Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is That Free?

"I am a photographer and since people are always looking for free shoots I assume that they must also do their job or provide their services for free.

I am looking to hire all types of people to do all sorts of jobs for me, as long as I do not have to pay anything. Just think you will gain more experience and I will put the word out for you and let everyone know what wonderful work you do. This will bring you a ton of unpaid work, but everyone will love you. So if you have a job or service you provide and will do it for free, please let me know, because I am sure I have work for you and will hire you in a second.

Feel free to email me with the service you can provide, when you can start and please include references.

I look forward to your free service."

When I first read this post (which came via facebook, via twitter, via craig's list - how's that for siting your source :), I laughed.  The more I thought about it, however, the more I could relate to it.

Being a Catholic (*read* "one who has guilt any time she has to charge someone for something") mom who is trying to help put food on the table in this very frustrating economy, I can relate to this person's struggle.  As a photographer, a unit study writer, a soap seller and a soon-to-be published author, I find it very difficult to charge the people I know for the things I do.

What makes it even harder is that I've gotten some subtle flack for doing it.  You know, the old "trust in God and He will provide" line of thinking.  Well, I do trust in God, but that doesn't mean that I can use that logic with the people to whom I owe money.

I have tried to put my talents to work so that I can make some extra money for our basic needs so that I don't have to leave the house to take a part-time job.  In a perfect world, I would give away everything I write and do all the photo shoots I want for free!  That would be Heaven!  Unfortunately we aren't in Heaven yet; we're here, where we have to struggle to provide for our families in the best way we know how.  In my case, that means charging for the things that I do.

So I can relate to the above ad taken out on Craig's list.  I know that many people are in the same boat as we are in and are just looking to get things for as little as they can.  I understand that and that is what makes me feel bad for having to charge for my services and products.  If someone can come up with a better way, then I'm all ears!  But the next time you're tempted to ask someone to give away their product or service or to give you a bigger discount, please think twice...that person might be struggling along just like you are!

1 comment:

  1. For the most part I got over that 10 years ago. I was confiding some business finance troubles with a priest friend and he flat out told me "The sooner you wake up and realize that you are a business man trying to make a living and support your family the better of you will be. No your business is not a ministry or mission. Your first ministry or mission is to properly provide for your family and support the Church. Once you do that then you go out and do mission work."