This is a painful post to write. It's a post about regret, shame, and attempting to reclaim some of my power with money and my business.
If my relationship to money were different, I probably wouldn't feel the need to explain myself for raising my rates, but here I go.;)
The truth is that being self-employed and unpartnered without anyone to share finances has been incredibly difficult. Not to mention living in the most expensive area of the nation. For more than 10 years I've struggled through it, and I finally reached my threshold of anxiety and exhaustion. While these are choices I made and take responsibility for them, there are so many tradeoffs that I wasn't prepared for.
I chose this path of instability and chose to live in a place that I love and that may not be financially feasible...and take ownership for that, but between rising costs and chronic health issues with paying down medical bills I've been in the midst of a wake up call. My relationship with money has always felt tricky and I'm working hard to fix it.
I've had part-time jobs on and off, taken on debt, used up my savings to pay medical bills because self-employed health care is terrible, struggled to pay the high cost of self-employed taxes, etc. This post isn't to evoke pity, but to be honest about the choices I made going into the holistic arts and be honest about some of my regret.
As of May 15, 2023 my rates for hourly sessions will go from $190 to $300, this increase has four-fold reasoning:
My work has changed a lot the past few years. It has become a combination of astrology and intuitive reading, that extra psychic energy means I can realistically only do a few sessions per week without overdoing it.
The business model of unpredictable number of hours for money isn't sustainable long-term, even though it is what I love the most. It may not be the most financially sound business model, but it's what I'm good at and lights me up. So in an effort to create a little more stability for myself in the face of rising costs and inflation. I'm my only source of income and self-employment tax is no joke in addition to all of my health expenses.
I'm undercharging for my work and I've been too insecure to raise my rates. Many astrologers with half the amount of experience that I've given readings to are charging more than I do. And in 14 years of doing this work, I've raised my rates once...that's why it needs to be more.
Seeing an astrologer 1-2 times per year is perfect. Initially my thinking was that I would love to keep my rates at a cost where the clients I see every month could do so, but that isn't the majority of my clients. Like a really good haircut, or something else special to celebrate you, so too are my sessions.
I want to be adaptable and blame things feelings scarce on my lack of being business savvy, but the truth is that one-on-one client sessions are what I love most. So, it's time to make it work for me so I can keep sharing what I love.
I don't want my services to be reserved for the elite, but I also want to find a price range that allows me to not worry about how to my bills or rent. And even better yet, also have savings and build a financial future for myself that includes retirement someday. I want my services to be accessible AND pay my bills, and both of those haven't been possible for so long that I didn't know I could imagine another way. I want to own my worth AND continue to help others do the same.
For anyone who works in the healing arts, the struggle is similar and I want all of us to thrive. Even with all of my privilege I haven't been able to set myself up for financial stability and safety. Worth doesn't always equate to money, though as a Taurus it seems to for me. And my work is valuable and I need that value to reflect more in what I charge and trust that will be mirrored back by those who chose to work with me.
So this Taurus wants to be better at this life-long financial journey. I will still continue to offer sliding scale and payment plan options as it's an important part of my commitment to economic care and justice. Alexis Cunningfolk and Hadassah Damien thoughts on this topic inspire me deeply. Alexis' sliding scale model below is a great guide for financial privilege, and I've spent 80% of the last 10 years in the green bottle on the right.
Thank you for reading and witnessing my process and want to note that I'm not open to financial advice at this time.;)
Am trusting where I am is perfect right now and that as I shift my mindset more it will open to more ways to offer my services that won't come with the same price tag. And if my new price is out of your range, there are options, but I'm hoping this change won't lose you as a client.=) Or perhaps gained once with my transparency...