Thoughts On A Heart-Led Business (Pt 1)
This week I've been reflecting on 10 years of having my own business. *It's actually been 9 but I've been reflecting on (almost) a decade nonetheless. My hope is to slowly gather my thoughts and sort them into parts as I go.
Part One: The Sliding Scale of Accessibility
You may notice that there are no discounts offered on my Reiki courses. It took a long time to get to that point. I still ask myself how one lives within a capitalist society while offering services that are genuinely accessible - one where money isn't the deciding factor. It's something I circle back to periodically as I do my best to balance that with the sustainability of the business, contributing financially to my household and being fairly compensated for the energy and time I invest into my work.
I remember the very first Reiki course I offered. Sliding scale. $85-$135 I believe it was. Teaching that class felt like all the paths I'd been on clicked and came together. All that I had been doing lead me to something I loved, that had the capacity to support people on their journey through life. I had been a teacher for years and I knew I loved teaching but this was the first time I felt like this was the thing I was going to do for years to come.
One of my students pulled me aside after class and said "I'm going to pay the lower end of the scale because I'm going to St Lucia next week and I need the spending money." In that moment I remember feeling as though my work wasn't entirely as valued as much as I valued it. Whether that's true or not we'll never know but that experience inspired me to cover my costs and pay myself after that.
Over the years I found myself reaching burnout over and over again. There's a lot of energy that goes into what I offer, no short cuts are taken (probably to my detriment). Countless hours go into writing and editing the manuals, building websites, planning classes, gathering and preparing for events, social media!!!!! Marketing and generally being a vessel for life force energy and the being that is this business.
Accessibility is something I've needed throughout my life so it's something important to me, something I feel I need to reciprocate. So how do we do it?
I'm still asking how we heart-led businesses centre community support and accessibility while caring for our families and contributing to our households (while also tending to a tiny human in our case).
Honestly, I don't think I'll ever come up with a concrete answer. The answer I have shifts a little every time I come back to it. It's a living idea and it grows and evolves as it has done over the years. Balancing my output with what I am receiving has changed over the years too. Being in community inspires me and brings so much joy. My everts are either no charge or a sliding scale. I don't discount my Reiki courses and it's taken me years to be ok with that. It's a valuable exchange.
I hope to continue to circle back to reflecting on the balance. May we all be amply sustained so that we're able to reciprocate. May it be so.
Thank you for being on this journey with me,
My husband, D, thank you for seeing me and supporting me with your love, belief and bread ;)
Deep gratitude to Worts and Cunning for your online resources on Sliding Scales, and to Beth Maiden for your thoughts on business being a garden. Mine is most certainly a living, growing, evolving garden.
To community, I bow to you. Thank you for this co-creation.
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