Our dog has been with us since July, and is a *really* amazing dog. We had a few issues that we wanted fixed; knocking the kids over, chasing the cat, getting on the couch, walking on leash without pulling, coming when called, etc…
In November we decided to hire a dog trainer to help fine tune his manners. Just like a portrait or birth session, it was an investment. I didn’t have to think twice, I saw the value in having a well behaved dog and we set aside the money to invest in it. We used Bark Busters Home Dog Training because we wanted something that fits with our natural lifestyle (using respect vs punishments) and would have long lasting effects. I was willing to pay more to have a trained professional come to my home and give us a 1:1 custom dog training experience. Now, he is a really *really* amazing dog!
We had the most perfect weather on Easter and decided to take him to the dog park so he could run off some energy. While at the dog park, he came back to us every time we called. He stayed in sit while another dog chased a ball right in front of us. When it was time to go he came to us and walked nicely on his leash to the car. I’m so happy with the way he’s turned out. It was worth every penny. This is a photograph I took of him yesterday in between ball catching.
When you see the value in something you save up for it, even if there’s a cheaper lower quality alternative that you could afford sooner. I recently saw someone on facebook ask how the average family could afford custom photography because it’s so expensive. My thoughts on that are: we all value things differently. If you don’t see value in custom photography then you’ll probably be happy going to a cheaper photographer who’s just starting out. That’s OKAY! Custom professional photographers charge more because we have a lot more expenses and investment in equipment, PLUS we’re trying to make a living just like everyone else. It doesn’t mean we’re robbing our clients of money, it means we have bills to pay and we value our art. It also doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to value us.
If you see the value in organic food, you’ll budget in other areas to be able to afford it. If you see value in higher end electronics, you’ll budget in other areas to be able to afford them. If you value designer clothes, you’ll budget in other areas to be able to afford them. If you really want a home birth you’ll try your hardest to budget for it. If you really want a good photographer at your birth you’ll find a way to budget for that too. See the pattern? If you don’t see the value in something you aren’t going to make it a priority to budget the money to afford whatever it is. You’ll be happy with the less expensive alternative. I’m perfectly happy with off-brand or second hand clothes, but don’t like to skimp when it comes to quality food. And yes, I realize that some times we’re in a place where we really can’t budget for the things we want, and we have to settle for less. When someone says they can’t afford your services (or anything else), in most cases, they’re really saying that they just don’t value it the same as you may.
What things do you value enough to budget for? I have personally started valuing people like myself, running their own business providing services that many times are sometimes undervalued; Chiropractors, Doulas, Midwives, Acupuncturists, Naturopathic Doctors, Contractors, etc… who are also trying to make a living doing what they’re trained to do; loving what they’re trained to do!