Don't Stiff Your Small Business Friend

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Would you walk into a clothing store and assume you get free clothes? Would you walk into a restaurant and assume you get free food?

No, you wouldn't, right? So, why is it acceptable to assume you get free items or services from artists, crafters, or small business owners? We have bills to pay and families to care for, too. But when we ask for pay, people treat us like we're just being greedy. Someone want to explain to me how that's fair? Is our time, effort, and ability not just as valuable? Do you not realize how insulting and infuriating that double standard is?

I work my butt off, often missing out on family time and/or sleep, to make money for my family. I don't have set hours or days off; I often work until I'm done or my body gives up on me. I'm not 100% perfect in what I do or make, but I put 110% into what I am doing or making, because I know what's at stake. I learn to make whatever I can and will exhaust every (legal) effort in order to make extra money. I feel my skills are worth more than just "it's good exposure", "I'll pass your name around", or "I'm your friend/family/acquaintance". I'm a fairly giving person; I try to give when and where I can and I love to help people. But sometimes I just can't afford to. In hard times like these, the meager funds that I'm able to contribute are sometimes the difference between whether the boys get new shoes or clothes, whether we can afford that extra bit of groceries, or have money in our savings for when Matt's checks just can't cover. How greedy of me to ask for pay for my services!

Let's get in the habit of NOT assuming and realizing that doing so is massively insulting. Please. If you can't crochet a blanket, paint a beautiful painting, sew a lovely quilt, carve a rubber stamp, or take a quality photograph, don't downplay, cheat, or judge those who can for you and are doing so to make a living. Just don't be that person. Pay us what we're due or don't ask!