Ethical Pricing

Join me and guest Mark Silver in a deep dive into ethical pricing, dissecting models like “pay what you can” and the intriguing “pay from the heart.”

Mark, drawing from his new book “Heart Centered Business,” emphasizes the crucial elements of transparency, balance, and assertiveness in pricing. The discussion explores ethical selling, treating clients individually, and a holistic, heart-aligned pricing strategy for sustainable business practices.

"I think that's when you get that really nice alignment and that sense of truth and that real belief in yourself when you realize that what you want to offer to the world is something that matters to you the most." – Mark Silver… Share on X

In this episode, Mark and I talk about his ‘pay from the heart’ price model as well as:

  • His view on what money is (and it’s NOT energy!)
  • Ethical Pricing practices
  • The elements of a successful ‘pay what you can’ approach
  • Who should adopt these models?
  • Why neediness is not a bad thing
  • Client sovereignty
  • And so much more

Mark’s Resources

Mark’s Website

Mark’s Heart Centered Business Book

Sarah’s Resources

(FREE) Sarah’s One Page Marketing Plan

(FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto

(FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course

Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book

The Humane Marketing Circle

Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course

Podcast Show Notes

We use Descript to edit our episodes and it’s fantastic!

Email Sarah at

Thanks for listening!

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Imperfect Transcript of the show

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Ep 178 transcription

Sarah: Hello, Humane Marketers. Welcome back to the Humane Marketing Podcast, the place to be for the generation of marketers that cares. This is a show where we talk about running your business in a way that feels good to you, is aligned with your values, and also resonates with today’s conscious customers because it’s humane, ethical, and non pushy.

I’m Sarah Zanacroce, your hippie turned business coach for quietly rebellious entrepreneurs and marketing impact pioneers. Mama bear of the humane marketing circle and renegade author of marketing like we’re human and selling like we’re human. If after listening to the show for a while, you’re ready to move on to the next level and start implementing and would welcome a community of like minded, quietly rebellious entrepreneurs who discuss with transparency what Works and what doesn’t work in business, then we’d love to welcome you in our humane marketing circle.

If you’re picturing your [00:01:00] typical Facebook group, let me paint a new picture for you. This is a closed community of like minded entrepreneurs from all over the world who come together once per month in a zoom circle workshop to hold each other accountable and build their business in a sustainable way.

We share with transparency and vulnerability. What works for us. And what doesn’t work, so that you can figure out what works for you, instead of keep throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. Find out more at humane. marketing forward slash circle. And if you prefer one on one support from me, my Humane Business Coaching could be just what you need.

Whether it’s for your marketing, sales, general business building, or help with your big idea like writing a book, I’d love to share my brain and my heart with you, together with my almost 15. Years business experience and help you grow a sustainable business that is joyful and sustainable. If you love this [00:02:00] podcast, wait until I show you my Mama Bear qualities as my one-on-one client.

You can find out more at Humane Marketing slash coaching. And finally, if you are a Marketing Impact pioneer and would like to bring Humane Marketing to your organization, have a look at my offers and workshops on my website at Humane.

Hello and welcome back Humane Marketers to the Humane Marketing Podcast. Today’s conversation fits under the P of Pricing and I’m so happy to have a returning guest Mark Silver from Heart of Business and we’re going to be talking about Ethical pricing. If you’re a regular here, you know that I’m organizing the conversations around the seven P’s of the humane marketing mandala.

And if this is your first time here, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but you can download your [00:03:00] one page marketing plan with the humane marketing version of the seven P’s of marketing at humane. marketing forward slash. One page, the number one and the word page. And this comes with seven email prompts to really help you reflect on these different piece for your business.

So it’s not prescriptive, but really reflective. Everything we do here at humane marketing is questioning our. Assumptions, what we assume and what we think we should be doing in marketing and question those assumptions and then come up with our own ideas. So before I tell you a bit more about Mark, allow me to invite you to a special week of events that is hosted by our community, the Humane Marketing Circle.

Expo. We’re calling it the Expo because we’re exposing many different workshops and events that are all hosted by the members of our [00:04:00] community. It really truly is an unsummit, a different kind of experience that is organized and held by our community. And why an unsummit or what is an unsummit? Uh, it’s because it’s not just about what you’ll learn, but how you’ll experience it.

