You are worth something!
I just found this blog post that I had started writing a few years ago and never finished. I though it may be of interest to you.
I am so tired of working myself ragged and then to be told by the customer that they won't pay me. I find it humiliating, firstly that i have to ask them for payment, then that they say they won't, after they have the information you have provided them, used it and then bare face look at you in the eye and bring up a complaint or something that was never mentioned earlier that they aren't happy with. It makes my blood boil. It takes me a lot to get angry, but when I do I get really mad! I am now mad and should probably not be writing this in this state but hopefully by doing so it will mean that some of you can lessen the risk of it happening along the way.
I wrote that about two weeks ago, I am no longer mad just disappointed in myself for not having a better process. The scenario I was talking about was not an interior design project, as that I have systems and processes for. It was a design and build project, (this means that you work with a client to get the design they want, process it, then get a build contract signed and then proceed with building consent and build the new home.) Unfortunately there is a lot of work at the front end of this type of project working with architects, designers, engineers and quantity surveyors compiling all the necessary information. This is the time I spent with the customer/client. This time is not accounted for until we get a contract, so therefore I work in the hope that I will do a good job, the price is right and the clients like what is presented to them. If not, I am out of pocket and I have to deal with a situation that is not ideal for anyone.
That was how I was working, and I was quickly loosing faith in my ability. The problem was I wasn't in control of the process as I was on contract to a company and this was their business model. For me the model didn't work and I had invested a lot of time and positive energy helping people so I had to stop. This took me too long to realize and I began to think that my time wasn't valued. Believe me it is and you need to make sure you get paid for it. Don't sell yourself short, don't get yourself into contracts where you work for nothing. Have some faith in your ability and back yourself - you are worth it.
I would just like to note that working as an intern or volunteer to get experience is different. It is a valuable way to forward your chosen career, so as you gain experience you will be be worth paying for!
Look after yourself, sorry it has taken me a few years to start wring this blog again.
If you are interested in running a business yourself - here is an article that may be of use on Planning a design business.
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