In the little section of the blogosphere that I read, this week there has been a lot of rumbling about whether occult teachers, the wiccan clergy and craftspeople (including writers) should be paid. I have kept my head down...there is no way to please everyone, or anyone, involved in this particular issue.
Nevertheless, I think that perhaps I should toss out my personal opinion (or is it a business practice?); after all, I don't want anyone to be surprised by my attitude problem (someone is going to say that I have an attitude problem).
Here is my policy: Outside of lodge, my time is worth twenty-five dollars an hour.
It is a simple policy. The only free work I am obligated to do is for my fellow lodge members and that is only during the bimonthly lodge meetings (readings, teaching, spell-work, rituals, treatments, writing, etc.). Everyone else needs to be aware that my time and energy has a value, and that I can and have charged people for services rendered.
This has not always been my policy. This policy comes from coming home exhausted from doing freebies, and not having enough energy and time for my own personal work. This policy is to keep the leeches and freeloaders at bay. If you have money to spend at the mall, or for other things beyond the bare necessarities, then you have enough money to pay the expert to do their job.
You would not ask a plumber to do their work for free, including providing the materials to do the job. So why should I be treated any different?
Oh, my religion and lodge involvement (someone is sure to say). Honey, I do not belong to a branch of the religion that thinks that there is any virtue in being poor. I spent my entire childhood being poor, and I know first-hand that there is no virtue in being poor (there is also no virtue in being rich either based on my encounters with the wealthy, but given a choice...). Nor did I swore any oath that forbids me from taking money from anyone who is not a member of my own lodge (or any member who cannot be bothered to actually show up at the regularly scheduled meetings).
I spent a decade running a business. I know the value of my time and energy. And I am not going to change my mind about its value, no matter how much people think that I am wrong. Especially those people who believe that their time is more valuable than mine is.
Ye has been warned!