Really, we decided that for this event, connection is our guiding star, and we believe in a different kind of learning. One where human connection is just as vital as the knowledge gained. So, our expo is about real conversations. It’s shared experiences in a participating atmosphere that emphasizes the power of community.

So it’s not just about getting in as much content as you can and watching hours and hours of recordings, but really attending live. You can expect workshops, discussions, and connection calls that are aimed at fostering a sense of togetherness. And it’s not just about [00:05:00] being passive, but an active member.

About sharing, learning, and growing together, the activities range from a LinkedIn profile makeover to doodling for stress relief to data analysis, the human way we have grouped the different offerings into four areas that we believe make up a humane business and they are being. Relating, thinking, and doing.

So please join us for free at the humane dot marketing forward slash expo E X P O. And while it’s free to join, we’ll ask for a small donation to attend the workshops because all revenue goes towards the fundraiser of the first ever real live meeting of our community in Sicily in May, 2024. So I hope to see you at the expo.

The link again is humane. marketing forward slash expo and humane is with an [00:06:00] E at the end, humane. marketing forward slash expo. Okay. Back to this week’s episode with Mark Silver. Since 1999, Mark has worked with heart centered entrepreneurs to help them realize that Every act of business can be an act of love.

Mark is one of the pioneers in integrating real spirituality with the nitty gritty of small business. He founded Heart of Business Inc in 2001. A designated master teacher within his Sufi lineage, he has received his Masters of Divinity. As a coach, teacher, and spiritual healer, he has facilitated.

Thousands of individual sessions with entrepreneurs and has led hundreds of classes, seminars, groups, and retreats. His weekly writings and teachings are followed by thousands of people around the globe. A fourth generation entrepreneur prior to heart of business, Mark ran a [00:07:00] distribution business, turned around a struggling nonprofit magazine and worked as a paramedic in the San Francisco Bay area.

So in today’s episode, we talked about Mark’s view on what money is, and it’s not energy according to him, how to price ethically, the elements of a successful pay what you can approach, who should adopt these models, why neediness is not a bad thing, client sovereignty, and so much more. So let’s dive into this conversation with Mark Silver.

Hi, Mark. So good to have you back. Thanks so much for indulging me again and, uh, uh, taking another round and another shot at this conversation. We had some tech issues the first time, so thanks so much for coming 

Mark: back. Oh, yeah. Oh, my goodness. If I think of all the times I’ve had tech issues or problems over the last couple of decades.

No worries. [00:08:00] Part of it. 

Sarah: Thank you. Thanks for being here. So we’re hosting this conversation under the topic of ethical pricing. You’ve been on the podcast on a previous episode where we also talked about pricing, but, uh, a different aspect of, well, part of ethical pricing, which is this, uh, thing that you often talk about, which is pay what you want or pay what you can model.

So we’ll address that as well, but I feel like we could have easily called this episode the, um, ethical business, uh, episode, because you just wrote a book called Heart Centered Business, right? And so I, I read it and I, I’m going to kind of pick your brain about certain questions that came up for me, if that’s okay.

Mark: Yeah, I’m delighted. I’m delighted to dig in. 

Sarah: Wonderful. So quite in the first pages of the book, you talk about money. And I think if we talk about ethical pricing, well, [00:09:00] obviously we need to talk about money, right? So this idea that often kind of makes it circles in the spiritual realms is this idea of, uh, money being energy and you make a very clear statement that money is not energy.

And so I’d love for you to unpack this and explain, uh, yeah, your approach to it and why money isn’t energy. 

Mark: Yeah, so, um, thank you. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a really good question. So this whole idea that while money’s just energy, um, is something that I’ve seen make the rounds, as you said, in a lot of like spiritual business circles, and it’s very often used, I think, as a bit of a, of a bypass, meaning, you know, not really POSITIVE pinpointing.

You know, as taking permission to not really look at what’s going on. Um, the truth is, it’s true. Everything is [00:10:00] energy. Everything is divine at its essence. However, money only exists as money in the physical world. And when something is present in the physical world, it abides by. The, um, constrictions, the restrictions within the physical world, you know, it’s like I look out my window and it’s, you know, we’re moving very close to winter.

All the leaves are off the trees. This is not a time to try to plant tomatoes. You know, it’s like, it’s not going to work. Um, it is a time to plant trees, however. So it’s like, Thank you. Because trees need to be dormant in order to over the over the winter. I don’t need to get deep into regenerative farming and planting, but I did not know that.

