Don’t charge by the day … or, worse, per word

About a year ago, I had a long discussion with a prospective client about this. The simple fact is that charging by the day, or per word, creates an immediate conflict of interest: the client is motivated to go short while you are motivated to go long.

I was reminded of this by a marketing mail from John Niland’s VCO Global:

Charging for time is easy. It’s familiar in many sectors: from the oldest profession to the newest. However, there are three problems with hour/day rates:

1: While on the surface, a day-rate is easy to agree with your client, it creates a fundamental conflict of interestin most relationships. Your client wants the fewest days possible: you often need more time to do a quality job. Furthermore, the client is likely to involve you later rather than earlier, in order to save cost…

The webinar being promoted looks interesting.

 

Image: Photo by Aron on Unsplash

Seth on Trust

Seth Godin on trust … and how easily it’s lost.

 I’ve wasted many hours over the last few months trying to work my way through some significant bugs (workflow and data loss) with them, and each of the many customer service people I’ve worked with have pushed me to do more testing, and they’ve clearly stated that my problem is unique. This ‘bluff, stall and get used to it’ strategy is the sort of thing one might expect from a traveling salesman. Yesterday they finally let me know that in fact it’s a known issue, that it affects many people with hardware and software like mine, and I’m stuck with it. I can’t easily rip it out, and I can’t happily work with it either.

Interestingly, I recently had a similar issue with Sonos. They were, admittedly, a little slow to respond, but worked hard to resolve my issue (album tracks losing their correct order and appearing alphabetically under each album). And, as a result, they’ve retained trust and an advocate.

 

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

1,000 True Fans

All you need is 1,000 true fans.

I originally posted this ten years ago, over on BurningPine.com, but came across it again, today. I think it’s still relevant for creators and sovereign professionals, especially with regard to the discussion on passive income streams. The original posted (as linked) has also been updated  …

1,000 True Fans

What a beautiful concept from Kevin Kelly.  A consequence of all that Chris Anderson talked about in The Long Tail is that it is easier for creators (photographers, musicians, writers, whatever) to reach directly to their audience, their market, their fans.  Cutting out the middle-man, and the middle-man’s filters, has never been easier.  What Kelly offers in this insightful post is something of a bridge or staging post between impoverished artist and mega-star.  Simplistically put, all an artist needs in order to provide a living is “1,000 true fans”.  Kelly defines these as follows:

“someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

Crucially, Kelly suggests that the true fan will spend one day’s wage per year on your product, nominally pitched at $100.  Thus, 1,000 x $100 = $100,000 = a reasonable living.  Of course, the real figures will vary by geography, by muse and by the size of the artistic unit: a six-piece rock band will require a higher income (= a bigger number of true fans) than, say, a poet.  However, it’s a great concept.  Simple, elegant and worth pondering.

Kevin Kelly — The Technium

 

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Passive income streams for sovereign professionals – Forbes.com

Here’s a useful post from Abdullahi Muhammed on Forbes.com: 4 Passive Income Streams Freelancers Should Create To Secure Their Futures.

One of the ongoing challenges that sovereign professionals face is the direct relationship between time and money: if you work, you earn; if you don’t work, you don’t earn.

It manifests itself in other ways, too. When you’re busy you can quickly hit an earnings ceiling: there are no more hours to work and you feel like you’re leaving money on the table.

A useful goal, therefore, is to create passive income streams: ways to generate revenue even  when you’re on the beach. An obvious example is the successful novelist or recording artist who earns royalties from a popular back-catalogue.

Abdullahi offers four routes to passive income, here.

 

Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

On phones, open plan, distractions and focus

The Economist’s Bartleby column on human behaviour in the face  of relentless “on-ness”:

In the face of 24-hour communication, we rebel in our own quiet way. We put personal communication first, and we reply in our own sweet time.

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

Focus! How to get things done – @Chris_Bailey

Anyone who prescribes meditation, coffee and wine deserves attention.

Yesterday’s Times has an interview with Chris Bailey on his new book, Hyperfocus: How to Work Less and Achieve More.

Our inability to focus, because of our digital aids to productivity, is the bane of our times.

In a fascinating article, Bailey prescribes:

  • Set yourself no more than three daily tasks
  • Do a phone swap
  • Set an hourly awareness alarm
  • Switch environments when you need to
  • Ditch brain training apps for meditation
  • Buy a cheap alarm clock
  • Save your first coffee for work
  • Play a song on repeat
  • Take a mindful shower
  • Have a glass of wine

It’s definitely worth a read and some consideration. Over a glass of wine.

The interview is here.

The man, via TED, is here.

The book is here.

More open plan

Just adding to my earlier post on open plan. Here’s Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership, via Execupundit, with a wealth of articles on the subject.

His own summary:

People seem to want a one-size-fits-all answer to the question about what makes the best workspace. I don’t think there is one. I think the answer depends on the people involved, the work to be done, and the size of the team.

Read the full breadth of perspective, here.

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash