A couple weeks ago, I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I only started with knowing my worth…
I was approached by a company that I love, to be a hair model for them. I was absolutely excited. I don’t often get to ask to do these things. Now I’m pretty awesome and cute, but I have some blogger friends who are even more awesome. So the fact that I’m even being considered sent me over the moon! Anyway, when I initially inquired about the details of the shoot (Read: Model Contract), I kind of grazed over the “are we being paid” part? The answer however was, “I don’t think so but I’ll email you all the details.”
Let’s fast forward to a week later…
We are a few days out from the fitting, and people have gone shopping for clothes for all the models. I ask again for a model contract outlining model compensation, in what manner and for how long can the company use the pictures, you know, things like that! The response to me was, “No you won’t be compensated and we need to know if you will be committed to the photoshoot by the end of tonight.” Well, that bothered me. Mostly because I didn’t think that there would be absolutely no form of compensation! Like not even the product, bruh???? So I shoot one last email with a couple more question. #1: In lieu of being compensated, was it possible that I may receive some services/goods that would be comped on my next few visits, and #2: Would I even get to keep the hair that I’d be modeling being? At this point, they had already made the decision. The deadline had passed, and I hadn’t heard back from the company. By morning, to those two questions I had asked the night before, I was met with a ‘thank you for your inquiry, but all model positions have been filled’ type of answer.
Now just so you know, that hurt like hell! Some tears were shed over this because as bad as I wanted to do this (I really wanted to do this almost to the point that I would have done it for free} my peeps all told me that this was unacceptable. That my brand was worth way more than nothing. And as nice as that sounds, it’s harder to put in action. I also understand that you have to “pay your dues,” but this wasn’t my first time. (Won’t be the last either!) Yet, a part of me feels like I missed out on a HUGE opportunity and it sucks you know! It really hurts. But, the better and wiser part of me has come to the conclusion that I am worth more than zero! POINT. BLANK. PERIOD! I am not here to be used. To be bled. To be sucked dry. My life, my skills, my voice…my everything is to be valued.
And as much as this stinks, this is a lesson that has to be learned the hard way. There’s no way around it. There is no easy way to learn that the first time someone tells you no, it’s going to sting. You’re not going to like it! It is what it is. BUT, at the end of the day you made the best move for yourself and someone will see your WORTH. It may not be today, but someone will see it.
The real question is how much do you value yourself?
Know your worth, then add tax.