So thank you. Yeah. Yeah. You can plant them in the early spring. We could spend the whole episode on trees. I love trees. Anyway, um, so. When we talk about money as energy, it’s really important that we’re not thinking that that’s an excuse [00:11:00] to bypass just being responsible with the, with how it works in the world, you know, it’s, you know, there’s, we have to pay attention to it.

We have to account for it. We have to care for it if we want it to be in our lives. Now, It’s also important to say that the economic systems that are in place in this world are extremely unjust there they’ve been manipulated they’ve been set up to benefit certain people and to harm others and so it’s not like we just want to be.

Um, unmindful of questions of justice or ethics or morality when we’re dealing with money, but it does behoove us to really open our hearts to dealing with the real world aspects of what is needed to make money work in our lives. [00:12:00] Yeah. 

Sarah: What comes to mind is, is the, um, I’m missing the words that, you know, the movement, um, that manifests anything, the, yeah, I can’t remember the wording right now, but, but basically this idea of that, you know, if you just wish for it hard enough, then it will appear, um, kind of thing.

And I, my. Left brain has just never been a big fan of that idea because it, like, I have a hard time actually understanding it because I, I do believe money is physical as well. So it’s like, well, how, how is it just going to end up? And then again, sometimes, yes, you know, it does happen. Some weird circumstances make it, make it happen, but I don’t think you can just sit back and.

And manifest everything, anything and everything you want. 

Mark: Yeah. So, you know, as a spiritual person and someone who’s had a wide [00:13:00] variety of experiences in this world, I’ve witnessed miracles. I’ve witnessed things happen. Um, you know, You know, the, because the opposite isn’t true either. Everything doesn’t have to be hard work.

You know, again, going back to, um, the land, like, you can set up, um, regenerative agriculture. You can set up permaculture. So the plants care for themselves. You can set up your business. You can set up your money so that it’s easier to do. And it’s not so much hard work. However, in the physical world, yeah. The physical world is limited and we’re asked to care for one another.

We’re asked, you know, it’s like a one person, you know, if we have a pie, somebody takes the whole pie, nobody else gets to eat. Right. We have to, we’re here to share and we’re here to care for one another. Right. 

Sarah: Yeah. So, so if we take this idea of money being physical, so what does that then mean for our ethical pricing?

How do we [00:14:00] apply ethical pricing with physical money? 

Mark: Yeah, it’s a really good question. And I, I looked at it very closely in particular in my industry, um, around business development and business coaching and business training. And I have seen for. For years and years and years and years, I mean, since, you know, 20 years, 23 years, I’ve been doing this now.

I’ve seen people charge. Very high, very, you know, five figures, you know, 10, 000, 20, 000, um, to offer business training for people that are in the very beginnings of their business building. And when I think about ethical pricing at that level, there is no way that a brand new business just starting to take on.

Learning about business is going to be able to generate the kind of income and revenue, uh, that is going to make that kind of investment worthwhile. Um, there’s no [00:15:00] way that you can jumpstart. You know, it’s like a plant takes what it takes to. To grow i’ve i’ve watched you know over the years we’ve seen really clearly that it takes two to four years for a business to go from creation to momentum if you’re really focused on business development it doesn’t happen in six months it doesn’t happen even in twelve months although you can make a lot of progress and gain.

Um, and gain traction there, but so ethical pricing is when the investment is balanced. The price that you’re paying is balanced with what a reasonable outcome could be. You know, not, um, the, the home run, you know, people who, who do a variety of programs like to point out the stars. It’s like, oh, yeah, they did my program and they quadrupled their income.

And now they’re making 6 figures easy. And 1, they’re often hiding. The background of the person that that got those results [00:16:00] and what we really want to see is but what is the average person because you want someone who’s doing a program most people are going to get average results and are those average results which can be great average results are great are they are the average results worth the investment or are you hoping on a lottery ticket that you’re going to be the one person that gets the home run.

We have to pay attention to that. 

Sarah: I think it’s all about honesty and talking about results with honesty. Right. And in humane marketing, we talk a lot about this idea of being transparent and honest marketers. And, and so what we usually see is exaggerated pricing with exaggerated results, like the worst of both cases.

Right. Yeah. Like, yeah. And, and so, and the sad thing about this is that. Then people start to [00:17:00] expect miracle results, right? And if you as a humane marketer show up and say, I can’t promise you 10 clients within 3 months of working with me. Um, then there’s like disappointment or they’re like, well, this other person promises this and that.

