The Price Is Right
  • Maggie Franklin
  • October 17, 2012
You know what's hard? Putting a price on my work.
 
Back in the beginning of my career it was tough because I knew I sucked. Well, "sucked" is a strong word, but my work was not worth the going rate for similar services. I knew it. It took me far too long to finish a full set. My smile lines were all crooked and shadowy (not that it mattered in a town where no one else was doing pink-and-white sculpts back in ’92.) I had to figure out how to eliminate lifting and I hadn't settled on which product worked best for me.
 
I had a hard time getting new victims in my chair, and once I did, it was so daunting to put them through all that and then look them in the eye and tell them they owed me money for it. *GULP* And then ask if they wanted to book another appointment.
 
That, of course, got easier with practice of both my skills and asking for money. Then, for years, I was pretty good about keeping prices on par with "the norm" for the area I was working in — except nail art. Oh, the nail art!
 
Back in the day I charged a measly two extra dollars to tack on some basic nail art. In my mind "basic nail art" meant things like a couple of stripes or wispies to avoid totally naked nails. But I quickly learned that although everyonewanted nail art, no onewanted to pay for it. So I gave awayfar too much of my time and talents just for the opportunity to do nail art at all. I knew it was time to stop that nonsense when a regular (and not so personally compatible) client came in and asked for all 10 nails to feature a black panther design she'd found in one of my nail art books...and then happily paid me my $2 for the privilege, as was clearly stated on my price list.
 
Yes. There was a discussion. No. She did not remain a client. No. I didn't miss her. And yes, I started being more assertive in pointing out that the listed price also clearly read, "starting at."
 
I still give away far too much of my time and talents for the sake of doing new and creative work that I wouldn't get to try out if I actually charged what I ought to for it. But I'm much better at deciding who warrants such consideration.
 
My job is just too dang fun to make it all about money all the time.
 

Keywords:   clients     money     salon services  

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