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Do You Know What You’re Worth?

Artists/Designers/Makers – Do you know what you’re really worth? Do you know how valuable you really are?

I’ve talked in a previous post about how its important to start to think about how to value your time – you can read that post here. On one hand I’m asking you to think about assigning a monetary value to your time so that you can begin to cost your work properly. On the other hand, I’m further asking you to start to think about how long a piece of your work actually takes to create so you can truly start to value your time. Why should you always give your ‘creation’ time away for free?

I’m asking you to think about your making process – the time it takes you to think, experiment and produce a piece of your art. How long is this?

The only way you will really learn the answer to this question is to start keeping timesheets and recording ‘your time’ against each piece you are making. Yes thats right – TIMESHEETS!!!! Is that laughter i hear?…You’d be surprised how many ‘artists’ I’ve talked to who think this is nonsense and that the thought of tracking or assigning time to a piece of work would ‘interfere with their creative process’. But this is just bullsh*t because then asking said artist how long it actually took them to produce a piece of work and they typically never know the answer – usually saying, well you know, a couple of days!

So why is this important – well imagine this…you think it takes you a week to make a piece of work. You are pricing your pieces based on a week of time at around 35 hours (thats 5 days at 7 hours per day) and at £20 per hour your piece costs £700 of time. You start to track what you spend time on each day and how much time you spend actually creating the item. You find that between eating lunch, talking on the phone to friends and wasting time ‘geeking’ on social media you have actually spent only 2 hours per day creating the piece but its taken you the full 5 days to get it finished. The reality is you have only spent 10 productive hours making the piece in your week (not 35 hours) and therefore at the same £20 per hour your piece should cost only £200 of time.

Now, in my experience, for most creatives, the scenario is usually the other-way-round and you grossly underestimate the time it actually takes to make work and this therefore looses you money. Say you think a piece ‘only takes a couple of hours to make’ and you are charging time on the piece at 2 hours but actually when you sat down and tracked the time spent on the item you found it took a full 10 hours from start to finish – so that would be 7 hours you haven’t been paid for.

Now I’m working on a new training module to help you with this very thing, but for now I want you to start to think about YOUR TIME & WHAT YOU ARE WORTH! What do you do on a daily basis in your working day, how do you spend your time, are you wasting time?

Why not start to keep track of all the tasks you do in your art practice on a daily basis – you can start simply by keeping note in a notebook or on your phone. Assign time elements to everything – breaks, eating, emails, social media, talking on the phone, dealing with clients and suppliers, going to meetings…and of course, creating…what I can tell you is that you’ll be surprised at the outcomes!

#youreworthit #time #trackingtime #changeyourmindset #mentortip

So I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & if you liked this post then please share it with a friend and spread the love!


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