And, and so it really feels like we need to have this conversation that there. Is no miracle solution. Yes. I also believe in miracles, uh, Mark, but in terms of business building, especially if you just start out, well, there, you know, the leaps usually happen a bit later, but in the first year, it’s very, it’s very seldom that you get these leaps.

And especially you can’t believe that you. Just because you invest 20, 000, you’re going to get these leaps, right? That’s exactly right. Honesty conversation we need to have. Yeah, 

Mark: we do. And the, and the miracles which can come, I’ve seen people like, you know, they, you know, they, uh, you know, they [00:18:00] suddenly get a slew of clients, but if they don’t understand where those clients came from and how to repeat it, then that’s not really, you know, that’s, that’s not really what the, um.

That’s not really the cause of whatever program you’re taking, right? It’s like, you can, you can be set up to receive those clients. I’ve seen people be on the receiving end of miracles, but their business isn’t structured to receive people. And then that definitely can create a problem. Like, you know, like, I think of a client, I think of clients who suddenly got big media exposure just because of that.

By luck, but then the people that came towards them, they didn’t know how to handle that. So, you know, I’ve worked with clients who say, oh, my goodness, I’m getting this big media exposure happening. It’s going to be coming in a couple of weeks. I’m like, okay, let’s ABC, like, let’s handle these things so that your business is ready to receive whatever comes towards you.

But, um, but you, you do need to, um, not. Pinned on [00:19:00] miracles and home runs for your business to work. 

Sarah: Yeah. So let’s talk about this, uh, idea of the sliding scale. So this, um, kind of accessible pricing in order to serve as many people as possible. That’s kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum, right? Um, I do notice myself also, um, after having had discussions with colleagues, Having strong emotions with that scheme as well, because I do feel like, well, if we’re selling that as an ideal business model, then that is not necessarily the beginning point for everybody either.

Because otherwise you’re going to burn out and, you know, if you start by just giving away your stuff for like really cheap pricing, then how are you going to get create momentum? So I’m really curious to, to [00:20:00] hear your thoughts on that. 

Mark: Yeah, I think it’s really important to understand that most of us. You know, we’ve been exposed to this, you know, large scale capitalist model, where it’s like, we sell a lot for cheap, you know, the, the Walmart or Amazon or whatever model, and it’s not healthy, you know, all of the small businesses, micro businesses are boutique businesses, you know, you can’t, you can’t.

You can’t sell 10, 000 or 100, 000. It’s not realistic that you’re going to get there very quickly. It takes, you know, if that’s your business model, there’s other things that we need to put in place. And we should talk to make sure that’s really where you want to go. However, I’m very actually against sliding scale.

And my pay from the heart model is significantly different than just a plain sliding scale. What I observed years ago with people using sliding scales was that there were, uh, Two things generally going on. [00:21:00] One was that there was this genuine desire to make their work accessible. Beautiful, beautiful.

It’s really important. There are people who can’t access services, and it’s wonderful to see people make attempts to make services available to them. However, what most people who were using sliding skills weren’t doing is facing their own money issues. And so. Instead of facing their own money issues and coming up with something that works, they were unloading their money issues on somebody else and saying, Oh, I’m struggling to name a price.

So you name a price. And when that works, when that happens, one, people do tend to go to the bottom of the scale. Um, just because. You know, struggling on their own in whatever ways, but, um, what also happens, which people didn’t really realize till I started pointing this out to some of my clients was that if someone is struggling with money [00:22:00] issues themselves and everyone in this culture.

Is if they have to choose the price they might choose not to buy it all because it’s such an emotional struggle between i want to i want to care for myself i don’t have a lot but i want to pay what they’re worth it’s too much to decide i’m just going to leave right yeah exactly exactly and overwhelmed so when we talk about pay from the heart there’s a whole structure around it because, you You do need to, you know, I encourage people to really get clear on what your own business needs are and make that really clear to people.

You know, we, we’ve just opened up a new course and, um. And we have, uh, our suggested price and we have a minimum price, and then we have a way for people to pay less than the minimum. But we make very clear that, oh, this [00:23:00] is for people who are going, who are struggling with food or shelter people that are, you know, like, it would do you a lot of harm.

