If It’s Spiritual You Should Give It Away

Christian Weber

The belief that you should not charge reasonable fees for your services, particularly if there is spiritual component to what you offer, hamstrings many Christ-centered mompreneurs. They feel it necessary to donate their services, their time, give gratis workshops and discounted products, or offer a sliding scale. If not, they feel guilty and fear they’re being ungrateful for the gifts God has given them.

The logic seems to be, if it’s spiritual you should give it away. Or at least not charge very much.

Ironically, the fruit of this limiting belief is you limit your ability to reach more than a handful of people.  It also

  • Results in you with little to no funds  to invest in further development of your skills
  • Is unsustainable unless you have a pile of money to burn or a  benefactor (or spouse) willing to dump more money into your business or ministry with little to no return
  • Leaves you and your business or ministry stagnant because seeing an excess of free or reduced fee clients robs the time for revenue-generating activities and strategic business development
  • Usually breeds burnout and the feeling of being an overworked, underpaid employee rather than a thriving, creative entrepreneur.

Isn’t the point of all these is to let your feminine genius shine and serve your ideal clients well?

But in practice, the recipients of the freebies fall short of the results they desire because they

  • Didn’t really invest in what you offer to the same degree as customers paying a fee commensurate with the value you give them
  • Lack commitment that comes with finding a way to get the necessary resources to pay for what you offer
  • Don’t have the same amount of confidence in you and your ability to help them solve their problem, because you have lowered your value in their eyes. On an unconscious level, they don’t work as hard because there was no sacrifice for them to pay for the services or products.

In the spiritual work, in my work in the Kids for Jesus apostolate, we had a fund for those unable to pay for the registration fee.  Around 75 – 80% of the people who received free registrations were more sporadic and less dedicated to virtue building than the people who paid the fee.

Professionally, I paid close to $400 on a LinkedIn course. I had to postpone working on it because my father got sick and died. Most folks don’t work through programs they purchase. When life settled down, I picked the materials up and got to work.

I believed in the value of the course, in large part because myself and others chose to pay money to be in it, I prioritized going through the materials. Had it had been free or very inexpensive, I likely would have let it go.

When you value what you offer and learn to enroll clients who value it too, you have a greater impact on the universe. Your customers are committed and truly learn what you have to teach them.

And the Holy Spirit’s creativity and ingenuity flows, leads to even better products, services, and results for your clients, in you because you are treating yourself with dignity.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tips:  Do the math to see what you need to charge and how many products and services you need to sell to have a sustainable business with confidence that the impact of your time be its greatest.

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11 thoughts on “If It’s Spiritual You Should Give It Away”

  1. The Bible says that a worker is worth their wage, so generally I don’t dispute your overall premise, but it might be helpful if you could give a few examples of enterprises that moms have which have a spiritual side yet are also reasonable sources of income?

    The one example that comes to mind which left me unsettled, however was a website I found after watching an episode of “The Journey Home”…this very happy and jovial mom shared the story of her conversion and directed people to her website…upon visiting the site, there was a little bit of general info but deeper offerings and details were only available for download fees. I can’t believe that God gives us learning experiences so that we can charge money to share with others.

    1. ” ..I can’t believe that God gives us learning experiences so that we can charge money to share with others.:

      It might be that the jovial mom had to make a donation to the program and so
      passed a fee on to anyone who might want to tap into her site. Some programs
      there are to hype the wares of entrepreneurs and advertising isn’t free.

    2. No, that particular show does not charge a fee and the website was not affiliated with the show, but guests are generally invited to give their web site addresses out to promote projects. I was interested to hear her bigger story and was dismayed that she would only share if money was paid.

      My enthusiasm for what this gal had to say plummeted when I saw she was charging to hear about her experiences with God.

      But Im still curious to hear if the author could give some examples of spiritually oriented home businesses.

    3. You’re correct. From St. Matthew’s Gospel, Ch. 10: “Freely you have received (the Gospel/Good news), freely (without pay) you shall give.” If this lady wants to make extra money, she should work at a bank, restaurant, store, or something. But the Gospel is not there to make personal profits off.

    4. Tammy and Sickening, I totally agree with both of you. Thank you for those important words of constructive criticism.

  2. Pingback: Video Reflection for Second Week in Advent - BigPulpit.com

    1. No, it’s about right stewardship.

      Besides, the Gospel doesn’t say that you can’t or shouldn’t make money, or even a handsome profit– St. Katherine Drexel grew up in a wealthy family, and her father always reminded his children that everything that they had comes from God. Rather, the Gospel says that you should not be worshiping money, and it does matter what you do with the profit you make. Rich or poor in the world’s goods, we learn to steward the goods of this world in accordance with the permanent things of Heaven. That’s a collect that we often pray before Mass, by the way.

      Ignatius Press, a Catholic press, makes money to pay the bills, and to bring more quality products to those who are interested in buying them– it’s a business, and Fr. Joseph Fessio, who runs the operation, treats it as a business, knowing that if Ignatius Press didn’t make any money at all, it wouldn’t have money enough to pay translators and whomever else in order to bring Benedict XVI’s works to us in the English-speaking world.

      Think about that one for a moment before you accuse others of “Republican crap” and self-righteousness.

    2. I’m NOT arguing against Capitalism, I’m arguing against people like this author who are trying to justify making personal profits off Christ’s holy Gospel. From St. Matthew’s Gospel (Ch. 10): “Freely you have received (the gospel); give without pay.” You can engage in capitalism all you want (more power to you, I’m not arguing against capitalism). But do not make your living & profits off the Gospel. Do not make the holy Gospel a money-making machine. It may be the Protestant way, (false) “Prosperity Gospel” way, or Republican way. But it is NOT the Catholic way.

    3. I believe the goal in an arena like this is to find a happy medium…there are people (both Catholic and Protestant) who make money in “spiritual jobs” like DREs, teachers in parochial schools, hospital Chaplains, & people who run full time apostolates who earn and deserve a wage and should not be forced to live in abject poverty to serve.

      but

      I have also been personally shocked to learn of people who work in ministries where they beg for money regularly and I later learn that leadership is making a HUGE salary.
      This is a link to a “Catholic” organization which says its mission is “educational outreach” about prolife stuff. Scroll down a few pages..the President of this non profit makes $149,660 a year.
      http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/521/521238301/521238301_201212_990.pdf
      I dont know about you but I make WAY WAY less than that and I consider that way to much to skim off the top.

    4. I used to make crucifixes, all completely hand-made, sculpted from a very nice porcelain type of clay, baked solid and hand stained. My father would make the crosses from walnut or oak and then I would put them together. I did this for years but because I felt it was a calling I decided not to sell them but took some offerings to help pay for the supplies. I was quite poor at the time so it was hard to pay for the supplies but I trusted the Lord and most were given away to people who couldn’t offer any money. Many went to be used at anti-abortion rallies or were given to Priests for their private devotions etc. While this lasted, I never ran out of supplies, and I learned that if you trust God you have nothing to fear. Money is not a problem for God who knows what we need.

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