Yes, that ever so taboo subject that us, especially creatives, cringe at the very idea of. Money? What? To be paid for services rendered. Me? A service? How dare you.
Having been raised in a family that taught me that money is hard to earn, that the pain of ones broken back is the measure of money deserved, I had always struggled to get a grip on the subject. That is until I began to understand less about numbers and more about what they represent. A form of thinking that made it crystal clear to my fluffy clouded rainbow covered mind. Money is a measure not of the services I render, but of the belief I have in my self-worth. Of the belief in myself and also the respect I have for the work I do. Us creatives, I think, struggle with pricing our work, not only because it is something non-tangible and elusive but because a lot of the time we have so much fun doing it. We feel guilt when the project is really good and grateful just to be given the opportunity.
And sure, it's easy to blame the client. They wanted it cheaper, they wanted it faster, they wanted more. Of course, they did. Don't pretend to be surprised. The question is not what they want, the question is what will you do about it? But we don't have the budget. Find it. But there are so many other designers out there doing it cheaper. Hire them. But it'll be good for your portfolio. I'm full up. But please just do it and I'll pay you later. Fifty percent deposit and we can begin. And sure, you're like, she's balsy and ungrateful. No I'm not. My motivation has never nor will ever be the money. It has always been the work. Keep in mind that the client doesn't really understand what they are paying for and that the only language you have in common is the numbers. They need to find the budget because when they do (and believe you me, if they are serious they'll find it), they will have actively participated in the project itself and will have taken the same amount of risk as you have. This breeds a common ground and a common goal. It also breeds respect from both parties and a desire for success because both of you have worked equally as hard to achieve it.
The end goal is to create good and long-lasting work and the only way to achieve that is to protect it even if that means losing the project or the client, or quite bluntly, as my mother would say, one plus one equals two, not three.