This is not just pay whatever’s comfortable. Right? Because we need to be supported also. And so it’s, it’s much more of a collaborative process than just letting people choose whatever it is they want to, whatever they want to pay. 

Sarah: Yeah. And I highly recommend we’ll, we’ll put the link in the, in the show notes page to the initial, the earlier discussion we had was only about that.

And what I remember you saying, and I kind of gave this picture to my client of the, the star yoga pose, you know, take up space. I remember you’re saying that I’m like, Oh yeah, that’s a good way to put it. It’s like you need to take up space as well and take up the space to explain things. You know, usually people just say, pay whatever you want.

And then, like you said, they usually pick the lowest price. And if you [00:24:00] explain it well, then they’ll understand. Um, And that takes you kind of showing up with, with confidence and space. Yeah. Right. 

Mark: And we, and we made a mistake with this, um, in that we had launched it and we were way on the generous side.

Going, you know, if you’re really struggling, you know, et cetera, um, and people were paying below our minimum way more than was sustainable for us. And we’re looking at it going, what’s going on? And then we looked at our language. We’re like, Oh, we’re not taking a strong stand. And ever since we’ve taken a stronger stand, um, kind with kindness and with love and compassion, but including our business in the compassion with one of our offers, um, people really responded.

And we really started seeing a market increase people, people care, you know, our clients are adults. You know, if [00:25:00] someone’s paying you, they’re going to be an adult, even if you work with kids, even if your business works with kids, the people paying you are the adults somehow, and they know that your business needs.

You know, that you need to get paid, like, they know that it costs money to access services. And so you’re not going to be surprising anyone when you put out what your financial needs are around and off. Right. 

Sarah: So, so, yeah, this idea of neediness also comes up. In the book, and I guess that’s what you meant by it, right?

This, this are that our business has needs as well. And of course, as individuals have needs, but that in this case, neediness is not a bad thing. Um, is there anything else you want to add to that point of neediness? 

Mark: Oh, my goodness. So this is a huge spiritual topic. And it’s one of the core [00:26:00] things that we like to help people with.

And in fact, our one of our flagship courses, the heart of money and power is really at heart about coming into a relationship with healthy neediness. We’re all needy. We’re all needy. It’s this culture that has Told us that neediness is not healthy or not right, but we often aim our neediness in a wrong direction in a way where we’re not going to get our needs met.

And I’m, I mean, I’m needy. I can’t manufacture the air that I’m breathing. I can’t create the water that I drink. I can’t force food to grow. You know, I’m needy on so many people doing their part in our culture for, you know, to survive. And so. When we can embrace our neediness, then we can be in a healthy relationship with it.

We can be appropriate with it. When we try to [00:27:00] shove our neediness down and not embrace it is when it comes out sideways. You know, that’s when it comes out in the sales conversation or comes out in our marketing. And it has this weird feeling of like, Oh, please buy for me or I’m not going to make it. And that feels horrible.

To you as the business owner and it also obviously feels horrible to the client, but if we can just slow down and allow our heart to be fed our heart to drink in the love to drink in the care to know that we’re cared for deeply. Then that allows us to feel grounded and solid and then we can start to provide a refuge for people and our clients can then lean into us not feeling like we’re trying to extract something from them.

Yes, we want to get paid, but we really want to care for people at the same time and it becomes a [00:28:00] much healthier interchange and it allows us to get at our marketing and our sales in a way that can feel really good in the heart. Because we’re not trying to get something from people in that same kind of twisted way.

Sarah: I feel like our, both our work is so aligned. You, you talk about sacred selling. I talk about selling like we’re human. I have this visual of having a conversation with your client in the serene garden, right? So this groundedness is very much there. And, and I, yeah, I really hear you with what that means in terms of the neediness.

But then there’s also this other aspect of the client sovereignty, which you also talk about in the book, right? It’s kind of this counter piece almost, uh, where yes, we have needs, but we also want the client to be sovereign and, you know, make their own decision and respect their decision. And their [00:29:00] timing and all of that, which is not what we’re usually told in marketing or selling.

We are told to push at any cost. So, um, yeah, what’s the sacred selling look like for you? 

Mark: Well, it’s, it’s so interesting because when I, when I. If my former career was as a paramedic, or 1 of my former careers was as a paramedic in the San Francisco Bay area, and I did it for some years in pretty intense environments like Oakland, California.

