I had been approached by a close friend’s mother to design some invitations for a personal event. She insisted when giving me the job that she wanted me to charge her regular price. I told her “no” from the start. My reason being that she was like family, and I wouldn’t charge my sister, mother, or aunt full price, so she’d get a break too. Still, she insisted.
So, the other night she came by to pick up the cards and asked for the total. I hesitated, but gave her a solid, honest quote that was under my “commercial rates” but that still paid for my time. I quickly added, “but, really, pay me what you’re comfortable with.” I noticed her flinch. It was more than she was counting on. But she didn’t say anything, she just asked if that covered materials and printing. I assured her it did. And she left me with a check.
I was conflicted. To be fair, I hadn’t given her a quote up front. I wasn’t planning on charging her, let alone full price. But she insisted. I slept on it, and after a poor night’s sleep, I returned the check the next day.
I seriously could have used the money. I could have made that check stretch nicely, and we’re not talking thousands of dollars here, but about a full-day’s pay.
Now I’m waiting to see if she just pays me for the materials (since I returned that too, as it was included in the check), or what. I hope I didn’t offend her, but, really, our little boy calls her “Grandma” — I couldn’t take that money she wasn’t planning on paying.
And that, my friends, is why I’ll never be rich.