If somebody isn’t willing to pay you before the session (or before you create their program), and if they do not respect the professional boundaries that you should have set, the chances are good that they will not respect or value you and your services when they are working with you.
I scratch my head when I hear/see some coaches talking about not being paid by clients for their services, yet these same coaches don’t require payment pre-session or pre-program design. If you don’t stand up for and protect yourself, some people will take advantage of you and your good nature. It’s unfortunate, but true.
I am a very compassionate and understanding person and this won’t change. But before I used to be a compassionate and understanding person who did not have boundaries, or at least I wouldn’t stick to them, so some people walked all over me. Like I said, I learned the hard way as I was always stressed out over having to chase after clients for payments, and I even had some clients vanish into thin air and not pay me at all.
To be clear, I am not completely rigid. I’ve had the occasional long-term client forget to pay me on time, but as they are good people and are very trustworthy, I was flexible. But if you are working with somebody new, or somebody you are unsure of, and you don’t demand their payment first, you are setting yourself to be royally screwed over.
A recent talk with a friend inspired this article, and it brought me back to a time in my career when I was desperate for clients and money and accepted far less than I deserved, in terms of being treated with respect and professionalism. Demand more for yourself.