And I, um. When I came into business more came back into business, I should say, I found that I was really good at sales and I was like, how does this may even make sense? And I realized that because I was a really skilled paramedic, I was skilled at doing rapid assessments and chaotic, chaotic environments where people were often scared or upset.

I was good at. Caring for people and [00:30:00] assessing that that’s basically what sales is. It’s this assessment that, um, we’re trying to get to the bottom of what is it that they really need. It’s interesting. Another interesting thing that I discovered was that in, uh. English the word to sell the word cell comes from an old English word cell gen.

I’m not pronouncing it correctly. I don’t speak old English. Um, but the original meaning is to give something to someone in response to a request. So if you were to say, hey, Mark, can I have that pencil and I handed you the pencil that’s selling. I would have sold the pencil to you because you asked for it.

That’s the heart of what we’re trying to do is just get people what they need, not force people to make a decision that’s entirely on us. So one of the, one of the keys of selling, uh, successfully is actually, and I. And I, I think this can be counterintuitive [00:31:00] sometimes for people that are hard centered, is that it’s a numbers game.

Um, you, you want your business to reach enough people that your need to have business and clients, which is totally legitimate. Of course, we need business and clients doesn’t put that pressure on any one individual person that you’re talking to. You can’t really help it so much and it takes a lot of spiritual work and heart soothing in the beginning of business because you don’t have such a wide network yet.

You know, to not put that pressure, but as a business develops part of what happens is that. You naturally start to gain a larger audience i mean you work towards it you develop it you put things in place that help grow the audience and i don’t mean tens of thousands of people i just mean hundreds of people or maybe a couple thousand that your business is reaching.

So that when you have an offer, there are people that are naturally ready to [00:32:00] step forward and you’re not putting pressure on people that aren’t ready. And you can easily in your heart, give people space when they’re not ready. 

Sarah: Yeah, that’s a really good way to, to put into perspective why we, I don’t, I’m not a big fan of the word audience, but in this case, it makes sense, right?

Why we need our work to reach. Several people, not just the ones that we talk to, and then we feel like we have to push our services onto them. So, so to me, it’s always been such a gift when I put out an offer and then people resonate with that offer and come to me, right? That’s such a more natural way of, of then having this, uh, humane, uh, gentle sales conversation.

Mark: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I’ll tell you why I. Do you like the word audience? Um, I think that, and there may be other words. I’d be interested to hear what your [00:33:00] language is around it, but audience for me has an element of honesty about it, you know, so for instance, heart of business, we reach thousands of people, you know, our emails.

When we send out our Wednesday email, or if I’m on social media, there’s thousands of people I don’t have, I have a warm relationship and anyone who steps forward to talk to me, we have a warm connection. But I don’t have an in, we do as a business. And for me as a, as the, as the head of the business, I don’t have a warm, uh, I don’t have an intimate.

Relationship with each person on the list and, um, I care, obviously, you know, we care. It’s not to say we don’t care, but until someone steps forward and wants to have a deeper relationship, you know, joins our learning community or joins a course or something, then it becomes 2 way relationship. And until then, it really is a relationship.

With an [00:34:00] audience, um, with, uh, you know, that’s more or less a one way communication, unless someone chooses to reach out and email me, which I always, I mean, I love to get those messages, but the truth is the vast majority of people don’t. So, 

Sarah: yeah, no, and I get that. I think it’s, it’s, it’s more the. Again, it’s one of those buzzwords that has gotten a bad reputation because once you unpack the word, yeah, that’s what the word means, right?

And there’s nothing bad with that word. But the problem is that, um, the guru marketers, you know, they tell you to scale your audience and grow. And so it becomes this negative thing where, again, we make. People feel like they have to have this giant audience and, you know, not everybody wants to have the same kind of business module like you do, or some of the other, um, marketers do.

And so that’s why to me, when I work with one on one coaching clients, for [00:35:00] example, they’re like, I don’t have an audience. What is an audience? Right. And so when I explain it to them, what it means, then. Then they get it, right? So it’s all a matter of making sure that we speak the same language and understand 

Mark: each other.

It’s so important because these words do get really twisted. 

Sarah: Yeah, yeah. Wonderful. Well, let’s come full circle and come back to pricing. Um, any kind of, um, thoughts, actions that you’d like our listeners, watchers to, to take and just to. Go deeper into this ethical pricing. 

Mark: Um, I think so. Arriving at a price is a little bit of an alchemical process.

