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When will I learn to say "no"?

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Blog entry by richgreer posted 1611 days ago 953 reads 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just got a call from a friend of a friend of a friend. He would like 6 bottle stoppers that he can present as gifts to some co-workers. I’m retired. I’m done with the pressure of deadlines and keeping the customer happy. Nonetheless, I can make bottle stoppers (actually they are pretty quick and easy) and I quoted him a relatively high price. He agreed and now I have a deadline and the fear that the customer may not be happy.

My fears are probably unfounded. I haven’t had a dissatisfied customer yet (that I know of). Probably the real issue with me is that I have already made 100s of pens, bottle stoppers, and corkscrews. I would like to think that making little things like that is behind me. I want to focus on bigger and more challenging projects. I am going to have to learn to say “no”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.



26 comments so far

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3126 posts in 2193 days


#1 posted 1611 days ago

money is money. I just had a client ask if I could make some foot stools for her out of oak. I quoted her $15.00 per. I heard the hesitation in her voice so I said How about $10.00 a piece for 2. Doh just shot myself in the foot.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

619 posts in 1907 days


#2 posted 1611 days ago

But isn’t it nice to know there are some that value your creations? I know I sure do!

-- Rustfever, Central California

View araldite's profile

araldite

187 posts in 2001 days


#3 posted 1611 days ago

Worry when people stop asking you for stuff.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#4 posted 1611 days ago

Rustfevor, you hit the nail on the head. Someone values what I do. When that happens it is hard to say “no”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jordan's profile

Jordan

1358 posts in 1722 days


#5 posted 1611 days ago

I always work better under pressure but also feel insecure when I do commission work and prefer they buy what I already have – that way there’s no chance of them saying – um, it’s not exactly what I was expecting. However, from what I’ve seen, you CAN make bottle stoppers and do a great job on each and every one of them – if your customer was expecting that he might be let down with the finished product, I doubt he would’ve ordered 6!

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

View Jordan's profile

Jordan

1358 posts in 1722 days


#6 posted 1611 days ago

And Rustic – I’ve discovered that the hesitation in the voice is supposed to be ’ the oldest trick in the book’ to bargain someone down – haha, you should’ve said “Oh I’m sorry, I meant $20!!

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

View Luke's profile

Luke

526 posts in 1891 days


#7 posted 1611 days ago

Value your work! It’s worth it. Don’t give stuff away practically free. It makes all the rest of us look like we’re crazy charging what the products are really worth. In the long run you are only shooting yourself in the foot by not charging what your time is worth. People have to learn that things of value are going to take a little sacrifice. If there is no one willing to pay for your work what it is worth for you to make it( within reason) then you move to another industry or job.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#8 posted 1611 days ago

Stop that! LOL If you have made that many Rich you can have them done in a wink. Enjoy

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2330 days


#9 posted 1611 days ago

Rich, think of it this way – you can make the bottle stoppers easily, you’ve done it many times before. Then you use the $$$ you get for them to buy wood for your other, bigger, more interesting project.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#10 posted 1611 days ago

a1Jim – you are right. I can whip out 6 bottle stoppers in a wink (well, maybe an hour or so) and I’ll make some money that I can use for the projects that I really enjoy.

Skywalker – - I don’t know if you are preaching at me or at the public in general. I’m charging a handsome price for my work and I would not do it if I was not getting paid what I think my work is worth.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Luke's profile

Luke

526 posts in 1891 days


#11 posted 1611 days ago

Not to you rich, to everyone. I saw what Rustic wrote and thought man that sucks because I run into people wanting to get something for nothing every day. It’s hard to stand your ground sometimes but you need to in some instances so they don’t walk all over ya.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#12 posted 1611 days ago

Skywalker – I fundamentally agree with you. I admit that I have a soft spot for family, a few special friends and worthy charities. I’ve done several projects for my church where I only charged for the materials – but that is a different kind of situation. With the general public, if I don’t get what I think my work is worth, the sale does not happen.

As an FYI – every December I contribute to a large charity craft show. I sell well over $1000 each year and I only take for myself the cost of my materials. The rest goes to the charity. That’s my choice. However, the public does not get to buy my work at less than what I think it is worth – PERIOD. I do not permit the charity to have a “clearance sale” with my work.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 2489 days


#13 posted 1611 days ago

Heck, I’ll make them a toothpick if they are offering money….

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11057 posts in 1703 days


#14 posted 1611 days ago

Hey Jordan, right on. If we react to every hesitation with a cheaper price, we might as well not make it, unless it is for a friend. Our time and talent is valuable and oak is about $4 a board foot. I figure the cost of the material and at least double it for the product price. A stool could take 2 board feet so $15 was about right.
I have a problem saying no too- mainly becasue I love to do woodworking.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Luke's profile

Luke

526 posts in 1891 days


#15 posted 1611 days ago

I have a minimum charge in mind also. Just to think about the item, talk to them, make the project, buy any necessary supplies should cost a minimum of whatever. In my case, $25 no matter what. Unless I’m handing them a board foot of lumber. That could be sold for $4 or whatever.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

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