Friday, 17 February 2012

Just musing about living for a working

I just read something and it made me think.......

Apparently the actor Bill Cosby said “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone”.

How simple and true that is. It seems right to try and be as helpful as you can, do all you're able, but at what price? If you succeed then that's great, but if you miss the target and fail, you've let yourself down as well as the person you were trying to help.

We've had this discussion recently with some friends, most of them are self employed people who at the moment, because of the current economic climate are taking on work that they would think twice about taking on in better times. Is that a good thing? When times are hard it is definitely more difficult to say, "No, I'm sorry but this is not my area of expertise" - Work is work and you can't, shouldn't, mustn't turn it away is what we are taught. But are there times when you should say no, or should you take the work on and look at it as good fortune and a chance to excel at something a bit out of the ordinary?

What do you think, I'd love to hear? Leave me a comment or pop over to our Facebook page and enter the poll!

Thanks.

7 comments:

WILLIE........! said...

You should ALWAYS help people, friends, family and, yes even enemies....(For want of a better word).
What comes around...Comes around...

"There are people who make things happen....There are people who watch things happen and there are people who wonder what's happened....To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen!".

On a funnier note....
If Vegetarians eat Vegetables...
What do Humanitarians eat.....? :).

The Seat Bottomer said...

Oh Willie, you are incorrigible! xx

Ali said...

It is very tempting to bend over backwards to accept every offer of work in tough times. However, times will improve but how much damage may you have done to your business by producing work which falls short of your normal standards. If you are creating something you don't want to, it will show in your work and cause more harm than good to a hard built reputation of quality.

Be flexible and accomodating obviously but if it is work you wouldn't take on in tough times, you need to ask yourself why and determine if it is right for you to do so now. We all move the boundaries as we go along and it is good to take on work which stretches your existing skills (I do designs and styles & wouldn't have thought possible when I started out) but you need to keep your professional integrity too - there will be a reason why you wouldn't take it on in better economic times.

An interesting debate.

Ali x

The Seat Bottomer said...

Thanks Ali some great points. One friend of ours has taken on a project recently that has stretched him and his resources to breaking point, luckily it has worked out well, but what a risk! I understand exactly what you are saying and it is a hard call. x

Caroline Nash said...

I think you should only do what you are capable of, to do more and as you said fail can be more damaging than walking away. You will get people that do not like tat you have said no but in business you have to stick by your principals. I have walked away from suggestions if I know they would worry me, cause sleepless nights and stress, that was the whole point of going s/e to never have to be stressed again.

Picto said...

This week I had a request from a repeat customer asking for 3 separate items, two I can do no problem, the third is something possible but I've not done before, I've said that I will draw up some sketches but if I'm not happy with the way they turn out I will happily pass on links to other crafters that I know will be able to help. I'm all for stretching myself but sometimes things don't work and I'm unable to help.
My customer is happy with this and is willing to wait a few days to await my decision. I'll try my best, :o)

Jan x

James said...

As crafters we walk a fine line everytime we take on projects that take us near to or past our comfort zones. I like to test my limits but I won't test them on a customers piece just to get the job. I have friends and aquatints that specialized in different fields(wood carving, woodworking and refinishing). It is a symbiotic relationship but our customers are happy and that is as I see it our goal as crafters. But you need to test your limits or you'll never become better at your craft. My wife says I'm a perfectionist and my own worst critic. But I won't paint myself into a corner it's not good for my reputation and I wouldn't have helped or made the customer happy. This is a great topic I do hope more people chime in. http://the--chairman.blogspot.com/