Leonid, in essence I agree with you, but reality is a lot tougher.
I remember watching a movie The Last American Virgin. While the
movie is basically idiotic, there was a short monolog, which was very
instrumental in my decision making. It goes like this:
" what the f. k is the most important phrase in American english.
The phrase gives one freedom ! And freedom brings opportunity ! "
I started my business not because I wanted to, but because I had no
choice. I was lured from Tiffany by a very attractive offer, which
turned out to be a scam. There was a watch manufactures who is no
longer in business. I was offered position of foreman of nonexistent
jewellery shop, that I was suppose to create.
To make the long story short, the owner’s son was getting married
and couple of managers wanted to give a nice present. But instead of
buying one, it was much cheaper to hire a dupe/jeweler to make one
under the guises of starting jewellery shop. My first and the last
order was a wedding parure. When it was finished, I was told that
plans have changed and I should clear out the premises.
In my job search afterward, I discovered that having Tiffany on
resume is more of a millstone around one’s neck than a benefit. Some
could not understand why I left Tiffany. Others had ideas that the
least of my skills should be walking on water and etc. So, I realize
that if I wanted a job, I had to create it myself. My childhood
friend was goldsmith as well, so we started a business as jewellery
By the time we were done with all the logistics of starting a
business, we were so broke that a church mouse was wealthy in
comparison. We took any job that was offered, - engraving baby
bangles for 50 cents a piece, pave for 75 cents a stone, and so on.
I quickly learned that jewellery business was like swimming with
sharks. Slightest hesitation and you are eaten alive. We had a lot of
work, but we could barely pay rent, and when I tried to negotiate
better prices, I was told that it is impossible right now but may be
next year. So I said " what the f. k " If I am going to starve I can
do it watching TV and not working myself to death. I have promised
myself that if I ever touch gold again it will be on my own terms.
Nothing in life is easy. I know it very well how scary the prospects
of not been able to pay one’s bills are.
But there must be a realization that no matter how cheap one is
willing to work, someone will always try to make him/her work even
cheaper, and it never stops unless you put your foot down. Look
around yourself what people pay to other professionals. Why
goldsmiths think that they deserve less ? Just because jewellery is
not a necessity ? But it is nonsensical reasoning. Granted, not
everybody can afford fine jewellery, but so what? Not everybody can
afford fine wine either, but I do not see fine vineyards lowering
their prices. Luxury items are never on sale. Where this idea that
jewellery should be priced so everybody could afford it, comes from
? When I worked for Tiffany, they paid for our clothes. We were
reimbursed 90% no matter how expensive it was. The only requirement
was to wear it to work. Do you know why they were doing that ? They
wanted us to look like goldsmiths.