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Why oh why do I say yes when I want to say no?

 
gardener
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I don't know what it is, I have no problem telling my family no. When it comes to a friend, or worse an acquaintance I almost never say no.  I was at Walmart where I worked for 14 years. I saw someone I used to work with. She told me she really liked my mask.  I said thank you I made it.  The next thing I know I have agreed to make her 2.  In all honesty I didn't even particularly like this woman.  She said she would pay me, but we didn't agree on a price.  I have no idea how much to charge.  I start a new job on the 14 of April, and have tons of projects I need to get done.  I'm mad at myself. I should have said I'm super busy, maybe another time, or something like that, but no.  It won't kill me to make them, I just wish I didn't always do this to myself.
P.S. the material cost me about 2.50 anyone know what I should change?
 
master pollinator
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How to price for a job you don't want.

1. The price of supplies X 2. This pays you for the time it took to obtain the supplies.
2. Your hourly rate at your paid job X time needed for the project.
3. Multiply your total by 2. Or 3, if you really, really don't wanna do it.

Problem customers are to be taxed at a higher rate.

Call the person, notify them of the price. Stand firm. I've made some nice wages from some projects and made many more unwanted jobs disappear.
 
pollinator
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(how much time to make a mask x minimum wage) + delivery fee + material cost + local tax = Wholesale price. Add 30% profit margin on top, or use your actual hourly wage, if you want to make it worth your while.

Charge too low a price and there will be more people you have to say "no" to. charge too high and she will be offended and may not even complete the purchase.

Or just charge $5 - psychologically & market value, this feels about right.
 
pollinator
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Jen, would you mind sending me $5000.00?  Thanks, I'll PM you the address.  By next weekend please.
 
master pollinator
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What Joylin said! Here, handmade masks are priced the equivalent of $10 and up. Your time and frustration and the extra stress of doing it when you're already overloaded has a value.

Or be honest and tell her that as soon as you got home you checked your calendar and realised you are already overloaded and sorry, you can't do it, but there are pretty ones on Etsy that might work for her. This builds those "No, sorry, I can't do that" muscles and gives you practice at being assertive.
 
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There are some great suggestions here for pricing and addressing this specific situation.

I'm going to suggest the book "The Nice Girl Syndrome" for the bigger pattern you're describing.

https://www.amazon.com/Nice-Girl-Syndrome-Manipulated-Standing/dp/0470579900

The author describes a lot of different styles of nice girl and truly helpful ways to reprogram yourself. NOT to be mean, just to be strong.
20210407_165740.jpg
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Joylynn Hardesty
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Oh, dear. I am so sorry to hear that your favorite chicken had intestinal distress. Of course you had to bring her in to nurse her. I'm so sorry that she soiled that particular scrap of fabric your coworker liked.

How did chickie escape your supervision anyway? 🤣
 
pioneer
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Jen, people that I don't particularly care for get very little information from me. I would not have volunteered the information that I made it. I'd have just said thanks. If the person pressed me about where I got it, well, someone gave it to me. Information would have to be dragged out of me painstakingly slow. Don't advertise yourself if you don't want the work.
One thing I haven't heard anyone mention is, get your price set high enough to make you smile if she says yes and not surprised if she says no.
Never do the work until you get a price set, then follow that up with a text confirming the agreed upon price and delivery timeframe. Treat it like a business.
 
master gardener
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Without doing a time-motion study, charge 2x to 3x the cost of materials.  In the case you described ...go for 3x or more.

You state that you have trouble saying  no.  I realize that for the situation you described this may be difficult, but consider demarketing.  That is the practice of increasing the cost of your product to reduce the number of your customers.  Using your example, you would not have had to say no, if you have said “ I would love to!   But I would have to charge at least $25 a mask.”
 
gardener
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Jen, you're just doing what society has trained us to do (mostly as women, but not exclusively)-- and what I think many people LIKE to do-- be nice and generous and friendly. It stinks when you realize that these good traits in yourself ultimately just make your life more difficult.
The bright side: you realized it as soon as it came out of your mouth. Now that you're aware, you can make change next time you're in the same situation.

Nothing is stopping you from calling her up and saying, "you know, when I saw you I was so excited about how great these masks are, but I realize I just don't have the time to make any more right now. Still, I'm going to send you the link for the pattern (or a photocopy of the pattern) and where I bought the fabric, because these masks are so great. I hope you try it and send me a pic when you're done."
(and if she doesn't like that--- imagine. She'll call up the town gossip and say "Jen offered to make me a mask and then called me up and changed her mind! The nerve!!" I would venture anyone hearing that would be rolling their eyes pretty hard.)

