Do you work for Free?
I have been back in the UK now for over 6 months and it’s been an interesting ride, especially the frequency of being asked to work for free!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not totally against working for free and agree it can be beneficial with the right client. Personally, I am also happy to run confidence or resilience workshops for free if it benefits my local community or it is for a Not for Profit organisation. In fact, I have already run one free community confidence event in Northamptonshire with another planned in Cambridgeshire later this year.
However, in a week where I have been asked no less than 3 times to run a workshop for free – by organisations who do make an actual profit – I am starting to wonder if my work holds less value in the UK, that it does in Australia.
All Change in the UK
Prior to returning to the UK, I have been running my business Amazing Coaching for 18 years from Sydney Australia. I am certainly no novice and in addition to being a fully qualified counsellor and coach, I have been awarded several awards for my work, authored the book ‘ The Confidence Coach’ and also been a regular presenter on TV and in the media. I have spoken at many large conferences and also run workshops for many of Australia’s largest organisations. I have also had my own coaching column in the UK press for 12 months and am a guest speaker on Cruise Ships.
It’s taken me 18 years to get to this level. It has also taken me a long time to value my work and myself and feel comfortable to charge a free that matches my experience, reputation and testimonials. Therefore if I turn down offers to work for free, it is not about arrogance, it is about valuing myself and being comfortable enough to turn down a client who I feel may be taking advantage of me.
The importance of Valuing Yourself
In working with individuals, business owners and organisations, many of us struggle to value ourselves. As a result, we find ourselves accepting less than we deserve, giving away our time and expertise for free, and charging far less than we are worth. Many of us even accept crap relationships as we don’t value ourselves enough to realise we deserve better.
However, when you learn to value yourself, you feel worthy of well being, health, growth and opportunity. You are also more likely to strive for greater things and know you have lots to offer other people and organisations.
I recently appeared on Channel 9 Breakfast show discussing the fact that 3 out of 5 Australians suffer from low self esteem. The statistics in the UK are no different and we also seem to have an epidemic of people suffering with mental health issues. For me, this is the perfect time to be valuing ourselves more (and other people) and increasing our confidence, resilience and self worth. Maybe this also includes having the courage to say No to opportunities where we don’t feel valued and having the faith to step up and go for what we truly want and deserve.
You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself.
Marcus Tullius Cicerorning