Captain’s log, stardate 20200429


Success story from reader Stacey Solie

Sent by Jonathan Stark on April 29th, 2020

Longtime list member Stacey Solie wrote in with a success story that I think you’ll find inspirational (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan, Writing to say thank you. I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for many years, formerly with an eye toward journalism, which helped set my price-point unsustainably low. When I took on writing and editing for other people’s projects I charged by the hour, which always ended up biting me --Even after 15- 20 years of writing I still always always always under-estimate how long something will take, and then felt bad or embarrassed about revealing how long something took me to do and charging for it, as if I were doing something wrong. Awhile back a friend/ colleague Bob Lalasz mentioned your stance that “hourly billing is nuts” - Intrigued, I bought the e-book (actually the middle package w/ additional pdfs) even though at the time the $150 or whatever it cost was a significant portion of what I had in my bank account -- I was desperate to find a new way of doing business, and willing to invest. And, I’ve been value-pricing ever since. I went from having an unsustainable business where I was always anxious, nearly broke, waiting for checks to come in so I could use them to pay bills but never having anything left over -- to completely transforming everything. Now I price by the project -- My pricing is still intuitive to a degree but I make sure it’s big enough that if I end up spending 2-3 times more time on something, due to my own perfectionism, I’m still well-compensated. It has taken the edge off invoicing. I have better clients. I feel more self-respect. I recently hired Rochelle Moulton as a coach -- saw that you have a podcast together, and it inspired me to circle back and let you know how your perspective helped change my perspective and transform how I see myself, what I offer, what kinds of projects I’m willing to take on and want to take on. Thinking of myself as the expert that I am, and valuing my own expertise, has improved my autonomy in all aspects of life. Thank you for sharing what you know! -Stacey Solie

Thanks to Stacey for sharing this with everyone!

Do you have a success story of your own?

If so, please send it to me at or just reply to this message.

(And please let me know if it’s for “my eyes only” or if I can share with the list)




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