The biggest challenge for me has been to stop saying sorry and to think before I offer things. And to be super firm about my no (I work for myself, and I can say without a doubt that these firm no's and maintaining my prices have helped me get through the last year+ with most of my sanity intact). I still don't have it down 100% but I'd like to think I'm getting better every day. Practice helps, and you can do it!

 
Jane Mulberry
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I really like Joylynn's suggestion! Still grinning over that one!
 
pollinator
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 I see it a little different than most others here.  The lady did nothing wrong, complemented your mask, was nice etc...
 You agreed to make her a couple because you like to be nice, say yes etc...
Make her a couple nice mask. if it takes an hour, charge her what an hour of your time is worth to you plus the materials.
It is actually fun doing crafts and you make a little extra cash. Your word is your bond, you agreed. Going forward, "Learn to say no".
Just my .02c
 
pollinator
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Now that you've already agreed to it, what you could do is choose a price that makes it worth the trouble, then call her up and say something along the lines of "I know we talked about payment, but we didn't discuss the price. I just crunched the numbers, and each mask will be $__. Is that still something you're interested in?"

This gives her a graceful way to back out, and if she still wants them then you've chosen a price that's worth it. I strongly recommend that you NOT negotiate on the cost. This is a problem all crafters run into, and the best way to handle it is to smile and politely let them know that you're unable to do it for less.

Good luck!
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Thanks for all your great advice everyone.  I laughed at your advice Joylynn, funny.  My mom was a total door mat and I promised myself I would not be one, and mostly I stand up for myself, I just need to work on saying no when I don't want to do something.
I will make the masks I said I would, and will, right or wrong it's who I am.  I think I will charge 10.00. in all honesty I think that's to much, but my daughter says that is what people on etsy are changing.  It doesn't pay me what I would make an hour at work plus cost, I would have to change 17 to 20 for that, and this person will probably pay what ever I ask. I can't take advantage of her because I didn't say no.
I enjoy sewing, and have made many masks and given them to friends and family at no charge.  I thought in the beginning of this pandemic I might make them to sell, especially since I lost my job. No matter how I try, or the method I used it always take me about an hour per mask. Well I managed to make one in about 25 minutes the other day to match my outfit for an interview, but that was not up to my standards. It looks good, but probably won't last because I didn't finish any raw edges.  Anyway it didn't take long to realize I couldn't make enough money to make it worth while.  Mostly the issue is I didn't say no when I should have.  I will try to be stronger in the future. I also like the alternative of saying ok I change 10.00 and won't have time to get it done until x.  Nice to have an alternative if I can't say no at that time.  It won't hurt to make a little money in my spare time, if I choose to. I still plan to work on no.  Thanks again.  Someday I'm going to use that chicken excuse.
 
Trace Oswald
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Jen, I hope you took my post in the light I meant it.  It was just my joking way of showing you how easy it is to say no to something outrageous.  If you can do that, it seems like it might be easier to say no to something not as outrageous.  No offense to anyone with my lame attempt at humor.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Trace I got that, gave me a little chuckle.  I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't offended.  Thanks
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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When I have been in your situation in the past, that is the type of solution that I used. It took time to realize, things that I did not enjoy making sapped my soul. Those things have a surcharge now, so I can smile at the wage. You have made a good choice.

Now, practice with me for next time. Stand in front of the mirror, and say it with me: "No, I won't do that for you." No reason is necessary.
 
pollinator
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Interesting thread.  It sounds like you hold yourself to a high standard, are industrious, follow through with your word, and have a servant's heart.  All good things.

I've noticed there's a lot of emphasis on mustering the will to say "no" in this thread.

But when I think about it, it's not the lack of a "no" response, but rather the presence of an explicit affirmative or "yes" response -- along with good character and sense of honor to follow through -- which brings about an obligation on one's time or service.

In other words, avoiding the "yes" is just as effective as giving a "no".  

Options other than "no":
-"Let me get back to you."
-"I'll think about it."
-Avoiding voluntary situations or discussions that might inadvertently lead to a claim on your time or labor.
-Delegation or redirection to another's service, product, or expertise.
-Using slower, more deliberate or formal means of communication so you aren't on the spot.  
-Body language which effectively communicates "no"

Sometimes saying nothing is gold.  
 
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