Last week’s blog: How Much Are YOU Worth? Sparked something in me, as I know it did for many of you based on the comments I received through social media. First – a confession, what I write about is what I’m working on, and often through the process of writing (or soul purging) I discover new practices or ways of thinking about things that help me (and hopefully you too, because that’s the point of sharing it all) find the solutions needed. After writing the blog it has really sat with me this week, looking at ways that I have shied away from negotiations or undervalued my services. One of which came as a bit of a blast from the past. From 2001-2010 I was the owner and designer of a women’s clothing line: Greenbaum Clothing. As an independently owned label, it was fairly successful selling in a number of boutiques across Canada and the US. Starting in the early days of online shopping and pre-fast fashion explosion I navigated the ups and downs of running a business on my own. Being inside the business with a never-ending list of things to do (before I learned the enormously important skill of delegation) I don’t think I properly understood the value of what I was sharing, because I was so busy just doing it all. This lack of an objective eye impacted me more negatively then and now than I think I realized.
This past weekend my friend gave me a sweater dress from my Fall 2008 collection. I’m in the process of collecting back any used pieces to save them for niece and pseudo-nieces. Even though this dress has been worn so many times over the last 11 years it was still in incredible shape and the style is classic. Essentially it took me nine years since closing my business and nine years of maturity to realize that the $98 I was charging for a Canadian designed and manufactured dress was not the stretch I thought at the time to make sure I was covering my costs, but now underpriced for it’s true value.
The other reminder I received from this same dress, is how important it is to invest in quality and at the top of this list is YOU. We can buy two dresses for $50 each and watch them fall apart the first time we wear them or invest a little more and have it for years. (I know this isn’t always the case but let’s go with the metaphor) As we become more and more aware of the consequences of quantity over quality on the environment, let this be a helpful place to start. We need to open our eyes to the value of quality. Quality in our purchases, quality in the services we are providing for our clients and appreciating the value that is attached to that.
We need to remember the importance of value. Remember as a child, saving up for that important item we wanted so badly. How when we finally had enough to buy it, how much we appreciated it. How every time we used it, we felt so good about ourselves. The next time you are in a position to treat yourself (and I hope that’s soon) rather than buying the $20 top, wait a few weeks for the $80 one. Start investing in quality items for yourself as a means to raise your vibrations of worth. If it takes longer to get them, the more they will be appreciated. Sounds all a little Marie Kondo I know – but the purpose of the exercise is to understand value. If you are a clothes girl like me, the quality of fit and fabric jumps tremendously with a bit of investment – and how good does that feel when you put it on. The same can be said for food and technology. This is not about shopping beyond our means or not taking the time to research purchases, but rather to raise our vibrations. When we are surrounded by quality and value, we realize how much quality and value there is in what we are providing out in the world. Stop selling yourself short. You have invested a tremendous amount of time and money into shaping your career – you deserve to be paid what you are worth, and you deserve to spend it on things that are worth it to you. For me, looking back 10 years I wonder how my life might have been different had a shared some of this confidence then? For both our sakes I hope in 10 years from now we aren’t saying the same thing.
PS if you are curious, I still have my old fb group for Greenbaum Clothing if you want to check out the photos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2772685497/photos/?filter=photos