I am aware that most women were looking for advice on how to do a smokey eye for a special occasion however, I have decided to reflect back on this year and ask a very important question to all the service providers out in “beauty industry land”, what is your worth? Have you cherished your worth more this year than the past? Are you getting closer to knowing your true worth for the New Year?
I am feeling very reflective. Lately I have been asking myself “Do I really know my worth?” and “What does worth mean anyway?” This all stems from when I had Foster Fox as a guest on a recent internet radio show of mine, ‘About Face’ (www.rhinoonair.com) It struck a chord with me, so strongly in fact that I just had to blog about it and as a result I’m dedicating my next About Face show to the subject of knowing ones worth. Most beauty service providers, in fact most people don’t know their worth. It was exactly the same for me for almost all of my 20 year career.
Knowing my worth as Founder/Owner of Skin Chic Inc., Paramedical Aesthetician, Professional Makeup Artist, Beauty Industry Educator, Public Speaker, Radio Personality and Writer has been one of the hardest lessons for me personally to learn. To know the balance between offering freebies, doing charitable pro bono work and even to ask for the right and fair price for what I do can be tricky. This requires the confidence in knowing the cost of my overhead (my makeup is not cheap), taking consideration of time and travel (wear and tear together with gas), doing my field homework and matching/beating my competitors prices. And so on. This knowledge comes from the experience gained in my chosen area of expertise.
This past year I have gotten closer to knowing my worth. Do I base my worth on that 20 years of experience? Have I been doing enough networking, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and other forms of marketing to get my name out there? Do “they” know who I am and what I can provide?
I think the proverbial light bulb came on for me this past year. When it comes to knowing my worth, the past three years have been the most challenging of my career, I realized that I have given so much away. Isn’t my knowledge worth something? I think it is. It takes extensive knowledge to set up a fully equipped Aesthetic room in less than two weeks in order to run a successful practice. I have set up and equipped three rooms for free and I now feel I need to get compensated for all that work. Is that being unreasonable?
The Bible says: A workman is worth their hire.1 Tim 5:18. Wages should be fair and relative for what the workers skills require. Myself, I know that I have been around long enough to know my worth and for people to value my work, talent and professionalism. As with any experienced professional, I have paid my dues.
A casing example was this past month. I did a fashion show, pro bono where I worked for five and a half hours non stop providing make up for over twenty 20 models. When other makeup artists had left I chose to stay until the end of the show because a friend was in need. I valued her worth not just mine and in return I got valuable exposure in a city I haven’t really worked in before. It made sense for both parties and I was so thrilled with the on site picture of my work that I have used it on both my website and Facebook page. I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t known and respected the designer as the show was in an already saturated market. This was all based on knowing my worth and seeing a situation where not one but both parties benefited.
I have been asked to write articles for Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa magazine. I am thrilled. I know that this is a pro bono writing gig, I know this national beauty industry magazine will give me national exposure. I am humbled by this. I know all the work I will pour into writing a few articles (I am an over achiever), however I wouldn’t pass this opportunity up!
I think people can often see makeup artists as playing dress up, I know because I have experienced it myself and been treated exactly that same way. I don’t think people fully appreciate the work and the artistry behind the technical craft in a makeup application. Some think, “I’m doing you a favor by giving you an opportunity to do something for free”. This can be seen as insulting to a professional and, where previously I might have felt guilty in saying no I now value my true worth and I politely decline. I thank them for thinking of me and I move on.
Please don’t misinterpret this, I have donated much to charity and will continue to do, I am always thinking of how I can donate more. Just by way of an example, I have done over $3,000 worth of facials at my last place of employment (approx. 67 hours of free work). I do understand that any job I do can lead to more work however, that doesn’t fill my lipstick palette. I have learned to scale back, be wiser and make better choices for the new year. People value people and as someone once said to me, ‘Is it up to standard or down to price?’
I hope you know your worth in the new year. Happy New Year!