chad charles

inner travel agent

What is a sliding scale?

I almost always charge on a sliding scale basis. Almost always, I’m asked what that is, or, what a sliding scale means to me.

A sliding scale, for me, is a way in which you are invited to consider two things:

1) What is reasonable for you (in relation to your own ability to pay)?

Maybe you are unemployed, have expenses that are high relative to what you make, or are supporting many others. Maybe you find yourself in abundance, your income balanced well with your expenses.

2) What value do you place on the experience (in relation to what you received from it)?

Maybe you have greatly benefited from the experience, have had your expectations exceeded, or felt that what was offered was extraordinary. Maybe you have felt that the experience was mediocre, or you did not think that, in comparison to other similar work/experiences, this one offered you any more than any other.

Accessibility, appreciation, value.

The sliding scale is there both to make the offering accessible as well as to offer you the opportunity to place your own value on the experience, within a range, based on your appreciation.

In any case, the minimum is set at a value that allows me to feel ‘met’. It is what I think I need in order to continue to live and to offer this work. It is also what I think my offering is worth at the very least.

There is no shame in offering me the minimum of the scale. I feel met in receiving it. It is my way of taking care of myself. There is no judgement about what amount (within the scale) is that I receive. Within the range, I am taken care of. I don’t keep track of what I receive; I receive the amount without question. I am asking to be met; I am not asking for the stars.

I devote my life to these offerings. And so, the suggested maximum of the scale is set at either 1) what someone before you has voluntarily valued the experience as, or 2) an amount that I have been encouraged to establish, based on conscientious guidance from clients and peers. The scale range, then, is a co-creation.

And so, we support each other.