Recently, I have had an experience that left such a bitter taste in my mouth. As I sit here writing this post, I know I will have reservations about actually hitting “publish” but then the whole purpose of this post will completely be for not, and I will never forgive myself. I am writing this post for myself, and for other people in the creative, design and services industry.
There comes a time when you want to do favors for people, you want to help with people’s life events, capture moments, and be a part of it all. I get it. I do too. How can you not help but want to share the amazing gift that god has given you? I do. I try to share it as often as possible. However, I’m sure that all of us have had an experience where it makes you want to step back and say ... wait a minute…that’s not how this is supposed to work. Up until recently, I can honestly say I have not had this kind of experience. I have had friends, and colleagues tell me of people taking advantage of them, selling their product without permission, or asking above and beyond the original favor asked, or taking advantage of the fact that you are not a corporation- but a friend- who did you a service as a favor and you don’t feel the need to pay on time … or not pay at all.
I have always had a backbone for these friends. I am the first to say “Unbelievable! Give me their number- I’ll call them and tell them what’s up.” When I had the chance to stick up for myself, I didn’t. I did explain that I felt wronged, but I felt that everything I wanted to say was not what was coming out of my mouth. I know I’m not the only one out there who has been titled “ too nice” when it comes to these kind of things.
After thinking about all of this for the past couple of days…here’s what I learned and know. Even though I need to work on these things as well…
Don’t forget -You are an artist. ARTIST does not mean free. If your friends didn’t know someone who had a talent that they were in need of- they would hire someone. Why should you be any different?
Stop doing things that are expected rather than appreciated- When you have a “client” that starts to expect you to do things for them...and stops appreciating you…it’s time to step away. You have to realize that this goes both ways. You are providing a service, and you need to start expecting a little value back. Value your business and talent.
Trust your instincts and be Firm. If you feel like something is bothering you enough to speak up, you can’t back down. If it doesn’t feel right- you need to say something and be assertive. There are certain types of people in this world that always have to be right and will try to convince everyone to agree with them. They will try to make you feel sorry for them, and make you want to back down. You can’t…for your own sanity. Stand up for yourself. Don’t give in- you owe it to yourself.
Learn to say no. There is nothing wrong with saying no. Being assertive does not mean you are being rude or pushy. You can be assertive and classy at the same time. Be straight-forward and strong without feeling like you are giving up what you believe in. You are valuable. Stick up for your value. Being confident will let people know you value yourself and your business and won’t be walked on. You are giving up your time with your family, your loved ones and your own free time to unwind. Make sure it’s worth the time you are giving up.
I know it’s hard to remember these when you are in the throw of it all… but as for me, I will be standing up for myself a lot more. I value my god given talents and I will no longer bite my tongue. It’s not healthy for anyone to hold back what you want to say. When you let go of what you have been holding back, it lets you free up space for much more satisfying endeavors.
Thanks for reading…