I would re-think your hourly rate. Some times we lose business
because we are too cheap. That can change the perception of the
quality of your work. What do you think? Joel in Nyack, NY
Joel, everyone has brought up such good points on this subject, I
feel it’s worthwhile for everyone to contribute what wage they make
and why they feel it’s a fair price. We have to protect our interests,
not only as a global group, but as individuals as well.
As for myself, I live in an area which has a very depressed economy.
Anyone who gets above minimum wage is considered lucky. We have
teachers, police force, store managers, etc. who only survive because
of welfare here. I guess we’re backwards in more ways than I thought.
Our needs are minimal and our “wants” are even less. Most people here
would consider $20/hr. positively decadent. There are advantages and
Our advantages measure up in the more intangible areas. We have
neighbors who watch out for our kids when they’re walking to and from
school. Our kids visit the elderly in the nursing homes. It’s not
unusual to see friends hugging in the grocery store. We know our
neighbors and we check on them to make sure they’re all right. Our
communities pull together when a person or family suffers a
catastrophe to get them back on their feet.
It’s not perfect–we live our lives in the slow lane. Would I trade
it to have a fancier car, clothes that impress others or just so I
could have money to flash around? I don’t think so, because I’m happy
with this small, backwoods place. If I became “famous”, and I could
charge $65/hr. and up for my services, would I? I don’t know. Would
the tradeoff be my happiness and the serenity I find so appealing
here? I would have to ask myself, “How much is my soul worth?” I
respect Daniel Brush that he can remain a hermit and still command
substantial prices for doing what he loves.
But I don’t know if that same formula would work for me. Personally,
I get a thrill when I see someone’s face light up when they see their
special piece completed, and I realize how much it cost them in hours
they worked, to get something entirely frivolous, just because it
touches them in some way. There may not be financial independence for
me, but there is joy. If my work is a reflection of myself, I hope it
reflects beauty and joy, rather than simply a representation of an
investment of money. There are others who can fulfill that need.
Now, after all of the altruistic junk, I do try to go for retail as
much as possible. This pays me $20/hr. for my labor. But I have a very
small demographic pool from which to draw, and at this stage of the
game, a storefront is not an option I want. So, I plug along. I
wouldn’t trade it for big city living (been there, done that), but my
needs and wants are not the same as for everyone else.
This forum is invaluable in educating all of us, not only in
technical skills, but with practical business skills. So maybe I will
have to rethink my value (slightly), and check out those markets where
you guys are commanding your prices and getting them. I will grit my
teeth and get a herd of wild horses to draw me into the big cities.
Then I will come back home and thank God such a place still exists on
Thanks to all of you on Orchid for the wonderful posts, and
especially to those who wrote to me personally telling me I need to
value my work more. This thread has been very informative and
K.P. in WY