Mailbag Monday: Should I pay for the logo?Dear Naomi,

I have two businesses. One is a local service business I have been running for seven years, and the other is new, “the project of my heart” as you call it.

I have a small question, but it has been nagging at me and distracting me.

I really want a nice logo for my new business!

My first temporary logo was an image I found in the public domain. I liked it but it was a placeholder until I could get something better. My next logo was something inexpensive that I really liked but after buying it I found out I had commercial rights, but not exclusive rights. Other people could have it and use it and I do not want that.

I’ve found a local designer with a perfect style for me. I really like their process and their work. I’d like to go ahead with it, but it’s $750!

I want to do this but I’m conflicted. That is a lot of money in my part of the world. I’ve been conscientious and careful about bootstrapping and DIYing everything I can so this would be a very lavish splurge for me.

I can afford this. I’ve been very cautious with money so far.

[Naomi’s note: I followed up with our heroine and asked them what it was they were looking forward to with this new logo – what would it give them?]

What would this logo give me?

Peace of mind. I like knowing the logo is my property and I won’t find it one day on some other website or brochure or something.

Closure. I don’t want to doubt or wonder or think about this anymore.

But mostly confidence. A strong visual brand makes me feel good about promoting myself.

What should I do? Should I buy it or am I fooling myself?


Fairy Girl

Hi, Fairy Girl!

Buy the logo.

You can stop reading now if you like, or you can stick around to hear my rationale.

1. You can afford it.

DIY and bootstrapping are good things. I am a huge fan. If there’s a way I can avoid spending money, I will usually try to do so.

But here’s the thing about DIY and bootstrapping. The better you are at stuff, the more you can technically do on your own. If you like to reverse engineer, research, and educate yourself, there’s not much you can’t do yourself in this day and age.

Where does that leave you?

An exhausted, wrung out mess doing the work of nine people with no energy left to do your actual work.

In business as in life, we save money where we can so that we can spend it where we want and need. We do NOT save money in every conceivable arena so we can die with the biggest pile of ducats in the land.

You have DIYed and bootstrapped everything else. You can spend money on this. Why? Because you DIYed and bootstrapped everything else, leaving you money for things like this!

2. This is the project of your heart. It deserves nice things.

Special projects deserve special things. This is because they are special. We do not show our special projects how much we care about them by hunting around for the cheapest option, appropriateness and decent aesthetics be damned.

We do not find the cheapest clown for our child’s birthday party.

We do not buy our puppy the cheapest food.

We do not celebrate our 50th birthday with the cheapest wine.

Special projects deserve special things. The business of your heart deserves a logo you’re proud of.

Now, those were both very good arguments I just made there, but I’m about to make the most important argument, so please pay attention.

3. Confidence is your greatest asset. There is no close second.

If you believe this logo will give you the confidence to put yourself and your baby business out into the world, buy the logo. Buy ten logos. Buy ten logos and invite the designer over for a home-cooked meal.

Lack of confidence (and the subsequent insecurity, self-doubt, procrastination, playing small, keeping quiet, etc) is the biggest business killer I know. If you have reason to believe that this thing will give you real, honest confidence, grab that little cutie with both hands and don’t let go.

Confidence means you’ll send that pitch. Confidence means you’ll write that copy. Confidence means you’ll ignore your sister when she tells you she doesn’t like your sales page.

Confidence is EVERYTHING. If you can get confidence for $750, you’re getting a deal.

Go. Get a pretty logo. We’re rooting for you.

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