Dear Preston: What Would You Do Differently?

learning from your mistakes Preston Bailey

(Photo via LitReactor)

Dear Preston,

You’re very open about the mistakes you’ve made. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Sincerely,
Just Curious

Dear Curious,

Yes, there are a few things I’d do differently:

First, when discussing money with my clients, I’d speak directly to whoever is paying. I’ve often made the mistake of indulging my bride or her mother, only to later learn that the groom or father was really footing the bill and was furious to have been left out of the loop.

Second, I’d do my best to understand a lot more about the service industry and tackling tricky situations. It took me a long time to understand that yes, easy clients are a blessing, but difficult clients are an even bigger blessing. My most challenging clients have also been my best teachers.

Third, I would never believe clients when they say, “If you do my event for less, I promise lots of my friends will also hire you.” Because while that may be true, all those friends are going to want a cheap deal, too!

Fourth, I would never — and I mean never — share my ideas with clients before getting hired. This took me such a long time to learn. I was so eager to get jobs that I let potential clients hire someone else to create my designs.

I could go on and on, but I think the biggest mistake I’ve made over the years has been not pricing my designs well. This struggle had a lot to do with self worth. But, as I continue to grow, I continue to learn the art of nurturing my value and charging accordingly.

Dear Readers, if you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

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