Krysti Kercher, a graphic artist, posted her discussion in her blog post My Artwork Has Value on how she had to cut her losses with one of her clients because their were devaluing her work, and she was letting them. Good for her for recognizing it. My good friend, Jan, she did a blog post Quality Work Deserves to be VALUED and added her comments about how her clients continue to devalue her efforts, “You don’t appreciate it because you don’t see the value.” These are familiar refrains, but I’ll be extending both of their thoughts and showing how businesses and customers both hurt their causes with their view of business.
Here are just a few examples of the devaluing of people’s work.
- Having my own situation with people valuing your work, it is also how someone sees you as an individual, and they see themselves. I have someone close to me that we were discussing my newest book and they said, rather matter of factly, “Why should I buy your book, I’ll just read what I need from the local book store and put it back on the shelf!” They have an attitude of “I can get away with” or “I don’t have or want to pay for it, I want it for free.” When in reality, no they won’t. God keeps an account of all those you rob from and will extract from you what you’ve stolen.
- One factor that affects how one sees their work is how others see your work. I have a musician friend that loves to play a certain type of music, soft jazz, which I like to listen to. But of primary concern is they while they love playing this style of music, that is not the style of music that bars and clubs are buying (and it begs the question: do the customers that visit love the music bars and clubs buy?). In other words, just because you love what you do, your clients need to be able to see not only the value you bring, but they must need or want what you’re selling, and this starts with improving your product/service and marketing.
- Another friend spent some time with me sharing what they had learned and gave me, what they perceived, as “valuable advice.” Entrepreneurs and anyone with skills to get something done are like tools in a tool box, while you may be a screwdriver in the world toolbox, your talents and solutions don’t always apply. Or the familiar saying, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail” by Abraham Maslow. Same with an entrepreneur with their talent and skill sets, they think that what they have applies everywhere. Or, “everyone needs my product/service” rather than finding a niche. A screwdriver is not a chisel, nor a knife, nor a paint stirrer, so just because you share and/or sell your talents and skills does not mean that it is applicable to every situation or customer.
- Or in the case of a real estate agent being told that they not only could sell the sellers house, they’d also be able to help the customer buy their new house, known in the industry as “double ending” a deal. Rare, but not unheard of. The customer replied, “I’m not going to give you THAT much money for 5 hours of work!” In this case, again, the realtor needs to explain WHY they get paid for what they do and it boils down to one word: marketing!
In the end, a moral person, both a business and a customer, should never take advantage of someone. While Kristi was correct when she stated, “Because I under-valued my work, I failed to teach them the true value of what I was offering, and they began to under-value my artwork and services as well.” But a moral person who never take advantage of someone that undervalues their work.
In doing the research for my upcoming book I had to dig into the Bible to see what it says about doing business and I have been shocked at what I have found and what I did not know, but now do. Deut 6:18 “You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD.”
If you undervalue someone’s work, it shows your low morals. Pay people the value they bring to your efforts, you’ll be well thought of when you do.