What do I charge my very first client?

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous.


After attending your event, I've changed drastically, both personally and in my motivation to change the world. I have an opportunity to start working with a client, but this will be the first time I've worked in this capacity as my own employer (aka setting my own fees). Is it out of integrity to charge this person, given that I've never created my own exclusive program before, or is it coming from lack NOT to charge this person for my services? Thank you so much!


Hi and thanks for your question!

If you made the decision not to charge for your services, I don't necessarily believe that the decision would be coming from a place of lack; however, I think it would be coming from a place of fear.

Be honest.

Do you have a fear that this first client will think you're too expensive if you charge?

Are you worried that you're not “good enough” to charge?

Are you afraid of the sales conversation?

Are you concerned that your first prospect will think you're “salesy” if you collect money for your services?

I teach all my coaching students that pricing should not be based on logistics; it should be based on the value of the outcome your client is to receive.

So ask yourself, how will my prospects life be changed after working with me? What is the value of that?

I see many people just entering the industry giving their services away for free only because of some inner fear.

There are several problems with this.

1) People value things they have to invest in and are more motivated and willing to do what needs to be done to experience change. If they haven't paid for your services there is a high possibility this person will quit, not get their results, and then blame you.

2) When a client doesn't pay for your services, there is not an equal exchange of energy, therefore, what tends to happen is you will spend a lot of time with this client and then end up resenting them because you are not being paid even though you did not ask to be paid.

3) You're looking to find validation and appreciation instead of to provide a service. This is a dangerous pattern, and it makes it very difficult to begin charging.

My recommendation would be for you to determine the value of your service (based on the outcome your client will receive), price it as such, and be confident in your sales conversation. (My CompassionateConversion.com home study is a great tool to help you do so.)

Always remember: Transformation begins with the commitment, and people commit financially.

“Just Believe”,®

PS: The Neagle Code: DIRECTIONS for LIFE is a weekly no-cost program that is open to everyone! Each week, I'll select and personally respond to one question received via the above “The Neagle Code” page that I feel in my heart will help the most people. (You may choose to remain anonymous if you wish, with our full support.) It is my deep, heartfelt intention that ~ in answering your questions ~ I may provide you with the Universal Truths that in committed application, will set you free. Simply submit YOUR burning question at: www.TheNeagleCode.com to participate.

PPS: May I ask you to help me spread the word about this program? Is there someone you care for who is stuck, or struggling, or lost, or unhappy? Because if so, I would very much like to help. No matter their question, no matter their predicament, no matter if they've never heard of me before … if they would like to ask for help via www.TheNeagleCode.com, my Team and I will do our very best to provide that help.



  1. David, your advice has come to me at a perfect time. I am a professional designer, specializing in brand identity and book design (they are very similar: both a tiny logo and a small book cover must convey complete “stories” or “plots” about the company or the book). I have been asked to create a new brand identity package for a world-famous speaker and author, who just happens to be a great friend who helped change my life. I want dearly to give him this package as a gift of gratitude, but I simply cannot afford to work for free (I’ve been broke many times because of that). So I will take your advice, price my services as I would to any other client — the value to them — and present that. If accepted, I will pour squeeze every drop of talent out of my heart and mind into his project, assuring he receives far more than he’s paying for, and I’ll receive not only fair compensation, but the satisfaction of knowing I’ve given my friend my very best.
    Thank you, and God bless.

    • Perfect Chaz. It’s the price of doing business and I have a feeling that your friend will undoubtedly understand that. I always pay my friends for the services they provide, it’s that subtle message to the Universe that you are investing in yourself and it always comes back. Thanks for the post.

  2. I absolutely agree with you, that people value things they have to invest in. I work with executives. If they don’t look for my executive coaching service privately their company or organization pays for my service. So the individual often does not have to invest their money in my service. It really is up to the highly motivated individual executive who is willing to leave his/ her comfort zone to experience the desired change through my coaching. In my case I would have to change your statement “Transformation begins with the commitment, and people commit financially.” to ‘Transformation begins with a burning desire, a motivation that works for them, followed by the commitment that is necessary to reach their goals.’
    Yes, I think so too. Our pricing as coaches should be based on the value of the outcome our client or their company is to receive. And often you cannot put a price tag on the great and life changing results they get.
    Thanks for the inspiration, David.

    • Thanks Gila! It is that burning desire that brings them to you in the first place and will allow them to reach those lofty goals. Well said and I appreciate the comment.

  3. This article has made me realize what should have been done for so many years. It’s never too late. I want to make a commitment to this program and will have the income I deserve and desire. Is there a way to start again from the beginning and purchas the offering? The funds were not there for the first round.I enjoyed what I had a chance to watch.

    • Absolutely Simone. When they have ‘skin in the game’ they are more likely to expand and grow. They take things far more seriously since they are investing in themselves. If you look to go on the cheap you can expect those same cheap results in return.

    • Thanks Rachel. You’ll have to share the responses you get from your clients when you bring this information to them. I look forward to hearing back.