Do you Value yourself? And I mean, really, value yourself?
Are you getting paid what you are worth for your time and the services you provide to your clients?
Are you doing projects you despise just because you are being paid for them?
More often than not, entrepreneurs, especially start up’s, battle with this concept.
We are so eager to get business and start making money – that we take on projects or clients without much thought, and six months down the line find ourselves pigeon holed in to doing way too much and not being remunerated properly for it.
This in turn breeds anger and before you know it – you are hating the job, and not giving it your full attention and care – and this can only be a recipe for disaster.
Recently, I stopped to take stock of where I was, and what I was doing – this brought on by the feeling of running like a hamster on a treadmill for the last 6 months without a break, and decided a few days off to clear my head on the beaches of Mozambique was just the ticket.
Sadly 4 nights was not long enough to enjoy all that Praia de Barra had to offer, but it did get me in to the right mindset to make some changes – that would benefit me, and my company down the line.
- Stop. Breathe. Take a break. Evaluate. Talk to someone.
Take a week off – I know it may not seem like you can afford to do that right now – but in the long run you may be damaging your company, and yourself, more than you realise.
Spend time not thinking about work, focussing on other things like reading, travelling, gardening etc to get you out of the work mind set.
I spent four days with a person who I was able to bounce ideas off, and we chatted about work thoughts and looked at both of our situations from different angles – a different perspective can be refreshing.
- Evaluate which projects you love and the ones you don’t.
You don’t have to take on everything you are offered. I had two projects on board that woke me up at 4 am every morning in cold sweats.
After discussing it with my business partner – we agreed that neither of us were happy with the projects, and made the call to rather let them go, so that we can focus on projects that we enjoyed and were passionate about.
- Charge what you are worth.
What is your hourly rate? Do you know? Depending on your experience, knowledge and industry you can work out your hourly rate.
This will differ from person to person, and project to project – but that is what you quote for any new project. You can be flexible and open to discussion – but should the client not be willing to accept that, or work on something that you would feel comfortable with – is this really the type of client that you are wanting to forge a new relationship with?
- Never work for Free.
I know this may sound simple, but in reality I did this many times – “Sure, you can pay us when the project is done”. No. How are you going to pay your phone bill, your petrol and put food on your table if you are working like a Trojan right now for money you will only see in 6 months time?
If the client wants your services right now, then negotiate a retainer for each month, and a smaller payout at the end – if they really want to work with you, they will pay you. If not – then this may well not be the project for you.
Obviously each circumstance is different, and this is my own personal experience, but if you feel that the benefit in publicity, or repeat projects will come your way etc will be worth taking the knock for a few months, then obviously that is the call to make in that situation, but think it through carefully.
- Sign a contract with regular review periods.
Make sure you have a firm contract in place, with initial 3 month review periods, which can move out to 6 months after a while.
This not only protects you from getting loaded with tasks that you may not wish to take on – but also gives you something to go back to the client with, should you not be happy with the way things are turning out etc.
- Be brave.
Stick up for what you believe in, and your true worth. If you don’t believe it – no one else will.