As a furniture maker of a few years time, I realized something important about my work. Oftentimes my clients wouldn’t notice the extra work I had put into pieces. Some times they noticed things that were just so automatic for me that I barely thought of them and then they missed the really fine work I had done.
My realization was that I had to pick my moments on some pieces. Sometimes I needed to do the extra work to make it just so, whether or not the client would see it. Other times, I could do very good work and the client would still be blown away. Good enough wasn’t a diminishing of my standards but an understanding of what I would and would not be paid for.
Sometimes I just had to fuss over a hidden detail just because. The deal I made with myself was to say it’s okay to be this obsessive/ compulsive craftsman as long as you know you won’t get paid for it. Except by yourself. No bitching about how much you’re making or losing on this piece. If you want it to be good enough for your high standards that this hour is free. So that was the bargain. No complaining about not getting paid for time that the client hadn’t asked for but that I had to give. And at other times, I would be just good enough to fool everyone, but me.