It's tough sometimes - especially when it's a little old lady who needs a GFI replaced, and it only takes you 10 minutes.
I charge different rates - one for co-workers I might call on to assist at a job (painters, drywallers, or just "grunts" ), one rate for "friends & family" and one for "cold" calls to strangers. It's a litle unusual, but it works for me. You might just need to find a method that you're comfortable with.
Remember, though, before I sound like we're all doing this to [soapbox]"selflessly better the world's electrical distribution (puke)"[/soapbox] ie for charity - some of the biggest complaints I've had, or have heard of, have come from "charity" cases, who seem to insist on looking in the gift horse's mouth, and complaining about the condition of the teeth.
In addition, we are a skilled trade
. How many years did it take you to get where you are now? Not to sound superior, but most customers I've encountered are primarily of the "flip switch, light works" mindset - they have no knowledge of electricity, and no real desire to know how
it works - they just want to know why is doesn't, and how much it'll cost to fix. The fact that you can install and service something they have no clue on isn't a license to rape 'em, but it should remind you that we are pros, and you can't buy our knowledge and experience for minimum wage!
In addition, your insurance, vehicle, and other overhead need to be taken care first of in order for you to be "charitable" with your time...