A few generations ago, you would have known the people that sold you things. Like, actually knew them and their families and their histories. If you didn’t know them, you knew someone who did.
It was much easier to make informed purchases because you had a better idea of your vendors and which was the best fit for you.
In the global economy, this is much harder. So many people sell things, and it’s hard to know which person, and which product, are right for you.
These four questions help me make purchasing decisions and I hope they will help you, too.
Do I need it?
The answer to this is usually no, honestly. There are few things in my life I need outside of shelter and nourishment that can be bought. What I am after with this question is how the item will fit into my life.
Do I have a place and space for it? Will I truly enjoy it? How will it enhance my daily life? How often will I use it?
When I stop to think about how something will become a part of my life, it is easier for me to determine if I “need” it.
Do I know the person offering this service or selling this thing?
Is this someone who is known to me (or someone I trust) or am I going in blind? Is this person reliable, responsible, and respectable?
Not knowing someone is not a reason not to buy. It is a reason to investigate further, unless your purchase is small and transactual. When I am considering a big investment, like a house or a car, or a university, or even home repair, I ask my friends and family if they know anyone. That connection inherently eases my mind because I value that connection.
When I don’t know the person, I have big questions about past work quality, reliability, customer satisfaction, and how the person treats others. I assume the best when I don’t know, and yet knowing the person brings peace of mind.
Totally not a reason to abandon ship; an important piece to consider in the big picture.
Do I like the person offering this service or selling this thing?
Because I just don’t wanna work with or support someone that gets under my skin. I also don’t want to buy from someone who lives a life that ideologically conflicts with mine. For example, I wouldn’t buy from a trophy hunter. My first website was with GoDaddy and when I learned that the owner enjoyed game hunting on safari, I dropped my account and found a different host.
Do we value similar things? Is it posssible we could be friends outside of this business transaction? Is this a person I am eager to support? Do I like this person’s style and approach to work? Do I like what this person has already created or delivered?
Do I feel good with this person?
Do you trust the person offering the service or selling this thing?
In marketing courses, businesses learn they need to allow people to know, like, and trust them before purchases happen. True dat.
I follow my intuition and there are many times I have a nagging feeling about someone who otherwise seems just right. Everything looks great, and yet I don’t feel great about it. There is something I don’t trust.
Most of the times I have had that feeling and ignored it, I wish I had honored my gut. I have learned that my body knows what my brain may not, and although I feel judgmental for listening to my intuition at those times, I also see it is for the best. I really want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If my belly tells me something is up that I can’t see, it’s off.
Asking someone to create art of your family is a big commitment. You open your wallet for it, and you also open your history and your memories. It is an intimate space.
You need to feel safe, valued, and secure. You need to trust your artist like you would a dear friend. You are trusting this person with things you may not have shared with others.
The experience of making the art is just as important as the end result, and these questions can help you find a person that feels like a fit for you and your family. If you are searching for an artist and you know that my style or approach isn’t one that suits you, I would be glad to recommend other artists I believe would be your match.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.