I’ve learned so many valuable lessons this year, one of which is simply having high standards. After moving to Atlanta, I found myself picking up any random collaboration opportunities with hopes of “keeping the bills paid.” In all of my effort, and the never-ending grind of being an entrepreneur, I learned that, even if it’s a paid opportunity, that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
It’s hard to resist a quick come up, or an easy dollar but remember … nothing good and long-lasting comes easy. Last week I sat back and reflected on the direction of my brand, Circa88; and as proud as I am of it I’m still not completely satisfied. Toward the end of 2016 and into early 2017 I found myself accepting mediocre collaborations with hopes of finding exponential growth and income for my brand. In the long-run I shorted myself because it produced lackluster content that I don’t want to live on my blog. Never again will I do that. Instead, I’m keeping my standards high. If a company doesn’t want to invest in premiere collaborations, their loss. I have a standard to uphold … and whoever is reading this, you should practice this too in your everyday life.
We have to stop short-handing ourselves in the name of “opportunity.” It doesn’t help us in the long run, and if it does, then it was never a short-handed situation to begin with. Don’t be confused, this doesn’t mean you cannot sacrifice for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but always remember that a free opportunity won’t pay your bills. When these opportunities come your way, you should really evaluate the situation before accepting a non-paid gig, whether it’s a free blog post or free work. Consider these things: will this help my brand grow? What about this is mutually beneficial? What will I walk away from this opportunity with? If your answers reflect something favorable, then you should consider renegotiating your terms in exchange for your services … but nothing should ever be FREE.
You may wonder how to renegotiate your terms. Just because you aren’t getting paid monetary funds from a specific collaboration doesn’t mean you can’t receive anything. If you are bartering your services with no payment in exchange, make sure you walk away from the table with something spectacular that makes your work, time, and effort worth it. The point of all of this to make sure you understand, in this business you must have standards. People and brands have conformed to the word FREE because we comply and agree to it. But if we all raise our standards and don’t bite the bait, then the income will circulate. Keep those standards high, because everyone deserves to be paid for their work.
Oh yea guys, are you tired of my off the shoulder obsession? Well, I’m not! I just love the way the off the shoulder look frames my body. This dress was caught on clearance for $15, and is sold out but here’s a dress inspired by my look with the same silhouette. Shop the inspired by HERE.