The following explains how I (Earl Daniels) provide services through Discover Family.
I provide services on a dana basis.
This means that I agree to work on a project / task for a given number of hours. Instead of sending a bill, at the end of my work, I will send a report of my findings / work done with an indication of how much time I worked. You decide what it’s worth to you. It’s that simple. And yet not easy.
This concept is Buddhist. Dana (pronounced “dah nah“) is a practice of generosity. It is commonly provided for Buddhist Teachers.
“The first petal of the flower of the paramitas is dana paramita, the practice of giving. Whether you give your presence, your stability, your freshness, your solidity, your freedom, or your understanding, your gift can work a miracle. Dana paramita is the practice of love.”
Giving (dana) is an essential Buddhist practice. It is about generosity and openness, our capacity to embrace others with our compassion and love, for both the giver and receiver of the services and the remuneration.
So, all the work that I do is offered freely as I have time and as I am drawn to the work.
There is no expectation of a given amount. There is no “market value” for the work that I provide.
I will not set a price, will not send a bill, and will not get offended at what, if anything, you send to me. I support the efforts for a living wage for workers, however that is not to be construed as me placing a particular value on my work or expecting everyone to work this way.
This is a privilege I enjoy to work this way.
My work is not more professional based on (anticipated) remuneration. I love what I do. I am motivated to uncover stories, to organize information and to create presentations.
I am grateful for what I receive, and find that I have always received what I need to survive. I’m not selling to the highest bidder. I would not perform acts for money that I would otherwise not do.
My limits. My practice.
Obviously, my time is finite and my priorities are not completely immune to $$$. It is my practice to not let $$$ be a significant consideration – I do this practice for me, not for others.
It could happen that I am motivated to do work for one person over the other on the basis of money, however this will never become some form of competition – I will never pit one client over another or sell myself to the highest bidder. I will be conscientious about making and communicating commitments.
This is my practice. What you do is grist for the mill. That’s not always an easy role.
Well, this is awkward…?
This may put my potential clients in an uncomfortable position. You have to put a value on the work I agree to do for you. You do not need to decide that until after you have seen what I produced for you. The remuneration, if any, does not have to be only financial. I value referrals, testimonies, barter, and “paying it forward.” I’m also okay with delayed remuneration.
- You don’t want to offend me. You won’t.
- You may want me to do future work. I will, as best as I can. See “My limits. My practice.” above.
- Most people do not want to take advantage of other people. I assume my clients are like most people in this regard.
- Most of my clients have some sense of what their time is worth. My time is probably “worth” just a little bit less.
(There. Does that help? 🙂 )
I am one of the many people who have advised young people, “Do what you love, the money will follow.”
I love what I do. I’m not rich, in financial terms, yet I’m not going to starve, either.
Please join me in the craziness, this vulnerability, this practice. Contact me.
A note to other professional genealogists
I do work for other professional genealogists, including site visits, interviews, digitization, and researching in local archives. You know what this work is worth. You know what you are charging your clients. Be fair.
As far as my approach jeopardizing your profession, there are many considerations as to why I am not. Please feel free to contact me to discuss.