Years ago, I was a fiercely independent individual wanting to be a self-made man, and part of that carried over into certain areas I work in. The idea of compromising my morals and ethics in favour of commercialism and selling out was such a foreign and disgusting concept to me, that I avoided it all costs. Even if financial pressure set in I could say “I might be poor, but I stand by my convictions.”
To this day, I still struggle with overcoming the “I can do this myself” type approach.
I often do things for others for free or for cost. Spend time helping others set up social media for their projects, or sites for their bands, build props for at cost or just gifting it to them, or spend my time working on something like editing or writing that’d benefit others.
I think a huge factor to this is I understand being broke, hell, I am broke myself, constantly, so I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on someone else. I want as many people as possible to be happy, though I’m well aware it’s impossible to keep everyone happy.
This has all come at the cost of my own happiness, and more importantly, progress to create more things. I can’t afford new equipment, can’t afford supplies, and bills are getting postponed as long as possible.
My time IS worth recompense, and I have developed skills that others do not have. Much as it’d be great to share and teach these skills, I have no patience for teaching either. I’m an artist, administrator, developer, and creator, and no one should expect to do these things for free.
So with that said, I’m going to make some changes to how I do things. I will charge for my time, at least minimum wage, and a mark up on items and development. I will start using marketing techniques, advertising, sponsorship, funding, and yes, even merchandise systems like Zazzle, Cafepress and Spreadshirt.
Because much as I like the idea of building things from scratch, and gifting people things, I still need to eat, drink, feed my family and be able to have a semblance of living.