Sunday, July 10, 2011

Can I charge my hourly rate to knit?

If you ask me to which profession I belong I’d like to tell you I’m a stand-up comedian or a race car driver.  (As you will see stand-up comedian has never been and is not now an option.  Race car driver just sounds fun, but it isn’t very practical.)  My honest answer, however, is attorney.  I have my own practice and work around my family and knitting.  I’ve started a knitting blog and writing knitting patterns.  These activities fill me with pride and joy.  I’m not complaining about my profession (insert your favorite lawyer joke here).  I enjoy work most days, and the flexibility it has given me with my family is a gift I never imagined.  That being said, a couple of years ago I discovered my “passion.”  I’ve always been envious of those who have known since their youth the career path they wished to pursue.  I admittedly went to law school because I had no plans for my life after college.  The wonderful education I obtained gave me a wonderful career.  A career I enjoy, but not a career that is my passion.  The envious path few people have from their youth to pursue.  My career and my passion need not be the same things.  Some might argue that turning a hobby into a job makes the hobby feel like a job and no longer a hobby.  That said, I’ve started my knitting blog and writing patterns to share free and patterns I’m willing to share for a price.  That brings us to the title of this article; can I charge my hourly rate for knitting?  As an attorney, people don’t bat an eye if I indicate I charge an hourly rate of $150 or $200 or more.  I did spend three years obtaining a juris doctorate and have accumulated more than a few year of experience in my profession, none of which apply to my knitting.  However, as I have accumulated birthdays (and unfortunately not an equivalent amount of wisdom) I begin to think charging my hourly rate for whatever task I undertake seems reasonable?  Or prudent?  Or logical?  Or wishful thinking.  As we age, we learn the value of time or at least increate our appreciation for the value of time.  The joy I find in following my passion exceeds my hourly rate in dollar terms.  Maybe someday my knitting expertise and insight will be worth $200 an hour.  Until then I’ll follow my passion and continue to enjoy my career.  When I can charge others my hourly rate for my passion, I’ll let you know. 

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