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Saturday, August 27, 2011

What are you worth?

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Pricing and profit sometimes seem to be dirty words when talking about handmade goods. It's all about the urge to create, right? But what about the reality that in order to be able to create, we need to be able to sustain our business and ourselves?

It's funny--ask someone if the company or organization pays them what they are worth, and they'll probably readily admit "No! I definitely deserve to be paid more!" So why is it, when we are the ones in charge, we are so reluctant to give ourselves a living wage?

"Pricing and profit sometimes seem to be dirty words when talking about handmade goods."

I have been doing a lot of thinking about pricing structure lately. I've realized that if I don't begin pricing my creations like I am in a business, I won't be able to afford to keep creating. Making almost anything costs money, not just for supplies, but in my labor. If I am under-charging myself, I will burn out from the pace that I need to keep just to make cheaper items to sell (notice I didn't say cheaply *made*--there's a huge difference). I will certainly become frustrated, and most definitely working on my creations will become a chore--and nobody likes doing chores.

I plan on doing some research, and I will happily share my finding with you, though I know not everyone will agree with how I decide to price my creations. And that is OK. We all need to find that balance between allowing our business to not just survive, but thrive, while staying true to ourselves.

But for now, I challenge everyone to look at the hourly wage you are "paying" yourself. It may take a little bit of calculating if you haven't been breaking your pricing formula down already, but do it. See the number. And ask yourself, are you getting paid what you are worth?

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