Three Beliefs About Fee Agreements That Will Stop Your Spiritual Coaching Business Cold

How many talented coaches out there share this belief? And how much energy and money are they losing because of it?

As a full time practicing lawyer for eleven years I worked with businesses (large and small) who had tons of legal work done – in that environment it was easy to take their agreements for granted because they nearly always had them.

What does your agreement say… was the first question for clients who came to us afraid they wouldn’t get paid for their work.

Before working with a spiritual business coach, I had no clue that spirituality existed in business. The very idea of it would have been comical. Outlandish. Silly. Way too soft.

Fortunately my business coach is as business savvy as she is spiritual (she uses a fee agreement with her clients), so I saw right away how the two go hand in hand.

How the spiritual allows a coach to do deep transformational work with her clients and how the legal agreement grounds that on a solid foundation. I believe that no coach or service based professional can have one without the other.

Sure it’s possible to limp along with one missing, but where’s the fun? The transformation? The sense of purpose? The money? The chance to make a real and lasting difference?

There are three core beliefs I’ve identified over the years that connect to coaches and service based business owners not having strong, legally viable fee agreements backing them up in their business.

Belief #1: I’m Not Good Enough

What it looks like: You have years of experience in your field, backed by an advanced degree(s), and you receive positive feedback from clients. You’re respected by your peers and are often asked to contribute to exciting projects that you genuinely believe in. All while knowing your business has a purpose that’s aligned with who you are and why you’re here on the planet.

Yet you can’t quite bring yourself to step up and have each and every client sign a legal agreement to work with you.

Result of believing you’re not good enough: You deal with too many clients flaking on you, wanting refunds, or blatantly ripping you off. You’re not making enough money to sustain your business and are afraid if something doesn’t change you’ll go under. I’ve been there!

Belief #2: Having a Legally Binding Agreement is not Spiritual

What this looks like: Your work is so personally meaningful to you that it feels sacred. You support clients to make huge transformations in their businesses and personal lives. You receive immense personal satisfaction from this work and there is no doubt in your mind that you’re guided by a higher power to do this work. You have a high intuitive sense that serves you well in nearly every situation.

You feel uncomfortable asking clients to honor the commitment to work with you by signing a binding legal agreement.

Result of believing that having a legally binding agreement is not spiritual: Clients don’t take your business seriously and know they can stop working with you whenever they feel like it with no consequences, no accountability, and ultimately no transformation.

Belief #3: I Can’t Afford (or can’t find) a Good Lawyer Who “Gets” My Business

What this looks like: You know your business needs a solid fee agreement. And you know the internet is not the best place to get one because you realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. Legal fees are expensive and you either haven’t had much experience with lawyers or you’ve tried, had a bad experience, and despair of ever finding a lawyer who “gets” your business and will truly be worth the investment. It (almost) feels better to wing it.

Result of believing that you can’t afford or can’t find a good lawyer: Too many clients want out of their commitment and you are at a loss as to how to hold them accountable, both practically and energetically. Every time you sign a new client on you feel an undercurrent of fear and “hope” that whatever you’re using for an agreement sticks. Coaching in high service from this place is really tough – if not impossible.

Do any of these beliefs ring true for you?

In future articles I will delve more deeply into each belief and give you tools and information about creating a fee agreement that fits your business and aligns with your beliefs.