How I’m learning how to price my products

Growing up with frugal, conservative parents, these statements and their implications are all too familiar: 

  • Don’t waste your money
  • If it’s free, you should take more (if it’s a physical object) 
  • Don’t spend your money on trash
  • How much did you spend?

Now that I have the Habit Factory to run with workshops to market, this type of thinking has admittedly caused more harm than good when it comes to pricing our product. 

In business, nobody can sustainably offer their products for free all the time. 

So how do you know your worth?

I know our team puts in a lot of care, time, and expertise in order to pull off our workshops.

It’s not something everyone under the sun is willing and able to do. 

And, we’ve proven ourselves time and time again that our product solves a problem that people care about. 

Not only do we have to pay our team members fairly for their work, but we also have to have enough to reinvest into business growth (and of course, running expenses).

So that’s it. That’s the “math”.

Bottom line: Whatever I decide those 2 amounts to be (and factor in expenses) will be the price tag on our work. The market will react however they will react, and we can adjust. 

How I’m building my business while working a full time job

If you know me, you already know I work at my family’s restaurant in Scarborough, Ontario. 

When I get home, I work on my business called The Habit Factory (we do professional development for early-stage creatives). 

Of course, I’m not doing it alone. I have an amazing team that I get to work with (if you’re here reading this, thank you for pushing both me and the business forward). 

Fortunately, the pros of building a business while working a full time job is that there’s financial security, it offers you a different environment to think in, and you get to meet a lot of new people (if you manage social media and front-end like how I do). 

Unfortunately, the cons of building a business while working a full time job is that your time is limited. There’s never enough time to do either job at it’s fullest. You’re constantly flipping your brain from one environment to the other. 

If you’re building your business while working a full time job, what have been your methods of managing between your two workloads? 

Things to feel okay about: 

  1. Taking a break when you need to
  2. Sleeping 7-8 hours a day
  3. Waking up at a healthy time that suits your schedule
  4. When your posts on social media don’t do well 
  5. Not being able to hang out with friends because of work you care about 
  6. Not being able to do work because you want to prioritize your friends 
  7. Cheat day food 
  8. Saying no more often to things that don’t give you value
  9. Saying yes more often to things that scare you 
  10. Once in a while, ice cream

My biggest lesson in brand building

Brand building is not for the impatient. 

You need to have good people skills. 

You need to have empathy. 

You must seek to connect.

You must adopt an attitude of serving. 

Brand building is a long game. 

You win by having an audience of people who care about what you do. 

When I was 9, I wanted to be an artist

When I was 17, I chose to study Industrial Design at OCAD University, because that program and school seemed the most interesting to me. 

(I could honestly tell you, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but I just went with it).

Now I’m 25. I’m working at my parent’s restaurant, managing social media, and trying to build the legs for my business, Habit Factory, where we do community-centered workshops for creative growth.

I’m pretty sure the 9-year old me expected to see paint, canvas, and easels but hey—my idea of an artist has evolved since then.

Getting over creative block

Right before writing this post, I didn’t know what I’d be writing about.

I didn’t think anything I had to say was worth saying.

I didn’t believe there was any value in my ideas.

It was easier to close my laptop and walk away from it all.

So I decided to write about it.

Here’s how I get over creative block.

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Write about the thing that’s on your mind, even if it doesn’t make sense
  3. Don’t edit, don’t walk away, don’t lose your focus from the task at hand until it’s done
  4. Do it all over again tomorrow

For me, creative block stems from a lack of confidence in my own ideas. 

The only way to get over that is to write more and build up my confidence by being comfortable hearing feedback about it.

2 things to stop apologizing for: 

  1. The way you’re feeling (ex. “Sorry for feeling sad, I just want to talk”) 
  2. “Bothering” others. If you need something from someone else, just ask firmly and be considerate. 

Apologizing isn’t your enemy, but it can get in the way of developing your self-confidence. 


A former over-apologizer