With the exception of the one big decision package, I coach on the following basis: pay what it is worth to you; pay according to the value you receive. There are no set fees, no sliding scale. If the coaching has value for you – raising your awareness, deepening your insight, and helping you make changes in your life – I suggest you pay what feels right according to your means, and the value the coaching has for you.
Yes, this is idealistic. However, based on my research and experience, increasing awareness and conscious engagement are both principles by which the universe works, and something the universe is trying to bring about more of. If, by teaching these skills, I am doing what the universe wants, the universe will look after me.*
Further, it brings these principles into the coaching process itself. Increasing awareness comes about through the coachee engaging with the question of what value are they receiving, and hence a new way of thinking about their whole life. This leads to conscious engagement – a deepened engagement with the coaching process.
As I have said, I want to live in a world where people are living their genius. My genius is in helping others discover theirs. Pay what it is worth to you fits well with this. If I am genuinely helping you live your genius, then I will get paid.
And also, if you think about it, if there was a set hourly rate, or set life coaching fees in a package, then the longer it takes, the more I would get paid. So the worse the coach is, the more you pay them! Crazy! True value resides in the changes you want happening. I want you out there living your genius as fast as possible. The value that has to you is yours to determine.
Still a little confused?
I realise this is an unusual approach, and previous clients have asked questions, so here is some more information.
Yes, I am serious. No, I don’t want to have a set hourly rate, or a sliding scale.
You are not buying my time, energy, and expertise, you are buying the benefit you receive from them. You are investing in your transformation and moving towards living a meaningful life you love. Seeds planted and tended bear fruit.
I want people to completely engage with the coaching process. Part of that is really thinking about what the value of the process is to you. Your awareness of the value of the process may change over time, as may what you feel comfortable paying. Change takes time.
Pay what it is worth pricing also acts as an excellent feedback mechanism for me as a coach, forcing me to consciously engage with my coaching, and increase my skills and awareness. If the amount I receive dips, or is less than I need, then it tells me I need to be doing something more, somehow better. It prevents me from getting sloppy or cruising along at an hourly rate. If the amount goes up, or is stable at a good rate, I know I am doing something right.
But how do I work out what to pay?
After the session ask yourself, “how do I feel?” Reflect on the ongoing process and the changes underway.
Consider what your current challenge is, and the effect it is having on you. What is the ongoing cost (financial, emotional, personal, time) of things as they are, and what would it mean for you to resolve it? How does this relate to your means? What is gaining breakthrough insights which let you take decisive action to transform your life into one you love really worth to you?
If you are the CEO of a medium sized business, the potential value that flows on from an increase in your productivity, wellbeing, decision making capability, and dealing with people better, is quite enormous, so that a higher rate may accurately represent the value to you.
If you are a single mother of two who doesn’t currently have a job, a lower rate may still represent substantial value to you.
Most people would be somewhere between these examples. But really, it is up to you.
The industry norm is in the $100-150/hr range. While I do not want to force coaching sessions to be in units of an hour – my experience is that the coaching conversation is more effective when it has the time and space to come to a natural organic conclusion – practically, I will need to average about $100/hr or more. My hope is that people will pay according to their means and the value they receive, and that it will work out for everyone.
This is idealistic and experimental. But it is completely in keeping with who I am and how I do things. If it doesn’t work out then I can revert to something more traditional. So far it is working out fine!
* My inspiration here is Buckminster Fuller. Fuller identified two principles at work in the universe – increasing ephemeralization and accelerating acceleration. Bankrupt at 32, he resolved to never again work for money, but only to further those two principles. He died 50 years later after a long and successful career, world-famous for his inventions and ideas.
If you are a highly organised professional person, you might not need ongoing coaching. You may well be coming in with one very clearly defined problem to solve or decision to make. In this case, experience tells me to forego the free session, since chances are we will resolve the issue in one session.
So the One Big Decision package is simple:
$250. A maximum two sessions (if required) to work through the one big decision or issue. If the problem is not resolved or the decision made, you don’t pay. If, on examination, the issue turns out to be more complicated, or you just want to continue and focus on other matters, then we can switch to an ongoing pay according to the value you feel you are receiving model as above.