It’s always okay to ask how much you’ll get paid.
I used to do the marketing for a yoga studio, reaching out to local teachers and offering them opportunities to teach classes, courses, and workshops.
Without fail, they’d say yes—without asking how much it paid. Or if they’d be paid at all.
(I eventually had to start explicitly highlighting the pay rate in my emails!).
I was shocked, to be honest.
They deserved to be paid well for their work. And so do you.
It’s also totally acceptable for you to negotiate, set your own rates, and turn down opportunities that don’t pay enough.
If this feels like scary stuff to you, it’s time to reclaim your worth.
1. Stop working for free
Give yourself a deadline. Say ‘no’ to working for free after that date.
When we’re just starting out in an industry and we need to build our experience, it’s normal to work for free to learn the ropes.
But it’s a problem when we get stuck and never actually charge for our skills.
This doesn’t mean you can never, ever offer anything for free again (e.g. as part of a larger marketing strategy or because you want to add value to your audience).
It just means that ‘free’ is no longer your default.
Take action: set yourself a deadline, right now. Resolve not to take on any unpaid opportunities from that date forward.
2. Decide what your time and expertise is worth
When I worked as a yoga teacher, I spent tons of time:
- Planning classes and 1:1 sessions
- Travelling to and from venues
- Delivering the sessions
- Creating additional content and handouts
- Attracting new clients and students
Every month, I sat down and calculated my earnings from the previous month, as well as the time I spent preparing for and travelling to my classes.
For a while, it wasn’t a pretty picture.
But this practice was vital in helping me to identify which projects were paying me well, and which weren’t profitable enough.
It’s important to get really honest about how much time and energy you’re spending versus the money you’re receiving in return.
Then decide how much your time and expertise is actually worth to set your new rate.
Take action: set your new hourly or per-project rate. Resolve not to accept anything less than your new rate for future opportunities.
3. Ask and reflect before giving the ‘yes’
If an opportunity arises—or you’ve fought like hell to seek one out—ask how much it pays. Always.
Before you say yes.
Before getting excited. Definitely before signing any agreements.
It’s so important to ask this question and then take your time before giving a response.
I’ve made the mistake of getting ‘caught up’ in the flurry of excitement far too often, saying yes to projects I should’ve given more thought.
The fact of the matter is that money is an important part of business, and if you’re running a business (even if it’s just a side hustle right now), then you need to be clear on the payment terms.
So always ask!
Take action: practice asking “how much is the pay?”. Resolve not to say ‘yes’ to any offers without knowing what the payment is.
🎉 P.S. — Want me to write your copy for you (so you can take time off AND make more money)?