October 30, 2019

Success story from reader Mauro Chojrin

Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 30th, 2019

Longtime reader and fellow list member Mauro Chojrin wrote in with a cautionary tale that I think folks here can learn from. I’m going to call it a “success story” in the sense that his takeaway at the end is a big mental breakthrough for someone to have. (shared with permission, edited lightly for clarity):

Hi Jonathan! How are you? I was just discussing your email in a freelance community I’m part of. It came up from a recent experience I had with a client who insisted in going hourly. I wasn’t really comfortable with it but he made a point that he wanted to have the ability to ask me for as many do-overs as he wanted without that being a problem for me. I have to say I wasn’t really convinced by this argument but I still wanted the work so I went along. We agreed on $75/hr and pre-paid batches of ten hours at a time. Fast forward to 20 hrs. gone and he’s complaining that the cost is starting to go over budget :s Digging a little deeper I discovered there were other concerns besides the cost but the point is there was a budget for this project (not particularly a big one :p) that I wasn’t aware of. Anyway, I did offer to go with a fixed price both at the beginning of the project and when things started looking bad but we simply couldn’t get to an agreement. And just to beat a dead horse (I hope I’m applying the expression correctly here :p), hourly billing not only hurts from a financial point of view... for me the whole experience just sucks (both for me and my client). Bottom line is you (And by “you” I mean me and anyone reading this) shouldn’t make any particular effort to change a prospects mind about pretty much anything (if they don’t think they have a problem they don’t have one, if they don’t think their problem is big/valuable enough it isn’t and if they don’t think there’s an alternative to hourly there isn’t one). It’s a much better use of your time to look for people who are in line with you and what you offer. Thanks! Mauro

Great stuff! Thanks to MC for sharing with the group :-)