The most common complaint I hear is that clients will not pay for every hour we put into our creations. We work out the hourly rate of what they paid versus time spent, and we find we’re earning like $3 an hour…and if you want to earn so little, wouldn’t you just go work at McDonald’s? (insert eye roll) The people who say these kinds of things usually blame the CUSTOMER for this problem – “they don’t see our worth, they don’t value the artistry, they don’t appreciate the effort and skill”…blah blah blah. It’s so EASY to blame the customer for this situation, except that it’s not actually the customer’s fault.
The easy thing to point out here is that people pay for what they VALUE. So if you as a business owner (and marketer, and salesperson) have not shown the value to your customers…well, no. They aren’t going to just hand over their cash unquestioningly.
The MUCH MORE important thing here is this:
Imagine you hire someone to build you a deck for your backyard. They quote you $500 for the job. They start work on it, only to discover that each piece of wood needs to be individually stained, trimmed and sandpapered. Then it started to rain, so some of the slats needed to be re-stained. The job they thought would take a week stretches out to two weeks, then three. Can you imagine if they came back to you at the end and said, “It took longer than I thought to complete, the price is now $1500.”…? Would you agree to pay for this, even though you and the decking person had ZERO control over the situation?
Keep that decking story in your head, then think about the process of making something – cake, cookies, whatever. Some of us enjoy the process of baking and covering but for most of us, the BEST part is the last half hour of glory. It’s in that last half hour when your ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan and THAT is what we all live for. Everything up until that point is just the process getting you to the glory moment when it all comes together and it looks pretty damn amazing. Until then you saw loads of flaws, there were lumpy bits, you weren’t quite sure this design was making sense, you were doubting your abilities. But then, when you pop those last flowers on or give that figurine it’s eyes, it’s like the heavens opened and the angels start singing and OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH it all looks BRILLIANT. You stand back and smile and think, “I love it when a plan comes together!” “YYYEESS!! I’m a freaking GENIUS!”
You, dear friend, just had a cakegasm.
Knowing that it’s the last half hour of glory we’re all living for, why the heck do we spend so much time on the boring stuff? Why does it take us HOURS to get sharp edges? Hours to split and fill and cover? Of course, a cake (or any work of art) needs to have a solid foundation so I’m not telling you to skimp on that part. I’m telling you that if you want to get paid for every hour, and you want to ENJOY your business…it’s high time you learn to build a foundation as efficiently as you possibly can so that you can get to the half hour of glory that much faster. Added bonus – the faster you work, the more you can choose to take on – and the more orders you’ve got, the more half hours of glory there will be for you.
Why are you WASTING so much time faffing about on the boring, basic, EASY stuff when you could be giving yourself more time on the FUN stuff? Don’t you want to get to that cakegasm SOONER, which gives you more time to do other stuff (real orgasms maybe, or just SOME SLEEP!!)?
And why is it the client’s problem if you’re spending that time faffing about?
The BIG FAT OBVIOUS POINT: Want to make more money, spend less time working, have no need to complain about clients not valuing your work, ENJOY what you do, avoid burnout and stop feeling like all this effort is just not worth it? SPEED UP.