A common frustration I frequently hear from fitness professionals is that they either don't know how much to charge their clients or they are afraid to increase prices out of fear of losing business. Many fitness professionals genuinely care so much about helping others that they fail to help themselves personally and professionally because they are not charging what they are worth. While wanting to offer "lower rates" may seem altruistic, how long realistically can you sustain a healthy and fulfilling career in an industry where you aren't being compensated adequately for your expertise?

Most fitness professionals short-change themselves and do not give themselves the credit they deserve for their qualifications, experience and actual results they can provide a client. Or in many cases, professionals realize the value they add to their clients' lives, but are too apprehensive to charge accordingly out of fear of losing the client altogether.

Think about how much time and money you have invested over the last year in order to be more qualified at your craft? Have you spent time and money on continuing education courses, new certifications, invested in new services or knowledge to offer your clients? Your time, education, certifications and experience all make you more valuable to your clients and you deserve to be compensated accordingly.

Take the luxury goods industry, for example. Although consumers are paying closer attention to what they are spending on goods and services, recent studies are showing more convincingly that consumers are also more aware of quality and value, even above the price factor. This, among other reasons, is why the luxury goods industry has actually seen increased sales since the "economic downturn." Consumers are willing to pay more for a service or product if they believe it is of higher quality.

What you believe your worth to be is a mindset. Do you believe you are worth $25 a session or $125 a session? How would your mindset change if your clients paid you $125 versus $25? The clients you want are those that are more than willing to compensate you for what you're worth and truly appreciate the value you add to their lives.

But here is the key: you have to ask for it. You have to believe in what you are truly worth to your clients. And it goes without saying, but you have to back it up and deliver.

I hope reading this begins to switch your mindset to one of abundance: quality clients will pay for quality fitness professionals. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this topic in my next "Training Wheels" column where we'll get to the actual tactics you can use to determine your worth and how you can ask for it.