Monday, 10 May 2010

How Much Are You Worth?

I recently had an enquiry from a literacy coordinator, who employed my services a few years ago.

I ran a four week writing workshop for a group of students who produced a picture book for their young school 'buddy' - very cool.

I learned that the coordinator had relocated to a different school and that my services were required once more.

Only this time it was to read my book to a younger audience. Equally cool.

It's always nice when somebody makes contact after moving to a different place of employment. It makes you feel like you did a fabulous job in the first instance. Very rewarding.

I was asked to submit a price - bearing in mind the school was on a 'tight budget'. I have to admit, I severely dislike that statement. It's like one of those really annoying Top 40 songs that's forever playing on the radio - enough already!

Unenthusiastically, I calculated an absolute base price. It's the minimum amount I'm prepared to work for that makes the effort worth my while. I submitted the price and after a few days was met with a very polite "I'm sorry, it's above our budget". Not so rewarding.

This is where it gets interesting.

The old me (pre-Project Grace 2010) would have interpreted that into something like, I'm not good enough, I am not worth it, blah blah blah. I would have agonised over how much more I could reduce my fee whilst simultaneously stripping myself of any trace of dignity.

But today, that did not happen.

Instead of my predictable response, I simply shrugged and said "oh well, too bad" and started writing this post. I have no desire to rethink my price, renegotiate ways we could make it work and so on. I just don't want to waste any energy on it. Simple.


What is happening to me? Whatever it is, I like it.

Until tomorrow, realise how much you are worth and be 'not-negotiable' about it.

Grace xx

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  1. This has little to do with your post, but I recently watched a series called Rome, a two season historical seres based loosely on the ascension of Rome from republic to empire. There was a scene where Marc Antony and partner Cleopatra were negotiating with Augustus' representative what Rome ought to be paying Egypt to send the desperately needed ships of grain to Rome. Antony, wanting to provoke war with Rome said the price has trebled for the shipment, and then added something like " and I want Spain as well"!
    The down-turn in the world economy has forced theaters in Europe to tighten their already tight belts even further. Fees represent even less fairly, the work we produce as musicians. Market forces dictate prices on goods and services but despite that never sell yourself short!

  2. I totally agree with last comment - never sell yourself short! That's what I didn't do, which is a breakthrough ;-)

  3. Adding to what Garrie was saying about market prices, the problem is, there are people willing to work for those lower prices, hence why should anyone pay more? Well, there still are people out there who will pay higher prices, because they are smart enough to know that you get what you pay for. The only way to attract the rich is to find yourself valuable. (oooh, yes, quote me on that!)

  4. Too true - wise words Christine xx


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