Most of you are aware that for the last year I have had a policy where I have graciously denied any monetary tips. This was a policy that strayed from the norm in my field, but felt like a necessary move at the time. As a service professional, tips can be a great way to supplement income and for clients to show their appreciation. So why did I do choose to stop accepting tips last year and why are things shifting now?
Why No Tips?
In the Fall of 2021, I raised my service rates. This was a reflection of my experience and education growing and creating a more in-depth and effective treatment for my clients. What I was offering was way more than a surface level relaxation massage. It was a big jump, though. Over a 40% increase. I was honestly scared to raise my rates that much. However, I did know that I did deserve to pay myself a good wage and that my services were different than other providers in the area.
In order to mitigate the cost increase, aka not feel guilty about the increase, I told them that I would no longer be accepting tips on top of service fees. That my rate was all-inclusive. Honestly, I felt good about this decision. I had always walked this line in between personal service provider and health/wellness provider. This was a great way for me to further make that distinction. I work out of a chiropractic office. You don’t tip chiropractors or physical therapists, do you? It is a very fine and often blurry line. While I do provide more therapeutic services, I am still a personal service provider and not a healthcare provider.
I have learned over the last year that people will pay you their hard-earned money without so much as a flinch when they value you and your services. AND they will often want to give you more. To the point where people have hidden tips in the massage room so I didn’t have the chance to say no.
I have had to have this conversation dozens of times. Explaining myself and the reasons why I don’t accept tips. Until one day, a couple months ago, when I realized that my real motive was to not upset my long standing clients with the rate change. Yet, both new and long-standing clients were sitting in front of me day in and day out trying to give me more?!?
The Real Reason Comes Out
All of a sudden, my reasoning wasn’t making very much sense to me or my clients anymore. It seemed like my reasons for not accepting tips had more to do with my own issues around money and difficulty receiving gifts than having any logical reasoning.
I grew up in a tight financial spot. We didn’t have much and we certainly didn’t have extra. I am learning to have a bigger capacity for gifts, money, and support. Owning my business has taught me so many things. Yes, a lot about business, but more about life in general. The biggest lesson in all of this is to deeply value myself and my work and to receive appreciation from my clients with a heart of gratitude instead of denial.
So, the “no tipping” rule has been changed. It is no longer on my website. I will no longer be graciously declining tips. They will be fully accepted and appreciated, but never ever asked for or expected. Thank you all for your continuous support in my business and in my personal growth.