Back in the dot com boom I did a lot of slice and dice sites for people. To say I worked cheap would be an understatement. Everytime I turned around someone was wanting me to “help” them design a website or design and code a site as a trade out. Either way I ended up feeling like I’d been stiffed.
Somewhere down the line I realized that I lacked what most web designers lack; understanding that my time is valuable and I’m providing a service that has value.
A few years ago I was talking with a freelancer when the topic of rates came up. He thought I was high for the area I live in yet I was getting considerable work on the side. He, on the other hand, was much less expensive and constantly had a feeling of being overworked.
The first question I asked him was, “how much is your time worth to you?”
“I have plenty of time outside my day job.”
“That’s great. But wouldn’t you rather have that time to spend with your family? Wouldn’t you rather pick and choose jobs doing quality work rather than spend your time racing through them and providing shoddy service to your clients? Don’t you feel you owe that to them as well as yourself? Wouldn’t you rather make more money doing it?”
“Of course! That’s why I’m freelancing.” He replied.
“Now tell me how much your time is worth to you again?”