it can be different?

    If you do go ahead, some simple, real-world/regular and all-too-important advice::
    – Clearly state all details such as charges, timelines, refunds, cancellations, policies, liabilities, follow-ups, including informing clients of when to expect their booking/reading, etc.
    – Offer different levels of services: Not everyone wants to know about past/parallel lives, higher self or get too crazy-deep, you know? 😉
    – Provide an online booking calendar to save time.
    – Accept Paypal for payments.

    If it feels right to and by YOU in the REAL world, please don’t hesitate to take it to the next level. I’m certain more people will feel encouraged to work with you and remain committed because of how you’re available to them. Hope this helps….I might be in a minority here (non-psychic) but paying attention to details is really imp. to building trust.
    Radhika

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  3. Hi Gary,
    I am fairly new at this, at least as far as knowing about and embracing my abilities. I have always been the person people came to for a listening ear, advice, and of course empathy. I have had my moments where I felt used and abused, and that when I needed someone; no one was there for me. I understand how you feel about charging. I had to do a lot of soul searching on that subject as well. I have had the unfortunate experience many times in my life where it seemed I was surrounded by takers–friends, family, coworkers, strangers–it didn’t matter. When these people are used to someone such as yourself with a generous and giving nature, they will take advantage. I believe not all of them do it consciously; however, I have had some who did. I was left feeling used, upset, and unappreciated. If you are sending bach remedies to people at your own expense, that is a wonderfully generous act! Ultimately, you will have to be the one to decide if the reward you get from the good deed itself is enough. If helping people with their issues is physically and emotionally draining for you, and charging would help you to set appropriate boundaries, then I feel that is what you should do. If you want to send bach remedies for people to try for free, maybe you could send them sample sizes, and then charge for the full size should they like the results and wish to use them further. For me personally, I chose to start a business where I could make my own hours, work from home, and spend the quality family time I always felt I was missing out on with my “day” job. I don’t charge for readings, but I do charge for my family consulting time; which my abilities have helped me to excel in. I had a hard time with the idea of charging for helping parents…as I had been in their shoes. I asked myself the question, “How much would I need in order to contribute to the family bills and expenses and what do I consider fair?” That is what helped me. I really do want to help people, but I cannot live without an income, so it became a necessity. What feels right to you? When you think about charging, does it feel heavy and oppressive or does it feel lighter and expansive? How it resonates in your body should help you make your decision. Sometimes, we get so stuck in our heads that we need to send the question to our bodies for guidance. I know you’ll do what is right for you, and in this case putting yourself, your health, and energy first is the priority. 🙂

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  4. Gary, I am sorry you are so burned out! Maybe a good first step would be to set some healthy boundaries. You have been a door mat by many, but you do not need to allow that. You have been very generous to send remedies to people at your own expense, but that is something that should not be given for free. You have more than two choices…. if you quit all together, your loving Empath nature would starve. Why not start charging for your remedies since that is a tangible cost and value to someone.
    My view on charging for readings is similar to infinitemoon. Only you can decide what is the right path for you, but unless you start creating boundaries, even clients that pay you will still deplete your tank. Sometimes it takes getting used and abused for us to realize we have the choice to be used or not. You are awesome Gary, and you have touched more lives than you will ever know 🙂

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    • Thanks, Heather.

      My month off helped a lot so Im feeling better. I just need to put things into place to stop it happening again.

      My dream is to be rich enough to do this for free, but for now, other options need to be considered J

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  5. I feel there is not a problem with charging for services provided as long as what you have to offer is legitimately helpful, and those of us who know you know it is. Providing free services for all was an idealistic notion I used to subscribe to. However, as another said once–“even angels (on earth) have to eat.” In other words, if a person had unlimited resources of time, finances, and energy then sure, why not?

    Those of us who consider ourselves healers must remember that we cannot continue to draw water from a limited pool – it is not unlike the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping fellow passengers on a plane that is in trouble. It needs to be done to keep helping.

    Ideals don’t need to be compromised. I think in most cases idealistic notions, however, do not meet our world of human limitations. I agree one hundred percent that there needs to be an energy exchange for both parties. One person cannot be the continue giver nor can another be the continued receiver…it is simply unbalanced and demonstrated well in the examples initially wrote about.

    Thanks.

    L&L, Suz Swanson

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  6. Hello, I can see why you maybe upset about this, but giving out energy and knowing that we’ve helped that person move forward, into positive things should be enough. However if our own energy is at stake, then that’s a difficult one to answer, especially with all the Bach flower remedies and protection that we need to give to ourselves, that sometimes doesn’t always work out too well.

