Don’t Shortchange Yourself


The poor economy has caused much belt-tightening over the past couple of years, with everyone wanting to get the most bang for their buck. To me that is recognizing value, not necessarily finding the cheapest price. It can be easy to fall into the trap of being a penny-wise but a pound-foolish. Sure it is great to come in under-budget, but don’t under-cut your project in the process.

Know your limits and rely on other people who can bring something to the table. Find vendors who will make suggestions to improve your original idea or who have a special talent to enhance the final project, making it great as opposed to good. Sometimes getting it great does cost more financially, not much more, but more.  But what are the long-term rewards of standing out with great work and valuing exceptional quality? And what are the pitfalls of just being good. Is good, good enough for others?

I acknowledged my limitations when my husband and I had an addition built on our home. It was not a large or complicated, and, as a designer, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look and flow. I could have sketched it out and worked with the builder but we hired the architect who drew our original house plans. If we were going to spend a lot of money to build it, why would we scrimp on one of the most important points in the process? We wanted someone who did this work day-in and day-out and knew things about home design that we would never know. Sure it cost more, but the outcome was much better than anything I could have done. Not only did the architect make great suggestions for adjustments, but he also informed us of new building materials that provided greater efficiency. Most importantly I was assured of not making a costly mistake or having multiple change orders during construction (cha ching, cha ching). The additional cost of the architect probably saved me money in the long run and significantly improved the outcome.

So when doing anything in life and work consider value. Is saving the extra dollar really doing just that? Don’t shortchange yourself. It may end up costing you much more than that dollar in the long run.

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  9. Jeff Says:

    Liz wrote: ” Is saving the extra dollar really doing just that? Don’t shortchange yourself. It may end up costing you much more than that dollar in the long run. ”

    This is so very true. Over the past two or so years, economic pressure has forced buyers of photography to ” go cheap ” because of pressures from clients, often settling for ” good enough.” I’m glad to see someone standing up for quality over price.

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