I’ve been jumping up and down in impatience over the past couple of weeks, because I’m itching to get started on refurbishing The Dingle. But I’ve also managed to fill up every weekend with things to do… then, when the weather is good, it seems a shame to waste it indoors.
Which means we’ve not got very far so far.
But yesterday evening, a very nice chap came round to assess our attic floor. See, we’re laying a new oak floor up there and converting the whole thing into a huge, glorious bedroom / sitting-cum-dressing room / shower room. And the current floor is… well, it’s a grubby old attic.
We’ve got the plans for the new staircase; we just need to get the floor sorted first.
So Fish came round (that’s what we’re calling him because that’s what was on his t-shirt) and took a look. He knows exactly what’s what. He listened to our ideas and plans, then gave us his advice.
Then, completely unprompted, gave us a discount.
I mean, I’m not complaining… but we’d never have asked for a discount. We’re in this house for the long-term, so we’re certainly not after doing it on the cheap. He gave us his fitting price, then – apropos of nothing – said he’d do it for £2 a square metre less.
Which makes very little difference to us, but I bet it makes a difference to him.
He isn’t just an unskilled grafter, either; he’s an expert craftsman and he’s undercharging.
I suggested this, but he said, “I don’t want to rip you off!” He’s missed the point: you’re not rippinganyone off if they’re willing and happy to pay your fees. Of course, he might be earning just the right amount of money to live the lifestyle he wants, which is absolutely cool and groovy.
But a throwaway comment suggests he isn’t… “It’s a gorgeous place you’ve got here. You buggers.”
Which begs the question: why aren’t you in your dream cottage then?
Look: I keep saying this. It’s not about the money. It’s about what the money allows you to do. It’s about the freedom it brings. Whether that’s £10,000 a year or £500,000 a year.
I remember when I first started my business, I was seduced by the idea that it’d bring me freedom. Freedom from working for someone else’s benefit. Of course, I stumbled into running a business in a gin-soaked rage, but once that had subsided, I wanted that freedom, dammit.
What I got in the way of “freedom” was the leisure to work 14-hour days in my pyjamas. Not quite what I had in mind. Things are different now, but I still don’t have that promised freedom yet. I’m working on it, and I am in my dream cottage.
But I’m not in a position to do whatever I want yet, so I keep trying.
How about you?
What does freedom look like for you?
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS This has nothing to do with anything, but it kinda makes me think of freedom: a pilot took an astonishing photograph of a thunderstorm from his cockpit. How magnificent is this?