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Are you working for yourself or working for profit

When did you reach this epithamy.

It is when your bank balance moves horizontally all the time and your energy for more work goes southward. Reward for more work is not realized. Obviously it is different for everyone and we can all share it on Twitter, but the point is that all small business people reach this point some time in their life. I have.

Before realizing this crucial point in business life I would not be able to convince you that it is not about greed. It would be greed if you were a banking magnate, but you are a small company with, let's say less than 20 people.

I'll tell you when it hit me. Really hard.

I was doing a job for a client, it was quotes for products for his new house. We started first by having a meeting to discuss what his wife liked (he had to keep her happy for all the bj's). After that it was proposal time, and there were many, seriously, proposal after proposal. Amendment after amendment. All these proposals included images, diagrams, explanations of why, where, when and how. Finally the project was approved and it was time for payment. It is then that the client requested a discount because I should be so grateful for his generosity and trust for buying all the products from me and not going to the competition. This guy was good, he did not mail me with the request, no he phoned in and reasoned with me. I was young and inexperienced and caved in with a 10% discount. What a fool I was. What a fool, I was!

This project took about 30% of my time per day and paid only 5% of my required bottom line. In effect I made no money at all from this project, I just barely held my head above water. That day taught me one of the most important lessons in business. Be prepared to walk away and set your bottom line early what you think you are worth.

If I would have said no to the discount, was he not in the predicament. He has spent all the time with me, he had no other proposals and PowerPoint slides to help him understand what he is getting. As a matter of fact, I could have told him due to the amount of work I put into the project, the reduced risk he had for failure of the project, it would be fair to charge for the presentations an extra 10%! Don't you think.

In a certain sense, I was one of his employees. Working my but off for his enjoyment.

Never put yourself in that position. Value the input you make to other people's lives and charge for it. And if they don't like it, walk away. It is not worth you time and effort.

Your time is valuable, charge for it.

Work for profit, not for yourself!


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