Some things always come back to money.
Frankly, I think it's annoying.
For a long, long, looooong time, I refused to put a value on my work. I believed that there was some greater force that would guide me to the people who would pay me for my time and respect me for my work, and it as turns out, I was wrong.
Now, maybe some of you reading (if there is anyone out there) will say, "Well, DUH." But, I was never taught to value myself through fiscal ideas.
And, even if I was taught to do that, I was never motivated by money.
I do not make $25.09 an hour, but I haven't been freelancing yet. I've started pitching, but nothing has come from those pitches yet (simply because I only started four days ago.)
Over the years, I've had many thought-provoking instances where I developed an understanding of how many people are so motivated by money they are willing to sell other people short in lieu of respect.
One instance had someone I worked for tell me that my quality of work wasn't good enough for the price I was charging. This information was based on a customer complaint. So, they basically cut my fee in half. Later, they told me that it turned out that I do amazing work and that customer was just the type of person to complain, but they never offered to compensate my work, pay me more, or do anything but continue to pay me the lower rate.
Another time, I had a client ask me if I could do edits "for free" since they were my mistake. When, really, editing is part of the process.
And finally (although I have more stories than the three I'm mentioning here), I had a writer turn me down to help me write some other articles for a different company. She said she had "priced out" of the amount I could pay long ago.
In this moment, I realized I wasn't placing enough worth on myself, my work, and what I could be making. Yes, many of my issues were coming from the fact that I hadn't been applying at quality places. Nor did I know how to fight for raises. To be honest, I still don't know how to do that. It should come with time, though.
I envied this person who turned me down. I wondered how they had just graduated from college and were already getting paid way more than I was. I wanted to learn how they did it. I wanted to know what their secret was. I wanted to know what my worth was.
One of the companies I worked for recently had "payroll" issues. This issue had happened before, and the writers, including myself, had jumped through many hoops. A LOT.
I dealt with unresponsive clients who were difficult and clients who would change their minds halfway through a project. The only benefit to this was getting paid. Then, the money stopped coming. Then, I realized I was worthy. I put a lot of work in for this company, and still, they wanted more from me without paying.
It no longer mattered that they promised to pay in a week or so. It was more about my dignity and the respect I had for myself. I am still angry when I think about this.
As a freelancer and ghostwriter, these things will happen. We aren't in the business of getting paid every week, two weeks, or monthly--although we should be--we have to find our work and have pay our way. We are driven by things other than money. We are motivated by passion. But money is important too. And if I have to deal with high-maintenance clients for a company, I damn well should be compensated when I was told I would be compensated.
I started looking for jobs before the "payroll" issues happened, and I'm snuggled into a different job now, but man, how people treat others when it comes to money is angering.
The company I used to work for continues on a high-turn around employee rate. I stayed for two years, but I won't do that again. I'm excited to jump into my freelancing career, but I also have the ability to have a job where I get paid without worrying about when the money will come to me.
I hope that anyone reading this article also knows they are worthy of much more. Never settle for something because you deserve so much better. We all do, and if we treated each other with respect, kindness, and worthiness, we would also feel much better about ourselves.