This is the advice that is given to folks trying to find their passion and their calling. The search usually prompts the advised to take inventory of their activities and hobbies, read a few self-help books, or even attend workshops and talks about find their calling.
Figuring out what you truly love is amazing. Deciding you will do that full-time is, in many cases, a great leap. Making a living…well that’s where ish gets tough. For musicians, artist, freelancers, and entrepreneurs I know, myself included, the transition from dreamer to business person is quite difficult.
Deciding rates for services, figuring out how much should be done for “exposure,” and not starving are far from easy. Starting out you may not be confident enough in your abilities to ask for a lot of money, hell even the going rate. Then there is the whole “bad economy” thing, so you try to understand that clients, customers, etc. don’t really have it in their budget to pay you. There’s also the fear of coming off as a “diva” or “doing too much”, when really you just want to pay Sallie and not have to live off Ramen. And even if you’ve gotten over all of those issues, this is what you love, what you’d do for free, what you have done for free, and in some capacity what you still do for free…how do you put a price tag on what you love?
When I quit my job in July, I didn’t actually think about these things. But now I’m trying to move out and uhh ish just got real. Last week while plotting out my expenses and deciding exactly how much I would need to make in order to have a certain lifestyle, I started feeling overwhelmed. I hit up my homie Michele and gave quite the motivation gchat lecture.
“It’s not for me, it’s for my grandbabies. That’s what keeps me motivated. I want them to have it easier, to be able to come to NY and have a place to stay…It’s not personal. Everyone else is getting paid, why not us? Just because I would do it for free, I’m not. I have a legacy to build and working for free won’t get me there.”
The legacy piece put it all in perspective. Yes, I have to pay dues and build, but I can’t lose the big picture.
My prices just went up.