I love people who are motivated by passion. Artists especially.
What I don't love is people who try to take advantage of those of us trying to build a career on doing what we are passionate about. It seems that some people assume that since we're motivated by passion, not money, we are willing to work for free.
I've fallen prey to this, perhaps you have too. Their approach includes the "I Ain't Got No $$ Blues," and they have lots of reasons why you should discount your work, or give it to them for free.
Sure, the economy isn't swell. Lots of us are short on cash, doing without, and finding creative ways to run our lives and our businesses more economically. Yet, some people feel this means they are entitled to products and services on the cheap, or for free.
One thing I've learned is that when you discount your work or give it away people will come to expect it and feel entitled to it. They won't value you or what you've given them, won't refer others to you, and they'll get angry when you stop giving it. Sad, but true. It's epidemic and I'd like it to stop please.
Many artists are discounting their work, making exceptions, and falling prey to the "I Ain't Got No $$ Blues." I'm here to tell you that you are only responsible for your own problems, not theirs. You don't have to work like that, and it's really not helping you build a sustainable art career.
I'm learning to set stronger boundaries, I now realize that I don't owe anyone any explanation other than "I'm sorry, these are my prices" or even just a straightforward "No, I can't do that." I've learned that there are plenty of people in the world who appreciate my work and will pay a fair price for it. The same goes for you my creative and passionate friend.
Remember, we get what we focus on, so let's focus on building relationships that support and nourish us (and that includes financially) so we can continue to be motivated by passion.
All my best to you and yours!
P.S. Here's something I DO give away and love doing it: You can have a complimentary 15-minute conversation (if you haven't already had one with me). This isn't a replacement for coaching or a longer consultation, but perhaps I can help point you in the right direction or figure out what it is that you need to help build your art business.