Um, you know, you need to have some knowledge. Like, I really encourage people to figure out what are your financial needs? You know, what are the needs of the business? You know, what is it? What is a price that a That you don’t [00:36:00] have to be overwhelmed by clients in order to make a living and at the same time we need to be aware of our somatic body of our of our heart resonance because especially when we’re newer in business i like to see people prioritize getting energy flowing through their business as opposed to like sticking to their guns and quote unquote charging what they’re worth which doesn’t make any sense that phrase doesn’t even, You Make any sense.

Um, and so oftentimes people begin, you know, we encourage people like, what is the price that you feel in your heart, in your body? You can say without shaking that you can put out there and feel really solid about and feel comfortable welcoming people in, even if it’s lower than what you really need.

Because what happens is, is that yeah. You know it’s it’s it’s never only the price that’s keeping people from saying yes [00:37:00] there’s all these other pieces that need to be looked at in terms of how are you communicating and are you reaching the right people and you know and a lot of other things and. If all of those things are true, you know, and you get all of those things in alignment, then finding the price feels resonant in your heart.

Even if it’s lower, we’ll start to get the flow going if your business is newer and you don’t have a lot of flow. And so, um, and then that builds up your container. You start to go, Oh, I like working with clients. Oh, I’ve gotten to practice the sales conversation. I’ve gotten good at that. Oh, I like, I see that my offer is working and I’ve managed to tweak it.

And once those things happen, generally, we start to feel comfortable at a higher price at a price that may be, you know, more sustainable. On the other hand, yeah. There may be people who have been in business for a while, and [00:38:00] they’re actually not charging enough. And that’s part of why their business is struggling.

And, you know, and I’m talking about ethically in terms of being in alignment with themselves. We, I, I’ve had clients who said, you know, I’ve learned from this person, they’ve been doing it for 40 years, they’re a master, but they’re only charging this much. And so how can I charge more than them? And I, I often say, you know, well, they’re, you know, they may be really good at what they do, but maybe they haven’t worked on their money, money issues, maybe their pricing is stuck in a somatic memory from the 1980s instead of, you know, present day and, um.

And a lot of times people in those positions don’t realize how they’re affecting everybody downstream. And so there’s like an ethical need to embrace sustainable pricing, you know, sustainable pricing for the business owner. I think ethical pricing. We often look at, okay, are we [00:39:00] doing harm to the client?

And that we do, we need to pay attention to that. But I also, you know, Notice that a lot of, uh, people that we work with see the systemic injustices, see the ways that people are struggling. And I’m saying, and I like to tell people, you cannot make up for systemic injustices on your own back. It needs to be a collective response and, um, and often our economic, economic system is asking, you know, exactly the people who shouldn’t be giving yet more free labor, you know, women, people of color, um, queer folks, people who are disabled.

Always the good people, right? Right. The people, the people who are, who are already being taxed by the system, who are already being asked to give more and to do more. And. These folks, and, you know, you need to have, um, sustainable pricing. 

Sarah: [00:40:00] Yeah, I’m so glad you brought up this other side, which I, yeah, I truly believe in both sides and I do, I kind of see the same thing happening as in the sustainability field where there’s so many good people, you know, putting.

Themselves and, and, and their work into making these changes that we need to make, but they’re not taking care of themselves, right? They’re burning out in masses and, and that is not humane, uh, either. And so that that’s not helping anybody. And so it’s the same for the, for the humane business owner. Well, we need to actually first have you take care of yourself.

Uh, once you are sustainable and you feel like I’ve taken care of myself without working day and night, right? A humane best business, in my opinion, is a business where you do actually have time to be human. We need to have this. Time to [00:41:00] to, yeah, create spaciousness for being human again, which we have, you know, forgotten how to do.

You’re talking about, you know, um, uh, plants and things like that. Well, we don’t do that anymore because we’re working all the time. But, um, so, so, yeah, I could go go on and on about this. This is like. One of my passion topics right now, but it’s so true that we need to listen to, to both of these things.

Yes. We want to be ethical towards others, but also towards ourselves. 

Mark: Absolutely. Yeah. Well, and I think it’s important for most people to, you know, people come into the field seeing, Oh, Hey, you know, come into their business thinking, Oh, I want to do this. You know, I want to make it accessible. I want to, you know, And I’d like to remind folks that most businesses, the business model that they’re ultimately going to be successful with is not a business model that is accessible when they’re in the very beginning of their business [00:42:00] and, um, you know, our pay from the heart model for our learning community.

