Discover how Kathy Webster, dog portrait artist and illustrator at Dotty Dog Art finally started charging her worth.
“I love dogs and I love painting dogs, that’s what I do. When I first met Nadia, my business was a very busy business. I literally worked every hour. I spent many hours replying to numerous enquiries and painting many lovely dog portraits.
But for all the hours that I put into my business I wasn’t earning very much money (at all!)
I had thought that I needed to be busy and that people somehow deserved my time and skills for free as I felt so flattered that they had even asked me to paint a portrait for them!
I thought it was going well as I was busy and always swamped with enquires and orders. But, financially, things were not good. In fact, they were poor, very poor.
I love my business and I’ve always loved it and feel very lucky to be able to run my own business around my family commitments. BUT because I was working so many hours on my business my work/life balance was getting hit hard.
I almost felt embarrassed to charge people as I was clearly doing something that I loved doing, so how could I charge people for me painting their dog for them, when I loved painting so much?
Another issue I struggled with was, time management.
I’m a one-man-band and felt the pressure to be good at everything.
My biggest time draining exercise was replying to every enquiry with a personal reply, discussing processes and prices with each and every enquiry took up a big part of my day and a lot of these enquires didn’t always result in a commission.
I’d taken part in Nadia’s free challenge. I had no reservations in admitting that I needed help to grow my business, but as I wasn’t earning very much money I was worried that I couldn’t afford it.
I’d never run a business before and I really want my business to work, so I decided to take the leap.
As soon as I started working with Nadia, I made some big changes!
Nadia helped me to see that I had a huge fear of pricing and charging my worth.
One of first change I made was to double my prices (!) …. and then publishing these prices for everyone to see on my website.
At first, my constant flow of enquiries dwindled and I worried, and worried some more that my prices were far too high. I had a massive confidence crisis!
However, my commissions didn’t decrease.
I now know that in reality this reduction in enquiries was due to people being able to access the answers themselves. I was also able to filter out the time wasters.
As a result of this simple change I’m able to spend more time actually painting, my favourite part of my work, as I had freed up time by not spending hours replying to enquires. It’s so much better.
By not valuing my skills and treating my business like a hobby, because I loved what I was doing so much, I actually stopped myself from earning money. I priced my products low as I felt flattered that people liked my art and then spent many hours working on peoples commissioned bespoke artwork for very little money.
I feel 100 times happier at where my business is now and I feel positive about the ways to take it to the next level.
I still have a long way to go to earn the amount of money that I would like but feel that this is achievable.
I’ve got a sense of confidence about my work that I certainly didn’t have before I worked with Nadia.
Once I increased my prices and then secured the first few commissions at the new prices was the greatest feeling, it still is!
I always have a little wobble when I’m asked about pricing, but by having my prices on my website I have somewhere to direct people to without having to talk numbers!
I love working with Nadia and the other Profiteroles. It is so re-assuring to know that if I have a wobble I can post a question in the Profit Pack Facebook group and I always get awesome support and feedback. Nadia’s advice is always spot-on and makes so much sense.
Working on my own can be daunting sometimes especially as I have no experience of running a business. Knowing that I only have to ask my question is a huge comfort-blanket for me.
It also helps knowing that other entrepreneurs have the occasional bad day too, if I thought everyone was winning on a daily basis I’d feel like a proper failure! We are only human and by sharing our ups and downs helps enormously.
I have made lots of new friends, some of which I have been lucky enough to work with too. I think we have such an eclectic group of skilled people in the Profit Pack that there is always someone to answer questions.
I’ve learned a huge lesson about the importance of charging my worth and treating my business as a business so I can provide for my family. If I spend all day (and night) painting for other people and not charging enough I’m not only not making any money I’m also missing special time with my lush family!
My advice for other budding entrepreneurs is to always be yourself, be true to yourself and your beliefs and do what you love.
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone terrifies me, but I know I can do it with Nadia’s awesome support!
Being part of a community of amazing female entrepreneurs is such a confidence booster. Seeing everyone’s awesome wins helps me stay focussed on making my business grow.
My plans for the future?
I’m creating a line of greetings cards that feature my watercolour dog portraits along side quirky quotes. I’m going to be brave and put on my big girls pants and get out there… I’m going to make contact with people and potential stockists and get Dotty Dog Art out to a much wider audience!”
To find out more about Kathy and her fabulous dog portraits and artwork, head over to http://www.dottydogart.co.uk