When I first started planning several months ago for more seriously offering career clarity and professional development workshops, one of the things I was considering was pricing. What do I offer and how do I price it?
At one point a thought popped into my head. I could offer everything I do for free, asking people to only pay after they received the service according to how much value they felt they'd received. Basically, set your own price based on the worth of the service.
This felt right to me on some deep level. It tied in with my reading of Lewis Hyde's book, The Gift, which talks about how certain kinds of transformation shouldn't be commoditized by turning them into transactions. It also was related to my sense that when you are trying to offer something to the world that's based on your own sense of gift and purpose, this should be done freely, without turning it into a transactional process.
But then, I began to question my inutition. I started going into scarcity mode, thinking to myself "Well how can I support myself this way? What happens if I offer everything for free and no one finds value in it and I don't get paid? I still have a mortgage and bills. I must be CRAZY for considering this idea."
The more I thought about the notion, the further away from my initial inspiration I got and the more I got into the negative, scarcity mindset. My ego, which loves to remind me of all the ways a situation can turn bad, went into full-on damage control, trying to get me to understand that this is just NOT the way to do business.
Still, the thought persisted.
Last week I stumbled across a post from Nancy White on the concept of social artistry. What I discovered is the topic of another post--very meaty, important ideas there--but two things about social artistry took me back to my original pricing thoughts.
The first is the idea that social artistry is about "using who you are to open space for learning." This idea of using who you are reminded me of my earlier Lewis Hyde reading and that gift of transformation.
The second concept was "radical imagination." Social artistry is about using radical imagination to create social change and transformation. What could be more radical than trying to make a living from "free"? What is more radical (for me, anyway) than trying to live from an abundance mindset, rather than from scarcity?
So what does all this have to do with careers?
First, it reminds me that sometimes we receive inspiration about our next move from our intuition. It can be a whisper or a shout, but at some point, some voice inside us will say "you should try this!"
But then, what do we do with that? If you're like me, sometimes you let the "voice of reason," (who is really the voice of scarcity and fear) talk you out of that inspiration. You will then head down a path that seems "reasonable," but on some level, really wrong for you and where you want to go. Realizing that you're on a path that feels wrong and unsustainable is part of the journy back to your inspiration.
Another way to handle that initial flicker of an idea is to experiment with what your intution told you. Experiments aren't permanent. They are a way to test out your intution, to try out that idea that seems "crazy," but just might actually work. In my case, it's experimenting with how I run my business. In your case, it could be experimenting with a new identity or activity that takes you a little closer to where you want to be.
The point is that we don't want to let our scarcity and fear thoughts talk us out of experimenting with what our intuition suggests. As Jonas Salk said, "intution can tell our thinking mind where to look next." Our gut instinct can be our BEST source of knowledge, but only if we choose to at least try it out.
So in the next few days, I'll be announcing my new pricing structure as an experiment in what happens if I trust my gut, rather than going with what seems "reasonable."
What intutition will you experiment with today?