God has been dealing with me to be more vocal about all things money as it relates to personal finances and business. In the following weeks, you can expect me to talk more about credit scores, my relationship with money, charging my value, money blocks, etc…
This week God placed it on my heart to talk about money as it relates to sisterhood. I have been building businesses and brands since 2013. Within that timeframe, I have had my share of practice with talking about money and if I will or will not charge for a particular event, speaking engagement, program, and new clients.
As it relates to this topic, there are generally two schools of thoughts.
(1) Do it for free (2) Secure the bag at all costs
With what appears to be sound advice on both sides, it can be very confusing and internally tormenting trying to figure out what to do. The BEST advice I can give you is to pray and favor the one that God tells you to do.
I have a podcast about how to hear God if you struggle with that
Losing My Faith: How Do I Hear From God?
Before I truly started doing this, I was all over the place. When I would assert a fee, I would feel guilty. I would do things for free and still feel guilty because I was giving from an empty well!
Hear me clearly! You don’t give to get but you don’t give either when you are giving from a place of scarcity. God desires us to be in a community, so when we pour out, someone in return pours into us. Now God does honor our sacrifice, but God tells us in His word that obedience is better than sacrifice.
Give cheerfully when God tells you to and charge boldly when He tells you to! There is not a one size fits all. I think it is important to have metrics, a fee scale, and a plan AND be flexible enough to amend it when GOD tells you to.
Now one thing that comes up in this conversation, that in my opinion is absolutely unacceptable and disgusting, is when women emotionally hijack, manipulate, and try to blackmail you to offer things free on the basis that not giving it away is anti-sisterhood and anti-Christian.
Early on I gave so much away for free. Although I got exposure and people were recognizing my brand, that exposure didn’t mean a hill of beans when my phone was cut off or my car note was past due! #SorryNotSorry I can’t give you a month of training for $12. Nope, I will not give you 4 hours of coaching for $100. I’ll pass on writing you a fully customized meal plan for $65. No, I can’t speak at your engagement and get paid with gear I won’t wear anyway.
When I was at my lowest, my credit cards were maxed out, my credit score was dropping, my bank account was consistently in the red, my student loans were in deferment, my phone was getting cut off, I was behind on my bills trying to think about whether my car would get repossessed. BUT I was still prayerfully trying to figure out two things. 1. How to dig out of debt 2. Making investments I needed to make to get me there.
This has been a lesson I learned the hard way! As a woman entrepreneur, I have invested time, money, years of experience, and hours of studying to make myself better. I had to learn that I am valuable and that I can’t give my talents, skills, and gifts away for free all the time! If I value what you offer, I have no problem putting my money where my mouth is. I have invested thousands of dollars (that I didn’t always have… the stories I could tell) in products and services that I valued because I believed in them and the promises they offered. So, it’s hard for me to accept less than that from others. I REPEAT… I had to learn to accept the same of myself WITHOUT being made to feel guilty by other people!
I have seen too many women who stand on a hypothetical podium and tell other women to give all their skills away for free. Then, those same women try to make the women who don’t agree feel as if they are NOT down for the cause and claim that they don’t know what real sisterhood looks like. LIES! There are many reasons that I believe this manipulation is WRONG but my top 3 are:
- Funding Kingdom Initiatives
- Our money and resources are what should be moving culture and the world forward. When we pay secular markets full price but skim on paying the believers we perpetuate lack and poverty. As believers, WE are supposed to have MORE than enough because it’s a part of our inheritance package. We don’t always have enough to overtake causes because we try to uncut each other but fully fund secular enterprises.
- Seedtime and Harvest
- You don’t get a return on an investment you don’t make period. We often want financial blessings without giving financially.
- Robbing God of Financially Maturing Someone
- Sometimes giving into the manipulation hinders Gods ability to deliver them out of a demonic money story. You think you are helping but you are enabling them to stay in a lack mindset.
If God tells you to or you feel moved to bless others with your abilities, move swiftly. But it should be by Godly discretion and NOT by guilt or obligation from outside forces! I love blessing people just because I can. If I give my time or services away for free now, it is because I felt led to. Ultimately I have desires that will take money to get there. I have to make conscious decisions not to get sucked into others people’s stories that will pull me (really both of us) back to where we are living below God’s best.
I have desires to save for houses, get out of debt, mission trips, see the world. Proverbs 13:22 says that a good man (woman) leaves an inheritance for his children’s children and I want to do that. I choose to partner with what God says and not get sucked into the dry place. I would be lying if I said I never tried to skim people! I use to want everything free and cheap. Then I matured and got some understanding of investment and value. I try to be creative in seeing people’s fees and how I can match or supplement. If I can’t I walk away without taking it personally and figuring out how I can work with them in the future. This is my craft, respect it. I promise you that I will respect yours. It’s time to do business, branding, and money differently. we need to involve God in EVERYTHING and ask what His will is.
Photo Credit: Courageous Sisterhood