Apparently, I am too generous. This is across all dimensions of my personality, so I am told. My being is too "open" and my spirit is absorbed too easily by people, not all of them as kind or befitting as they would appear to be on the surface.

I am also willing to share the following: my time, however limited; my food, however scarce; my knowledge, however hard to gain; my energy, however tired I might be; my warmth, however depleted / isolated I might be feeling; my space, however private I prefer to be; my smile, however disappointed I am by the actions of others. The list goes on.

What I find so surprising is that I am constantly told to "be less," to "protect" myself more and to let others give to me first. And until recently, I have chosen to ignore these countless pieces of friendly and heartfelt advice. 

My good nature automatically influences my business behaviour. So it will probably not shock you to learn I have been "taken advantage of". But what seems so intolerable is that is has been too many times in the past few weeks and as a result it has left me feeling vulnerable and drained.

So, where does that leave me? Unfortunately, I am now going to have to wear a virtual hard hat in the studio. I anticipate it looking fashionably robust and in-keeping still with snazzy leggings, bright smile and beautiful space. 

Of course, I will be offering Mates-Rates...but to mates, real friends and those who have made it an effort to smile back into my eyes. Newbies will be extended warmth and pointed towards the "offers" page on the website. Loyal and regular clients will be given a freshly brewed pot of speciality tea upon arrival, extra minutes in their session and late-availability (as in booking window and times of appointments). 

I was told yesterday "you need to be paid for the incredible job that you do!" I really enjoy what I do and will always be thankful that I am so fortunate to smile (and sit on the floor) for much of the time I am at the studio. I make every decision and am solely responsible for the outcomes. And I guess that all signs are pointing the same way...yes, I do think now might be a good time for the balance to start rectifying itself. Business comes first; leave the lip-service on the street. 

As for the question from a peer "how strict are you with cancellations?"...I will "flex-up" to addressing that in time!

Having read this back, I seem to feel miserable and burdened that these are my words. However, at a recent ladies-only networking group, #OneGirlBand (Brighton) this topic weighed heavy with so many of the lovely businesswomen in attendance all having to defend their rights to be paid their worth. Which leaves me to question: is this "advantage" taken of a woman as a knock to her confidence or as a slight to her even being in business? I'm certain this happens to chaps too but I wonder how often and to what degree?

As always, I invite you to pass comment about anything that resonates with you in this post. But this time, I would really appreciate any tips / guidance you (or somebody you know) has found to be beneficial in warding-off the P*-takers...please?