This is a constant dilemma for many of us in the creative industry.
When you’re a creative who’s just starting out, asserting your confidence and stance on the internet can be one of the more challenging feats to overcome. And in an occupation where building relationships with people is key, it can be especially difficult to ascertain the thin line between business and personal benefits. It’s an age old tale that everyone knows; everyone in this world is looking for handout in some capacity.
And it’s time for that sh*t to stop.
The relationships you make with other people in this creative business exists not to benefit the other person, but to benefit YOU in the long run. Giving into your “guilty” feelings of sending over an invoice with a dollar amount in the hundreds will never help you in the short or long run. Which brings me to my daily read for today:
Stop being afraid to ask for payment for your services.
Whether you’re an artist, musician, or writer, it’s time for you to realize that you too, have to make a living for what you do. Being afraid to ask for what you deserve for providing your talents will only get others to the top, while you’re sitting back struggling to buy dinner for the rest of the week. It’s completely unfair to subject yourself to that kind of downplay when everyone else is essentially taking advantage of you and craft.
This reality check hit me harder than the punch heard around the world recently. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself busier and busier with meeting deadlines for people that needed a vareity of writing done. While building a name for myself in this incredibly competitive industry and doing side jobs such as writing press releases and media kits for clients and companies, I’ve found that I was relunctant to charge my friends for the same services that I provide for bigger outlets. It wasn’t till I found myself busier than ever, with almost no money to show for it, that I realized that I was afraid to charge my industry friends – all because I felt bad for their pockets. And when a very good friend, uttered the single sentence “You have too much heart D.HowE” to me, my attitude towards to the issue immediately changed.
At some point, you have to understand that while you’re always thinking of others, those same people are only looking out for themselves. The time has come for you to learn to be just a bit selfish when it comes to your craft and not apologize for it. Being afraid to ask for payment for services rendered is just bad business at the end of the day – and while you may feel that in doing so may harm your reputation and friendships, it’ll in fact boost your respect levels. I’m not saying that you have to be a demanding tyrant when it comes to the touchy subject of money, however if you expect to make it anywhere, you have to let go of your fear of hurting people’s feelings.
Remember that your business is your baby; for which you have to nurture. Do your research and see what you should be charging for your practices and learn to build your confidence. And if someone decides that what you’re charging is unfair, negotiate, but never give in, regardless of your friendship. At the end of the day, it’s business – never personal. #GetYours will always be in effect.