Know your worth ...

Yesterday, I took a break from the studio and watched the TED Talk "Know your worth, and then ask for it:
A short pep talk on understanding your worth in business.

The phone rang. And, then it all came unstuck. A little old lady asked, could I make a card for a very special person in her life, her doctor, who had changed her life entirely and was moving on to greater achievements and she want to say a proper goodbye with a gift and a card. "of course I can, I'd be more than happy to help, when do you need it by?", oooo tomorrow, sure, no problem.  I told her I would move my schedule around a little to slot it in. This was really not a problem as I am in the studio on body-of-work building schedule this week.  I told her my work was very specially crafted high-end of the market commissions (TED Talk talking) and the price would be between $30 to $50.  Oh my I could hear her fainting. I told her if she went into any newsagent the cards would be up around $8 - $10.

"Oh no I didn't expect it would cost that much" she said (story of my life).

Then the cracks started to appear. "Well maybe I could make a really simplified card for you for about $20" and I asked her to think about it and ring me back if she wanted me to go ahead. She rang back in about 10 minutes wanting me to make the card ... but no more than $20.

So I spent nearly two hours on the sweet card and envelope from scratch, I spent twenty minutes with her on the phone, I spent at least ten minutes emailing back and forth. And now I am waiting for her to turn up to pick up the card. Waiting, waiting, waiting ...

I should feel good, little old lady, I helped her out but I feel shitty.

I am going to check out what sort of car she is driving!!!

Now of course I have met the lovely old lady who has a tremor and who wanted a lovely card created because she can no longer write. We sat and chatted all things re. tremors, parkinsons, neuroplasticity and children.  How do I feel now? Sorry I said I felt shitty.  :-)

Back to the studio.


ronnie said…
I know exactly what you mean G -- and its one of (but not the only!) reasons I just can't do any commissions - and not just with calligraphy. When faced with similar circumstances - I actually just donate my time/materials - I've found this saves me feeling dreadful (because I've never found a magic number that makes it feel ok -- either I'm shortchanging myself or them or BOTH --- and then we ALL feel shitty!) ---- if its not a special case (like this one --- and yeah -- I'd have a soft spot for a Little Old Lady with a tremor too) then I give them details of someone else who is better able to handle these things (and you know who that is :D )
Gemma Black said…
And I thank you for that Ronnie! :-)
Anonymous said…
Your worth increased ten fold by your act of giving. That alone makes you worth more than your weight in gold.
Cathy Sayer said…
I read your post earlier in May and then had a similar experience this week. An elderly man wanted to give a mate a photo of the Giles Gym at Coogee from 1911. Would I write on it for him. I thought of your story about David Jones and agreed to a payment of a cup of nice coffee. What the heck, I needed a coffee and I can't take the money with me.
Gemma Black said…
Perfect Cathy. I think these moments make it all worthwhile. Thank you for sharing. x g

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