December 9, 2018

The Wrong Question

If you came to me and said:

“I’d like to do fixed price projects, but how do I manage scope creep?”

I would reply:

“That’s the wrong question. Don’t worry about scope creep. Price yourself 10x higher than normal.”

And then you would probably ask:

“How the heck am I supposed to 10x my prices and still get clients?!”

This is the right question. And it’s dramatically different from the first.

The difference between “how do I control scope creep?” and “how do I 10x my prices?” is like night and day.

One requires a completely different approach than the other.

One is about control, the other is about freedom.

One is rigid, the other is flexible.

One is about conflict, the other is about harmony.

One is a poverty mentality and the other is an abundance mentality.

And - perhaps most importantly - one will keep you on the hamster wheel and the other will set you free.

Caveat #1

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should never try to limit scope creep.

I’m saying that limiting it because you’re afraid you’ll lose money isn’t the right reason.

The right reason to limit scope creep is when it’s going to delay or prevent the desired business outcome of the project.

ASIDE: If your projects often suffer from scope creep, it could be because you and your client have not agreed to a clear business outcome for the project.

Caveat #2

I don’t expect that you can 10x your prices overnight. It’s something to work toward.

It usually requires a major mind shift, a new business strategy, a laser-focused positioning statement, and a dozen or so business skills that you might not currently have.

That said, this effort can start paying dividends way before you reach 10x fees. Even a 2x increase would probably transform your life.


No matter how good you get at controlling scope creep, it’s unlikely that that alone would ever 10x (or even 2x) your business. You have to do something else.