I couldn’t even even created the learning community back in the beginning of our business. I didn’t have the material created. I didn’t have the solidity and the knowledge and the clarity that I have now on how to help people without having my hands directly on their business, you know, 1 to 1. And so it’s quite a natural progression to, um.

Start with getting the business on sound footing and then as you’re, as you evolve and as you gain knowledge, and as you get clear on your work and your body of work, then to start to think about how can I shift this business model, not only to make it easier for me, but also to meet some of the goals I have around making it accessible to others.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s a good strategy. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Mark. Why don’t you tell people where they can find. About [00:43:00] you and also your book and maybe tell us about who the ideal reader is for your book as well. 

Mark: Yeah, thank you. Well, I mean, we live at heart of business dot com, uh, you know, if you’re interested, you know, you may want to just start with our email list and make sure that, you know, I, I’m, I’m actually who I say I am and that the.

Stuff that’s coming out is consistent, you know, and it make and it makes sense on practical on practical level. Um, you can on our homepage if you scroll down, uh, uh, get an excerpt from the book, um, to read the 1st chapter and to see the table of contents. And, um, again, that’s a good way to get it. Get a sense of it.

Um, it’s interesting when you write a book, it’s definitely for, you know, heart of business. We specialize in working with micro businesses, which is people that are self employed up to, you know, maybe a double handful of people involved in the business, you know, from [00:44:00] people that are just trying to replace the professional salary all the way up to, you know, small businesses that might be struggling.

Yeah. Making high six figures or low seven figures. That’s kind of our range. Um, but I’ve been told by a lot of people that work with much larger companies, that the book actually applies very beautifully to people working in large corporations. And, um, um, and, uh, and so, yeah, um, we’re just trying to get as much support.

I’m really grateful. You’re doing the work that you’re doing, Sarah, because, um. We need as much love in the realm of business as we can get. There is so much healing and so much change that’s needed, uh, to, um, undo the damage and to have a much more humane, much healthier, much more heart centered approach, uh, to being in business in this world.

Sarah: For sure. Yeah. Thank you. I [00:45:00] always have one last question, Mark, and that’s, what are you grateful for today or this week? 

Mark: Oh, I am so grateful for where we live. Um, I get to, I know a lot of people don’t have access to this and I’m just grateful to have access to, um, the woods and, uh, and the land around our house where we can grow food and where we can walk the dogs and just be in connection with nature.

And it’s just, um, it’s just a, it’s a balm on my soul. 

Sarah: Hmm. Wonderful. I’m grateful our internet connection worked for this conversation. 

Mark: Yes. That too. That too. 

Sarah: Thanks so much for hanging out, Mark. 

Mark: Yeah. Thank you for having me.

Sarah: I hope you got great value and insights from listening to this episode. You can find out more about Mark and [00:46:00] his work at heartofbusiness. com. And of course, go over to heartcenteredbusinessbook. com to get a free excerpt of the book and some other information and of course, also links to buy the book. If you are looking for others who think like you, then why not join us?

During the week of December 4th to 8th in our community, we’re hosting an expo. We call it the Humane Marketing Circle Expo, and we’d love to see you there. At the expo that is hosted by our community members, we prioritize connection as a guiding principle. This means you’ll find engaging workshops, intimate discussions, study groups, and even a walk in nature.

We believe in the power of a Collective wisdom, learning together and creating a truly participative atmosphere. The sessions are curated into four themed categories, being, relating, thinking, and doing, and these [00:47:00] are all addressing spectrum of topics that engage both our left and right brain, our masculine and feminine energies.

So would you like to be part of that? Well, go over to humane. marketing forward slash expo and join us for this week of Humane Business Offerings. It’s free to join, and we just ask for small donations to attend the workshops and the raised funds all go towards our first live event of the community in Sicily in May, 2020.

You find the show notes of this episode at humane. marketing forward slash H M 178. And on this beautiful page, you’ll also. Find a series of free offers, the Humane Business Manifesto, and the free Gentle Confidence mini course, as well as my two books, Marketing Like We’re Human and Selling Like We’re Human.

Thanks so much for listening and being part of a generation of marketers who cares for yourself, your [00:48:00] clients, and the planet. We are change makers before we are marketers, so go be the change you want to see in the world. Speak soon.[00:49:00] 

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