My mother is quite a brilliant woman. (Mom, if you’re reading this I want another chocolate pie.)
My mother majored in business in college and even owned her own business while I was growing up. So when it comes to making business decisions, she is my go-to for advice.
She once told me this piece of wisdom, “The only thing worse than owing people money is when they owe you money.” As an ex-landlord, I can attest to the truth of this.
Another time my Ebay store was doing badly. It was almost at the point where I was working for free. (I sold vintage and antique postcards.) My mother’s advice was to raise the price on everything in the store. That seemed back-asswards to me.
I asked her, “Why would somebody pay ten bucks for a postcard when they won’t pay two bucks for it now?”
She answered, “Because people don’t want something unless it’s expensive.”
Turns out she was right. I raised all my prices and two days later I couldn’t keep up with my orders.
Then there’s the story of my couch. I was living in L.A. and had bought a new couch. Which meant I had to get rid of my old couch. But in L.A. it costs something like $100 to take a couch to the dump. So, I carried the couch out to the road and put a “Free” sign on it.
The couch sat in front of my house for three days looking sad and forlorn.
Remembering my mother’s advice, one night I changed the sign to read: “For Sale – $500.” The next morning the couch was gone. Somebody had ‘stolen’ it!
I guess the moral of this story is – Don’t undervalue your work.
Or maybe it’s – Listen to your mother.
Or it could be – I write for pie.
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