Those of us who work in the creative industries are all too aware of the lack of money in many of the projects we work on. And sadly they often only attract funding when they’re least needed – when they’ve proved their success.

At the moment I’m looking for someone to revamp the site for Pollen. I’d hastily assembled a site from a free online package (I have no web design/development skills of my own) thinking that it would suffice for the coming months as the community grows. But I’ve been overwhelmed by the response and we already have well over 100 members in the few weeks since it started. And so the website feels a little inadequate and “cheap” for something that clearly has great potential.

So, I need a new website for it. But every penny I have is tied up in my company (hopefully very soon to launch, for those of you that are taking note). Besides, Pollen was set up as a free service for the creative entrepreneurs of South Wales, so there’s no income against which to balance paying for a new site.

Therefore I need to either find time to learn to build a decent site for myself or ask someone to do it for free. The reality is that I just don’t have a spare moment in the next few months and so I’m in the situation of going to a web developer cap in hand. I feel kind of guilty about this, but I don’t see any alternative. I’ve been in this situation before in various projects and I’ve hoped that there’s some kind benefit for the person doing the work for free. Exposure, experience, contacts etc etc. But I still can’t shake the sense of guilt about asking someone with hard-earned talents to give it up for no financial recompense.

I suppose I should just get over it and accept that if they don’t want to do it they don’t have to. And admittedly there are people who’ve worked for me for free in the past who’ve gone on to great things.

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