    If i had someone come tell me about their life’s story, id be honoured though, because i like to help people too and listening is something i’m good at and just being they’re for the person in that time of need. Sometimes people may not say thank you, but you know you have helped them and that’s all that would matter to you, even in a small way. Love is to be given freely, even if it costs us more than we can handle, Sometimes we have to take those risks and leaps of faith, to trust in the universe and what we need from it.

    I know your seeking that recognition of having helped others so much and you probably get frustrated when that person still sounds stuck, but in the end you should know you have touched that persons life, in many ways than you could imagine. Not just through the Bach flowers but through being yourself and letting your light shine out onto all those who need you and that should be more than enough. Your special and an amazing person, you do need recognition for what you have given out and i’m sure they’re are people around you who give that, even in small ways. You’ll find what your looking for, 🙂 Life is full of adventure and surprises even within the darkest days. I know i am certainly grateful and my life wouldn’t have been the same, if i hadn’t met you. Do what you feel is best.
    Love and Light Bee.

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    • Hi, Bee,

      No, upset is not a word that describes how I feel. Burnt out is.

      I’m also not seeking recognition (though I do appreciate acknowledgement to any contributions I’ve made to the fields I specialize in.)

      I just can’t do both a day job and this.

      Try it sometime 🙂

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  7. I have no answers here, but I do struggle with whether I should charge when I finally feel comfortable doing reading. I have been told money interferes with the way you might would help. I could see that if I am broke and desperate I may be “looking” for clients or doing a reading even if I’m not receiving good information because I need the money. I would never want it to become like that. However, after reading your story I have to wonder. There has to be a balance and a happy medium (lol). I do want to say what a wonderful person you are for having done this for so long and never receiving payment! Especially with the remedies you spend your own money on and send out. I dunno, buddy, it sounds like you need to leave up to the universe and see what happens. I don’t feel you should not do it altogether, though. That makes me feel sad for you and I think it would make you feel sad for you. You just need a change. Bless you for all you have done out there!

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    • Thank you.

      Yes, I need a change, and the thing is, I can’t not do this. So I need to work something out.

      On the subject of money interfering, that, I believe, is a misnomer. Money is just an exchange of energy. In my observations, what really messes things us is ego and forcing readings when nothing is coming through. I’ve seen some very good psychics degenerate because they started to think they knew better than spirit.

      Short story here. I used to see a psychic healer back in 95, and in the beginning she was amazing. But over the course of a year, i found I was spending more money with less results, and my intuition was starting to scram at me to get out.

      In my last session with her, she said to me that I would have to make a choice whether to follow a materialistic path or a spiritual one.

      I said, I think I’ve already made that and am following the spiritual one.

      She exclaimed ferociously: Oh, Gary, that’s not true!

      I thought to myself, after everything I’ve done to that point (and even by that point, it was a lot), if she really believes that, then it’s time to stop. I told her that I needed time to consolidate things, and never returned.

      Money didn’t make her bad, though. Ego did. She started to think she knew the answers, even when she was way off base.

      It seems that many psychics can’t admit they are wrong, which is a shame, because being wrong can be just as important as being right.

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      • Yes, being wrong can be just as important as being right! I sure can admit when I don’t know something or am not getting something from spirit. For me, it still comes and goes and I have no problem telling people that. But being able to talk to spirit sure can inflate the ego and you have to be very careful.

        So what do you mean by saying that money is just an exchange of energy? I have heard that before and wondered what people meant by that.

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        • After your comment this morning, I decided it was worth blogging on it, so I’ll give you a full explanation this week.

          In short, though, it means that it has no worth, save the value we attach to it. That value can be considered as energy, and so we are giving something we consider of worth exchange for something we consider of worth.

          Same would go for bartering or favours. In the end, it makes no difference what it is. The important thing is there is an exchange of some kind.

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          • I see. I am glad you are going to expand the topic more and blog about it. I will await the post! I think I have always had issue with money. When I was little we didn’t have much and I always wanted more money. I thought that was what I needed and for years worked and worked to get more. Now I’d like to chuck the whole money idea, if it weren’t a necessary thing. I have grown weary of working myself to death to have these material things. We are NOT rich by any means, but I know we have a lot more than a lot of people. I have started to see the things I am missing out on and the money is not worth the trade for time with my family. It’s a strange place to be. I have been reevaluating a lot of money things right now. I just don’t know.

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    • I understand that, it can be hard, 🙂 I know what its like through college, its difficult, i could be suffering burnt out from when i did that, as it was tiring and i pushed myself hard. But who knows. i guess whatever you need to do is your choice, things do need to change, for whatever reasons your doing them, i’m sure you’ll find the right one. I know whatever happens you wont stop caring for people as its in your nature. But getting something small back may help take some of the pressure of. Goodluck 🙂 Its good to get praise and thanks for what you do to help others though, i hope that it gives some energy back to you when they do. 🙂
      Love n Light Bee.

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