Raise Your Rates Worry Free ft. Dr. Marie Fang

As a financial therapist, I get asked often about how to go about raising ones rates, especially for those who are fee-for-service or hourly-based providers. In this video, a collaboration with psychologist Dr. Marie Fang of Private Practice Skills, I review some of the common emotional reasons you may be struggling to raise your rates.

Here is a summary of what I cover in the video above

1. Imposter syndrome. Feeling like you are a fraud or somehow got to where you are by mistake. Reframe these negative thoughts by reminding yourself of all you’ve accomplished and what you’ve had to learn or achieve to get where you are today.

2. Feeling like you are “selling” or “pushy.” Thinking of your ability to solve a problem as being "slimy" or "gross." Instead of feeling slimy, think of yourself as providing a service or solving a problem (which is probably what you are doing!). This helps your frame your thoughts in a positive way, allowing the marketing to feel more authentic than salesy.

3. Anxious about attaching a fee to doing something you enjoy. Worrying about charging for something that you enjoy doing. Remember that your zone of genius or think you like to do could very well be someone else’s nightmare. Embrace what you are good at and charge accordingly!

4. Fear of losing clients or not getting new ones. Worrying about turning away potential clients because of your rate increase. While there may be a smidge of truth in this, the reality is the clients who are bound to be a better fit for you are willing and able to pay the fee you are charging. There are plenty of cheap and free resources out there if someone feels they can’t afford your service.

I hope those tips help to get your mind and money in balance so you can stand confidently in your fees. After you’ve finished the video, be sure to check out her video below where she talks specifically about the things she sees therapists struggling with when it comes to raising their hourly rates.

Here's a summary of her top reasons therapists don't charge their worth:

1. Emotional reasons. Dr. Fang thinks this is hands-down the main barrier keeping therapists from charging what they’re worth.

2. Lack of Financial Education. Programs aren't teaching their students how to go about charging for their services, or the difference between a posted hourly rate and actual take-home pay.

3. Stigma. While in grad school, there was a HUGE stigma around therapists and others in the helping profession earning income higher than a basic living wage. Somehow in our culture, we’ve fostered a belief that if we truly desire to help people, we shouldn’t be earning more than a bare minimum for it to be genuine.

4. Gender Socialization. This message is for those who identify as ladies. She knows many of us are taught to believe that we shouldn’t be big earners. This messaging can run deep, whether we believe that we shouldn’t earn as much as the men in our lives, or if we believe that we’re genuinely less capable of being as skillful as men. She thinks we’re not taught to have a mindset that earning a higher income is something worth pursuing.

5 Steps to Spend in Line with Your Values: Using ACT for your money

Check out my latest financial therapy video on how to apply acceptance and commitment therapy to your money. Transcript below:

Are you feeling like you are spending money on shit you don’t care about? Watch the video above, or check out the steps below, and I’ll give you the exact exercise you can do to spend in a way that feels right for you.

If you look at your spending at the end of the month and feel like you are flushing money on stuff you don’t need, I’m here to tell you how you can shift that so you can spend on the things that matter. I guarantee that practicing this will help you feel good about your spending habits. 

First, let me break down what ACT it. ACT stands for acceptance and commitment therapy. The idea is that when we live our lives aligned with our values, we feel better about ourselves.

5 Easy Steps to Spend Money in line with your Values

  1. Write down the five most important values in your life (example: empathy, freedom, love, health, and sustainability).

  2. Look at last month’s spending.

  3.  Highlight or write down the 2-3 areas where you spent in a way you aren’t proud of (fast food, parking, clothes).

  4. Reference your values and see if they match up. If they don’t, there is a good chance you feel conflicted or guilty when you spend For example, if you value health and love, your money would probably be better spent taking your partner rock climbing instead of buying another drive-through meal. Or if you value sustainability, maybe you could shift your spending from a parking pass to a bus pass.

  5. Shift your spending toward the things you value. The goal isn’t to spend less, though you might, but to spend in a way that feels more like YOU.

What areas are you going to shift your spending towards to align with your values? Or are you going to shift some spending away from a certain category that doesn’t match up with your values? Let me know in the comments!

If you are getting stumped on values, I have a free download full of values you can reference to practice the exercise I reviewed in the video. Here’s a free worksheet to help you find ways to line up your spending with your values.

Video: CBT For Your Money Mindset

In my financial therapy sessions, I often pull techniques from other evidence-based therapy methods. One that comes in handy quite often is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. Click above to watch the financial CBT video, or read on below to learn how you can apply this method for your mind-money balance.

Transcript Below:

What if a technique for re-framing your thoughts existed? In this video, I’ll show you exactly how to do that.

If you are looking for a proven technique for reframing your thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral therapy or CBT does just that. When it comes to our money, often our beliefs or thoughts are the things keeping us from achieving our goals. I’ll walk you through how we can use CBT, a proven intervention for anxiety and depression, and apply it to your money worries.

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a type of therapy coined by Aaron Beck and David Burns that asserts that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all related. They way you think impacts how you feel, and how you feel changes the way you act or respond to something. This can lead a person to feeling like they are in a downward spiral. In CBT, a person works on reframing or changing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for a better, more positive outcome, or as I like to say, “spiraling up.”

Let’s try an example.

  • Thought, “I’m socially awkward”

  • Feeling: Nervous, anxious

  • Action: Avoid attending a neighborhood BBQ

A therapist would ask you how you’ve dealt with similar situations in the past, and encourage you to look at the thought realistically and objectively.

“I feel nervous and anxious and it’s making me worry I’m socially awkward. At a recent work party, I did feel nervous at first but after connecting with others in my department, my worry wore off and I ended up having a good time. Instead of avoiding this BBQ, I can try and find someone I know to go with me.”

Let’s do one that is money-related. Here’s a money one:

  • Thought “I’m terrible at saving money.”

  • Feeling: guilt, shame loathing

  • Behavior: spend money quickly when I get paid

Using CBT to spiral up to a positive or neutral place, we’d say:

  • Thought “I’m terrible at saving money;” becomes “I haven’t been great at saving money but it is important to me to have a little cushion in case of an emergency”

  • Feeling: apprehensive, excited, nervous

  • Behavior: move $100 to savings account before spending money

You can go in any order-work on your behavior first, see how it impacts your thoughts and feelings, etc. It doesn’t matter as your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected.

I’ve linked a free “spiraling up” worksheet for you! It provides a summary of what I’ve talked about in this CBT video so you can practice framing your thoughts in a positive way so you can stop spiraling down.

Please let me know in the comments below how you will use this technique. Will you start by un-spiraling a negative thought? Maybe changing a bad behavior.? Drop it below! This is the first video in a new series called Tips from a Therapist. I’ll talk about different therapy techniques and how they apply to your money.