When it comes to our earning potential, we often look at our past results and add inflation plus a slight increase for our merit or skill development, to define our value. Resulting in roughly 5-6% of a yearly increase, if we perceive ourselves to be on the high-end of our profession. Most of us think this way due to how our employers calculate annual increases.
What if it was possible to move beyond these parameters? If you could grow leaps and bounds from these expectations with increased skill and knowledge, making a true difference on your financial bottom line? Would this motivate you to change your mindset and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone?
What I want to share today, is that this is entirely possible, if you are ready to stand for your worth and not let others dictate your value. You have the power within you to command the value that is worthy of your contributions. There are countless examples of this being accomplished each day, but I’ll share one story close to my heart, my husband’s (Ryan) 5 figure sale of the 9’ tall tin man.
My husband has been in the sheet metal industry for nearly 20 years, but found his passion in creating art from stainless steel scrap pieces. Each Saturday he peruses the local scrap yards and finds unique throwaway metal to bring to his shop and work his magic of welding, polishing and grinding them to create remarkable pieces.
He didn’t start his business with an intention to sell the pieces or charge a certain price for them. Rather he followed his passion and enjoyed sharing his art with friends and family. Fast forward to ten years later, he now sells his art at a variety of Midwest art shows, displays it at local businesses and has regular commissioned art sales.
When he started thinking about selling his pieces, he priced them with healthy price tags, worthy of his effort, skill and craftsmanship. Often he was scoffed at by folks at art fairs or even people close to him, who didn’t believe it was possible to sell a piece of metal art for that “expensive of a price.”
Despite the naysayers he built momentum for his work, refined his pieces and grew a tribe of enthusiasts. In 2012 he took his skills to a new level, creating a 9’ tall tin man, crafted from thousands of scrap metal pieces. He had several iterations of the body, sculpted the frame to life-like perfection and added complementing pieces, an oil can and ax, to further animate the tin man.
From start to finish, the piece took six months on and off active creation. Often he is asked how many hours went into the tin man, but the specifics are difficult to define, in this labor of love. Following the tin man’s creation, he traveled to multiple art fairs, competitions and venues throughout Cincinnati, winning awards and accolades for his stature and detailed design.
At first, my husband didn’t want to sell him and let go of the creation that had literally come to life through the eyes of excited children and adults, alike. As time marched on and we grew tired of moving the tin man from show to show, we started to entertain purchasing offers. In my husband’s heart he knew the piece was worthy of 5 figures and that he would sell it for nothing less.
He had offers of five to six thousand, some with strong intentions to buy and others weak. Then he connected with a serious buyer who he entered into months of negotiating with, until settling on that 5 figure number, Ryan had envisioned. The day he brought that check home and sat with his realized dream, I observed him beaming with more satisfaction than I’d ever seen.
He knew his worth and wasn’t willing to let others diminish his value. Although not everyone would pay 5 figures for a 9’ tall tin man, the right person would recognize the value and reward it. Perseverance and commitment to receiving fair compensation for his craft, resulted in increased energy for more creation and inspiration to go even bigger next time.
As I talk about mindset changes and inner work “coach speak” with Ryan, he often glazes over and listens to me with kindness, in service to being a good husband. He already knows what it takes to get what he wants without thinking about the universe’s support or inner work. I study it and he lives it each day.
I share this story to encourage you to think about your results and the price you sell them for. Are you staying true to your vision or are you selling to the lowest bidder in fear that another offer will not come?
What lesson can you take away from the 9’ tin man in realizing your dream?
You can find more of Ryan Slattery’s art work at Slattery’s Creations.