A friend messaged over the weekend, asking for help to price a commission. We went over the costs of materials, and the time it might take to make.
Yes, it does come down to time and money. As with all work, you are effectively making a trade in hours/materials for cash.
But here’s another factor to think about in the trading of hours: those are hours of YOUR precious time, time that you get to spend only once. If the gig in question will cost you hours with people you care about, or neglecting projects that matter more to you, then the cost of that is in play, too.
Bottom line – don’t get underpaid, but even more so, don’t get underpaid while cheating yourself out of what is most important to YOU. Keeping this in sight will make the decision process easier!
(Image borrowed from here)
This is what it comes down to, for those who have the choice — create an obligation to trade that time and material for cash (or other compensation,) or not. I’ve done a lot in the last 6 years to reduce the obligations in my life, so I can spend more time doing what pleases me. (That isn’t all narcissistic as it might sound, as a lot of what pleases me is doing for others.) I’m lucky. I get to choose. It would be hard for me to choose to take commissions if they involved doing work I didn’t like. Thanks for bringing up this tough issue. It IS okay to say “no.” (AND it IS okay to fire a client. That needs to happen sometimes, too.)
Melissa – being able to say to a client “I just don’t think our goals (idea/vision.. whatever) is moving down the same road.” is one of the hardest.
Sometimes it comes down to the roof over your head or the food in your belly.
But, if we were to say No Thank You would the doors open for something SEW much better?
It is a leap of faith every time.
It’s sad enough women are underpaid in the workplace… why do we undersell ourselves on our own turf?
Thank you Sam for giving us tools to work with and improve our self esteem to be able to ask for what we deserve.
I just watched the Sew Worth It piece on Nancy Zeiman’s program. This is timely as I am dropping off a commission piece to the machine quilter today. I have always “valued” my work at the cost of materials. A dear friend is a painter and her works sell for thousands. Thank you for helping me with a perception adjustment, reminding me that I am an artist.