A question I’m often asked by prospective students is “Can I earn a decent living as a hypnotherapist?” The answer to that depends on a few simple things: your skill, your marketing and your relationship with money. In this article, we’re going to look at the last of these points.
We often talk about our relationship with food or alcohol, but how often do we think about our relationship with money? If you explore your attitude to money, how would you describe it? Are you comfortable with money or is it a dirty word? Our feelings about money are often formed early in life. Some of us are brought up to believe that discussing money is impolite, whilst others are comfortable to talk about it openly. It’s an interesting fact that long-term relationships often break down when each individual’s core beliefs about money are diametrically opposed. It is especially difficult if this topic wasn’t discussed before couples moved in together or got married.
Putting personal finances aside, when it comes to running your business, how does your attitude to cash affect what you charge your clients? Do you strive to make money from your therapy work or do you feel uncomfortable charging the ‘going rate’? Do you admire therapists who charge a lot more or do you feel antipathy towards them? Lack of confidence in your ability or doubts about your level of experience or results can lead to a failure to recognise the value of what you do.
Whether it is cash or plastic, currency is something that we can’t do without. In our business, we do have some control over how much money comes into our account. We can’t force clients to come to our practice, of course, but we can set a fee structure that is commensurate with the service we provide. An attitude to money that prevents us from earning a good living from our work is likely to de-motivate and discourage us and engender a sense of scarcity.
What we can do is to review our relationship with money. Could it be that wealth or the pursuance of it is what is troubling or exciting, rather than money itself? Naturally, our pricing needs to be in line with our values, but if we learned at an early age that having a lot of money makes you a bad person or that caring people are always poor (think Mother Theresa) then we might want to reappraise our position and its origins. If earning money from your enterprise is as exciting as helping people to make changes in their life, is that a problem? I would say not.
If you are concerned about charging ‘too much’ for your services, why not do a little audit... Add up the cost of your training, books, journals, CPD and include the fees for professional membership, insurance, room hire, website, marketing, etc. When you have tallied up all your costs (and don’t forget what you didn’t earn while you were training or your time investment) ask yourself if what you are charging clients, or planning to charge them, is excessive. Who knows, you might even decide that you should raise your fee!