New practice (long message)

Lisa Heft lisaheft at
Tue Feb 13 21:40:14 PST 2001

György --

I am so very proud of you and inspired by your energy,
passion and commitment.

I know you are already the *best* person for Open Space.

Just remember, as others have said, that it is really
perfect for you to read a book and try it.  Just jump in.
You will never fall.  Besides, we will be present all around
you, sending you good thoughts and helping you with
everything you ask for.

And my mother is from wonderful Magyar stock, so I tell you
we should cook together one day.  ;o)

> I am Hungarian, living in Hungary and having been participated in the first
> ever OSonOs last November.

What a wonderful thing.  I read Michael P's notes each day
with much appreciation and excitement.

> I could never ask money for helping someone, because it is not MY energy
> (and I am not professional enough, and it is very difficult, if I really
> helped.)

I feel so much the same as you.  But I have changed
(temporarily) as I must be able to pay for my own living
expenses and I was giving so much away for free.  I feel
very strongly that information is not to be owned, it is to
be shared.  And that as everybody is connected, my role in
life is to act upon that feeling of connection and to share
and grow and help strengthen others and to believe in them
and ... well, I could go on.

The thing is, I want to have people who can afford it pay
for the people who cannot, because bringing the training or
the facilitation to people costs me money.  I live and work
in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the cost of living is
insane -- it is unreal.  That is, until the bills come
in...   ;o)

There is also this very weird thing in the Bay Area that
Harrison also mentioned: very rich people with big jobs
somehow want to pay money so they feel they bought
something.  They don't live in a world of sharing.  So I see
that as an excellent opportunity to support those with less
income.  With a training in a professional space, with a
good lunch, and with the ability to buy books, should they
wish, even if they do not have the money.

I also made a promise to myself that my work would reflect
my personal feelings about life -- that there would be far
less separation between what I feel I should do as a
contribution and what I do as work.

> The question: how do you quote prices to the clients. Is it a daily based
> fee, or something else?

For clients -- by which I mean organizations that want to
hire me as a consultant or facilitator, I do very much what
the two fabulous Michaels do.  I especially like that way
they have about educating people what goes on before and
after an Open Space, should they choose to hire us.

For trainings --
As far as including participants in my training: here is an
example of one of the messages I sent today to one woman who
works at an NGO. In her response she said "I shall see if we
may one day have the budget to do this".  I send my response
to these messages in private, because I feel it is each
person's responsibility to ask the questions and indicate to
me their interest, needs and abilities.  And remember, I am
here in California, which may be oh so very culturally
different than your region.  But we both work with NGOs and
low income individuals, you and I.  And we both hate to ask
for money.

- - - - -

"Please emphasize with them that no one is ever turned away
for lack of funds.  If they have the budget, or even if they
do not -- just ask them to pay as much as they comfortably
can.  It is more important to share information, tools and
talents in our community and our world, no?

And if they like their experience they can tell others who
will be able to pay us more money, or they will help spread
the word about our workshops on their mailing lists or at
their collaboration meetings, or they will tell
organizations that will want to hire me, or they will invite
me to be an observer for one of the open spaces that they
will one day hold, or in the very least, they will tell me
stories of how they come to use and share this method.

All of the above will make me very rich indeed."

and then I thought further and sent this message soon after:

"PS: I recommend not thinking of discounts or levels of
payment as a group.  Let each person contact me individually
to discuss what they are comfortable paying.  Open Space is,
as we say it, passion bounded by personal responsibility.

You'll find out when you come play with me..."

- - - - -

Okay, some other capitalists think I am crazy.  But I
haven't ever damaged anyone by being my silly
least I don't think so...

I so often work with prison inmates, young people living on
the streets, new little NGOs which are only comprised of
volunteers, faith communities... I want to give everything
away.  But perhaps ;o)  when I make my millions off the fat
guys I can give everything else away as is my dream....

The other thing that I have found, is that when you help
people see this training or experience as professional
development and something with which [I] will help them on
their resume / CV, I feel I am reminding them that they are
indeed professional, and skilled, and amazing, as well.

PS: I have been part of boring staff ;o(   as *well* as
lunatic staff  ;o)  and I by far prefer the lunatics.  I
feel I am among my own people....

Take care, and please do continue letting us know if there
is any way we can help and support you,


Lisa Heft
Berkeley, California, USA

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