Saw this on twitter today:
I'm definitely in this camp. I think we're socialized to celebrate teeny tiny wins on the expense side of the ledger when you're almost always better off focusing on "What would systemically increase revenue?"
— Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) May 1, 2018
I want to add don’t waste time to make a few bucks also. I had a recent experience that made me think how important this is.
A friend of mine got the opportunity to take on a quick web project last weekend. The thing is, the project is a little over his head in terms of his current skillset. He needs the money though so he
says yes to the project. He spends the next few day including the entire weekend, multiple sleepless nights learning and building out the project. Also, the client does not have all the information for the project ready but still wants it by x date. So now my friend is stressing about delivering on time meanwhile spending entire nights awake to the point where his body is shaky from exhaustion. But he needs to get paid so he continues. There’s more. While he’s stressing about this job he has other jobs too so after this job is finished he’ll have to spend more sleepless nights catching up on those.
The crazy thing is if he wasn’t so focused on making a few bucks he could have found a better way. He could have easily hired out the work to someone who could do it in a day for a fraction of the total budget. He would make a bit less money but what he would have earned would be at minimum five times his normal hourly rate. Considering the hours he spent on this project he ended up earning maybe half of his hourly rate. He made more money taking on the job but the few extra bucks he made came at a high cost. He could have spent the weekend chilling with his partner, prospecting for new clients, resting and so many things that are way more valuable than those few bucks.
On another note there’s also this. You get what you tolerate and you’ll get more of it. As it relates to freelancing when you let a client know you’ve just done a full weekend with sleepless nights to do a ‘urgent’ project you can be sure they’ll expect that again in the future. And the other clients that that client recommend to you will expect that as well. The more you tolerate unreasonable requests the more unreasonable requests you will get.