We were watching season 3 of Mad Men last weekend (I'm hooked on that show) and I was fascinated with the conversation 'Don Draper' had with 'Conrad Hilton' in one of the episodes. I love this show because there's so much intelligent dialogue. Anyway, here's how the conversation went:
And Don replies "I think you wouldn't be in the Presidential suite right now if you worked for free"
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I analyze everything all the time and one thing I think about a lot is how much we take the knowledge that creative people have for granted. Where does this apply in your life? Does this happen to you too? Moms (of course) are a prime example.
I get emails everyday with questions and photos, readers hoping for a 'freebie'. They think "She'll take one look at my house and be able to tell me what to do in an instant". Many times this is absolutely correct but it has taken me 10 years and thousands of consultations to be able to do that. I can instantly visualize your house in a 100 different colours, take everything; the bad, the good, the ugly and the pretty, into consideration all at the same time, and tell you what is bothering you about it. And, this is my profession, I have to charge for my creative opinion because if I didn't, I couldn't even afford to spend the time that it takes to write this blog. Frankly, I'd be doing something else.
And in all fairness to those that ask, I have a confession. In the Spring when I thought I was about to become a homeowner, and I started thinking about the kitchen I was about to inherit and all the things that needed to be done, I actually caught myself thinking of a way to get a kitchen designer friend to come over and give me free advice on the best layout the new kitchen would have.
So you see, I am guilty of the same thing, I don't think there is one person that can't say they at some point have asked for something for free. Just know that unless the answer is so easy I can't resist responding (because it takes me 2 seconds) you will receive a friendly note back saying "Here are my rates, I hope you understand this is what I do".
You have to admit, Don's answer was brilliant, because it's true. As the Creative Director of an advertising firm, he sells the ideas in his head (just like designers), different from Hilton who sells rooms and meeting space.
Okay, so now that we're on this topic, I had to show you this cartoon which is so funny and true by Hugh at Gaping Void:
"In today's 'free' economy, we have become so used to getting things at no apparent cost to us, that many people actually start to believe that companies doing work for nothing is sustainable. At the end of the day, the sad fact is that money does need to change hands at some point because the landlord, electric company, grocer, needs to get paid, and, even businesses with apparently low cost business models have to live as well." Hugh
ps. I'll post on my True Colour Expert Training this past weekend shortly and I will set another date, I am getting heavy pressure to take this workshop on the road so I'm working that out too!
Is Hiring a Designer a Luxury or Necessity?
The Vendor Client Relationship - A True Story
Do you Dream about Decorating your House?
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