One thing I’ve learned as a health professional over the years, is that many people want something for
free as little money as possible. And you can bet your life to never expect anything in return. Out of my heart and my natural reflex to help, I’ve volunteered my skills, time, and money to be of service to someone else and no cost to them. Even in a professional setting, there’s always someone wanting more - more of your time, more of your effort (beyond what the service calls for), a freebie, etc. Now if something is my bad, I am more than happy to go the extra mile for a client and/or offer something complimentary to help their experience be more positive.
I work alongside specialists, and doing their billing really made me think about my profession and what we put ourselves through to earn a living. If we worked and respected ourselves like physicians and specialists do, the general public would respect us more. Sorry, but if you miss a specialist appointment, there is no way they aren’t billing you for it.
When we give away our services (this is different from gifting, which I do for good friends), it takes the value away from our worth. It says the years and thousands of dollars I’ve spent towards my education to earn 2 diplomas means nothing. The 18 hour days with little to no sleep, 5 to 6 hour daily commutes to and from school, working two jobs, and nearly killing my self from exhaustion means nothing. The thousands we lose in pay for overhead, supplies, and hundreds for yearly licensing, insurance, and association fees are meaningless to us. The thousands we pay over the course of our careers for continuing education and skill enhancement means nothing. It has no value, no worth, because we’re willing to give it away for free.
I had a professor who said to me know know your worth, and I say the same to my students. When I started out, I charged the bare minimum for services, even though it was above and beyond what clients typically receive elsewhere. As I grew professionally, I’ve learned to stand my ground.
It’s okay to say no to someone, even if it means loss of business. If they’re not appreciating what you have to offer, they’re not worth your energy. Put your efforts towards those you know can benefit from your skills. They’ll appreciate it much more than the person who seeks your services because they think they can get something for nothing.