My friend Chris Scott wrote a post last week on the Salesographer blog about how ridiculous it is to share your list of expenses to justify your price. For example, “I charge $X because my insurance+gear+website costs $XYZ.” Chris called bullshit. I do too.
I’d like to take it a step further though. Jen and I touch on this when we speak to people about creativity but I thought I’d share it with you guys too. Here’s this bomb for ya….
Your clients are not paying you to run a business.
They’re not paying you to buy gear or tools.
They are paying you to be creative and for the experience you give.
They are paying you based on the promise that you can show up and make the work only you can make as evident by your website/past work. So if that’s true, let’s make sure we can show up and make the work we promised we could. Let’s not worry about justifying our need to make money. Let’s worry about not sucking and making work that’s worth it.
The most important thing in this business of making stuff for a living is the stuff part. If you don’t have the stuff, you can’t sell the stuff. If we worry too much about the business and too little about making stuff we will burnout. Get good at business. Get damn good at it. (Or hire somebody who is…) Get better at making good consistent work over time and putting systems in place to help you do that.
If we stop making good work, we stop getting work. That’s it. If it doesn’t present itself in the form of actually not getting paid anymore, it will undoubtedly present itself in the form of burnout.