We all have tough times in business financially, and the worst thing we can do…
Put More Money in Your Pocket: Advice for Invoice Avoidance
Do you avoid sending invoices to your clients? Does it get to the point where you almost forget? Do you wonder why you avoid invoicing but don’t dig too deep to find out? It could be a big can of worms that is better left undisturbed. You’re not alone.
In the first year or so of my business, I hated sending invoices. I had worked out ‘how’ and created a nice template, but it didn’t matter. I just avoided the ‘doing’ of it, the filling in of client information with the amounts and sending it off. It felt so tedious! I wanted to outsource this and other admin tasks, I looked into it; but I was already bootstrapping, and my budget was beyond lean.
The other day a friend mentioned she hadn’t been paid for some work she’d done, largely because she hadn’t invoiced for it. It reminded me of another friend who has been in business for himself for years; he puts off invoicing to the point where sometimes it becomes embarrassingly late so he just considers it a pro bono service.
It breaks my heart to think that people are giving their work away rather than just invoicing clients. But I can relate. I’ve been there. What I didn’t want to look at were some deeply ingrained, limiting beliefs.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re an invoicing avoider.
Limiting belief #1: To work is to struggle, if it’s easy it’s not really work.
The struggle is something we learn growing up, watching the people in our lives toil away. For our parents, the idea of meaningful work, getting paid to do what you love, it just wasn’t a thing. Suffering was a normal part of the work ethic.
When we do work that feels like all we do is show up and just doing our thing, it might not feel like work. This can cause inner conflict and leave you feeling disinclined to invoice for the time that you were doing something that you didn’t suffer or toil to produce. Especially when you provide a service where it’s an experience that’s not tangible is the outcome, it can be hard to see what you’re charging $150 an hour for.
Limiting Belief #2: I’m not worth it.
This one goes deep. Most of us alive today have some sense of not being worth it. Even those who seem ultra confident, many are overcompensating for something they probably aren’t aware of.
When we charge what we think we should be charging for our time, it can ring alarm bells for the part of us that doesn’t feel worthy.
When I started out, I was still very oriented around hourly wages and didn’t have an appreciation for what it takes to run a business. I couldn’t fathom charging $100 an hour when I never earned more than $50 an hour as a wage earner.
Moving away from charging by the hour and moving toward outcome-based pricing can add even more angst when we haven’t resolved our own worth and the value of our work. It can take time to get used to charging rates and fees that are commensurate with the service-providing entrepreneur’s realm.
Limiting Belief #3: They can’t afford it.
We assume where people are at financially based on what they look like, what they say and where we imagine their income comes from. How arrogant!
I have clients who are tree-hugging hippies, yoga teachers, single parents; student’s on disability payments, and they can afford to pay me. Once I stopped assuming what my clients could afford and focused on the value they get from working with me; it made a difference to all involved. To me in being comfortable invoicing, and to them in the benefit, they got from the work we did together to take the next step in their lives.
To assume people can’t afford to pay you is not only arrogant but it’s a great way to prevent your potential clients from solving the problems you are here to help solve. Let them choose how to spend their money, let go of your assumptions and do what you’re good at, be of service.
Today I have a completely different relationship to invoicing, I don’t resist it, it’s a matter of course, and I’ve started to invoice before a session, where I used to do it after the fact. Admitting to myself that I had limiting beliefs around money and worth helped me deal with it and move through it. I hope it does the same for you.
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