I am going to be honest, there are things I wish my Dad would have taught me...things about how to take care of my car (like, hmpf, change the oil why don't ya!), or how to save money at an early age and the dangers of credit cards etc. (Yes, he taught me the saying: Pay yourself first...but I never quite GOT IT until more recently). He didn't teach me how to not destroy my Jeep, credit, or give myself an emergency fund at an early age, but he did teach me a lot regardless. We can't expect our parents to be the ONLY sources of information or to cover every single base, right?
I will certainly be able to post more than ONE Live, Listen and Learn tidbit from my father, but for now, here is just one quite valuable piece of information that he has passed along to me:
This one sentence gets so lost on so many of my friends, particularly females. This notion was further drilled into my psyche by Suze Orman's book Women and Money, and Lois Frankel's Nice Girls Don't Get Rich.
How often have you volunteered to help some cause and wore yourself completely thin, exhausting the possibility for you to do something for yourself, and spending way too much time and money on the organization that you were volunteering for? Now, I am not against volunteering, but I am against volunteering because you think you HAVE TO, or it is YOUR ROLE, or because you feel GUILTY. Never volunteer more hours than are healthy for you! Never volunteer for a cause you do not fully support, and as soon as you feel you are being taken advantage of...speak up and delegate out tasks!
How often has a friend asked you (if you are crafty or have any skills), to "hook them up" with something? A tattoo, a haircut, a piece of art, a handmade dress? Come on, I know you have made a million things for friends without even wincing at the fact that you didn't even ask for material supply coverage! DON"T DO IT! Didn't you learn this trade, sometimes going to school and paying costly tuition bills, spending hours of time learning how to master your craft? Perhaps you even spent money to get licensed! I often give art as presents, or give my friends a discount...but you have to AT THE VERY LEAST COVER MATERIAL COSTS! Also, if your friend has a skill (or something you have been eyeing), never underestimate the power of the barter, or trade!
Jessica Hische made this great "Should I work for free?" flowchart on the subject:
Last but not least, DO NOT UNDERSELL yourself. Do not charge way below market value for your goods, your time, or your expertise. Just because you may not have a store/job/boss over you dictating your wages, does not mean you should sell yourself short!