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Owning a business, BFF, and babysitting.

Sep 28, 2010

After meeting with a bride this past weekend, I stopped by the BFF’s (for those new to the blog – Julie is the BFF or RAF….real ass friend….as opposed to FAF…fake ass friend…we are weird, shush) house to see the cutest baby in the world and mooch off their pizza lunch. They were painting the house to get it ready to go on the market and helping them paint was a young girl named Olivia. Jules explained that she used to babysit Olivia when she was much younger and now she is babysitting Jakob. My immediate question: sooooo, how much are they paying you Olivia?

Her response: $5/hr. You can imagine my astonished face – “Jules! Less than minimum wage??? Even with pizza included I’m not sure it’s worth it, and the poor girl is painting!” Olivia said that while Jakob is sleeping she has to earn her keep by painting. Olivia then began talking about the competition she was facing with other people in the neighborhood who are raising their prices for babysitting and dog sitting. She says that most people are charging $10/hr but she is still at $5/hr. She says she gets more people because she is cheaper.

And then I was had this huge realization: Everything I now know about business, I could have learned when I myself was a babysitter. I explained to Olivia that while she is booked up for babysitting and dog sitting – she is not seeing the whole point. I told her she should raise her prices. I said “You don’t want people to want you because you are cheap, you want people to want YOU.” Because honestly, that is the truth. People will respect you more for sticking to your guns than meeting them halfway. I am currently a firm believer in that.

You will be happy to know that before Olivia got out of the BFF’s car that day she was given $50, which was significantly more than $5/hr. I think Jules agrees with me.  🙂

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