Let's Talk MONEY - Why I Started a Mentorship Program
You know those things we aren't suppose to talk about? Religion, politics and income? Well, I thought since I've already covered the religion and politics bit, it was time to chat money. A topic that is deeply uncomfortable for most sensitive folk.
We know why money is important. It feeds us, shelters us, clothes us, and allows us to travel and explore. But it also causes a lot of pain. Anytime there is corruption or human rights violations, their root can be traced back to $$$ - there is a reason social workers are taught to "follow the money" when being critical of systems and questioning why things are the way they are in our world. Money also limits. As sensitive folk we know this all too well. We can't help but notice the homeless on the side of the road and feel overwhelmed by the poverty that surrounds us.
I started this blog because I wanted to create social change. I wanted to start a new conversation; one where those sensitive to energy loved and valued their sensitivity. I love supporting others through the messy bits in life and I thought a blog would be a great platform for reaching and supporting as many people as possible. And it has been an amazing platform! The feedback has been tremendous. And just like I hoped, I'm getting to support so many people through deeply uncomfortable times.
I love it.
But it's also a bit overwhelming.
The other morning I sat at my computer for over 6 hours answering e-mails. Some thanking me for my work but most asking for advice on how to make life better. I love how folks feel safe reaching out to me and every time I get an e-mail I read the entire thing (some over 800 words) to fully understand the person and their needs so I can send back an informed and helpful response. I can't not respond. I can't respond half-assed. I don't have that in me. If someone reaches out I take the responsibility to answer seriously.
And unfortunately that causes me to get burnt out. Fast.
The past few weeks I've stopped doing the things I love. My blog blew up and each morning I woke up to a ton of e-mails waiting to be answered. This on top of my job and the stressors that come with life caused me to forget about myself and my needs.
So I walked away from it all. I physically got up and went for a long walk down by the ocean.
When I got home I decided I couldn't keep doing what I was doing; I needed to take better care of myself and my needs. I decided to increase my fees for mentorship and dramatically reduce the amount of folks I mentor for free. A decision that was SO hard to make! But I made it because of three reasons. Three reasons I want to share with you incase you are also feeling overwhelmed and overbooked.
1. to show worth
I love to help and if someone is in need I NEED to support them. It's just a natural tendency. We are taught since we are children to be helpful and kind. Two characteristics the world needs more of! But what happens when what you're good at is "being helpful and kind", is that something you can charge for? Or is that just what human beings are suppose to do? I've been struggling with this... but the same as someone with graphic design skills wouldn't give logo designs away for free, social workers and others who are drawn to the helping professions because of their tendency to want to help shouldn't be expected to give their help away for free.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping with no expectation for anything in return. But there is something to be said about value. Money is how we show value in our world and being helpful and kind is valuable. Right? So when I consistently give away my kindness and helpfulness for free I'm sending out a strong energy that the things I'm naturally good at aren't that valuable. I don't hesitate to pay my doctor, my dentist, my personal trainer, my business coach. So why do I hesitate with the thought of being paid myself?
2. My self-care is important
To be able to show up and support others I need to practice self-care, and since energy isn't (yet) respected in the bigger systems of our world, the majority of my self-care is paid for out of pocket. I can't bill my insurance company for a visit to see a Reiki Master. I also can't get away with eating an unbalanced diet or not getting enough sleep. I'm not picky, entitled or weak. I'm sensitive, and being sensitive means I need to take care of my body and its needs. Being sensitive is also why I'm so intuitive and really good at giving advice and guidance.
Someone once asked me how I feel after a mentorship session and I said "exhausted" - physically, mentally, emotionally. When I mentor I give my all to the person being mentored. For every hour I spend with someone it takes another hour to bring myself back into alignment with my own energies. An hour recharging with my crystals, taking epsom salt baths, going to the gym, meeting with my own therapist - all things that cost money. The money I charge for mentorship goes directly to paying for my self-care. My self-care needs don't change whether or not I charge, so when I don't charge I am paying to mentor. If that makes sense? I'm not a business brain, but I know that's not a realistic business/life model.
3. Investment sends out a powerful energy
My biggest fear when it comes to asking for money for mentorship is how the person seeking mentorship will feel. Will it make them uncomfortable? Will it put them out? What if they have other things they need to spend the money on? What if they just can't afford it? It's hard to disconnect from this fear but I have been actively trying to shift it.
All fears can be reframed. Instead of seeing "asking for money" as a negative thing I've been shifting my mindset to see it as something positive. Cause, well, it is. What we put in comes back in this energetic universe. When someone invests in mentorship they send out a strong vibration that themselves and their goals matter. And what happens then? The universe sends that energy back in the form of valuable things. Like attracts like and the universe is always willing to meet us when we take the first step. The best thing we can do is invest in ourselves and our goals, and working with a mentor is one way of doing this. The skills I teach through mentorship are evergreen - they don't expire. The things clients learn through mentorship last a lifetime and are transferable to all areas of life - not just the area the person being mentored came to me with - and that is an investment worth making.
OK. Your turn. Do you have a business? Do you find it uncomfortable to ask for money? How do you overcome these fears?
And while we are chatting mentorship: you can find more information on that HERE. : )