Enlightened Conflict

not charging and getting paid

December 8th, 2015

paid dollar bills

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“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

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George Carlin

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Well.

 

 

hope to money-bags-sticky dreamstimeI am not sure if there is anything I get more shit about from business people <friends & acquaintances> than how I don’t charge people for helping them and their business.

 

 

My philosophy elicits a lot of discussion around ‘my worth’ and ‘value I provide’ and lots of ‘people will take anything if it’s for free.’

All well intended thoughts grounded in some aspects of truth.

 

 

Simplistically I avoid most of the thinking they all bring up because … well … I am not charging what I am worth because I am not charging anything.

 

 

Here is what I say on my LinkedIn page <which it seems I have to send gobs of people to as I try and explain how I charge what I charge … uhm … or don’t charge>:

 

 

Consulting:

I assist anyone who asks – in any industry and with any project. Compensation is only received if I provide value. I don’t believe in being compensated for something that has no value to them <even if I thought it may have had some value>.

Projects have included assisting small business operations, chamber of commerce assistance, advertising new business, creative thinking, organizational behavior, key note speeches, think tank opinion papers and provided thought pieces to assist published authors on a variety of topics including foreign affairs, capitalism and the youth, business leadership, education and the internet, youth unemployment and obesity.

Apparently, by doing what I am doing, I am breaking some common sense business rules.

 

1 – Offering services for free <at least initially>.

 

 

2 – Not offering a specific service or expertise.

However, because I am breaking both rules at the same time I would suggest there is some logic.

 

 

I am certainly a wandering generalist which burdens me under the cloak of generality … but certainly not a commodity. My generalist services, while difficult to offer in specifics, is clearly not something anyone and everyone can do which makes it a non-commodity. Therefore … I can charge some premium rates if I am engaged in a compensation discussion.

 

 

And while I get shit I clearly see the danger and the opportunity.you guys are getting paid

 

 

The main danger resides in the fact I am not a specific solution for a specific problem/issue.

 

The opportunity resides within the danger … I become a known quantity for solving shit that ‘specialists’ seem to struggle resolving.

 

 

The secondary danger is that … well … I never get paid. But I could argue, and I will later in the post, that danger only exists if I suck.

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

I certainly cannot argue with those who coach specifics as the path to selection & success. It is certainly the easier path.
In addition it aligns performance & payment neatly so that I could most likely offer an invoice upfront and earn the money as I went along.

 

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So many times I see people jumping into a niche and being vague about what it is they do. They’re a marketing consultant. They’re a life coach. They’re a writer. The thing is, people don’t hire wandering generalities.

They hire outcomes. They pay for specific solutions to specific problems, and if it’s specific enough (and positioned correctly), they pay premium rates.

Dave Navarro

<The Launch Coach>

– note: he offers some good solid advice –

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My path is … well … my path.

 

 

On my path I clearly understand any value that I do, or may, offer is basically a function of two things:

 

 

– The value the potential payer sees

 

– The value in terms of the ultimate outcome <if it generates sales, revenue or some measurable aspect>

 

work flintstones

Note neither of those pertains to my labor … solely value received <perceived and actual>.

 

 

Also note that neither of those is reflective of hours.

 

 

Sure.

 

 

Time <labor> is a component but haggling over will it take 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days seems silly when the outcome is the prize.

 

 

I clearly understand the amount of money I could help make the potential payer. Present outcomes as well as future outcomes. And it’s because of that the reason I take the jobs that I do is typically because I see the potential and I enjoy making potential reality. I assess if I CAN help them, and only consult those I think I can bring real value to.

 

 

Ok, frankly, invoicing someone or charging someone is a shitload easier if you have provided something they value and they can envision the final value of the service provided <rather than speculated or ‘hoped for’ value>.

 

 

And, frankly #2, if they don’t see the real value of services provided most client people feel a responsibility & obligation to pay for the effort and will typical default to the “I want to pay you for the time you invested.”

Notice the default is ‘time.’

Default is labor and not thinking or ‘incremental value above just doing.

 

 

But I imagine the real point is I actually get to charge what is basically a percentage of what the other person gains from my time and output – that is real value.

 

 

Look.

 

 

I certainly have no fear of charging.

 

 

How I go about business may mean I ‘give away’ more free 15 minute increments than I do charge 1 hour increments but as long as I feel the ‘asker’ has valued what I brought to the table I am happy to help.

 

 

I also find if my advice & solutions & work is ignored … well … then it actually does feel like wasted time and it swiftly moves from ‘no charge’ to ‘I have no time’ <or if my time is actually demanded for some reason – because why would anyone demand time they don’t see value in … but some do – I will charge>.

 
Look.

 

 

Do I leave some income on the table? Sure. I am sure I do.

 

 

Do I feel full value in the money I do earn? Absolutely. Because I didn’t set the value … the person who receives the services did.

 

 

Does this create value in myself … as in my esteem or belief in myself? Absofrickinlutely.
I am confident in my business abilities but that doesn’t absolve me of any doubt … in fact … I tend to believe the good confident people HAVE a strong thread of doubt which keeps them grounded from being arrogant business fools.

 

Getting paid not just because I cranked out some invoice permits me the luxury of external stimulus directed feedback.money earn rain dollars

 

 

Do I recommend this business philosophy to everyone? Absolutely not.

 

 

But I get to speak with more people in a wide variety of industries then almost anyone I know.

 

Sometimes that ‘speaking’ is 15 minutes of ‘here is what I would do’ and sometimes it is 15 hours of in depth research and output.

 

 

And sometimes I get paid <without charging>.

 

 

What I do know for sure is that opening my email inbox every morning is fun and never boring.

Enlightened Conflict