it’s value, not time, that matters

theory-practice-yogiFrom the amazing book by the creator of Freshbooks called Breaking the Time Barrier.

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“I guess I’m not sure what you mean by value.”

“The value of what I do,” Karen said, “is based on the impact I can have on my client’s business. Impact is how they value my services. So I look at pricing from their point of view. They don’t hire me to design a website for the sake of designing a website. They hire me to design a website that’s going to help them from their perspective—it’s clear I’m not selling time. Instead, I’m selling a solution that is going to make an impact for my client and achieve some business objective.”

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I’m not a collection of hours,” Karen said. “I’m the accumulation of all my skills and talents. I’m wisdom and creativity. I’ve stopped seeing myself as a punch card. My clients don’t see me that way either. Yes, sometimes, I’ve had to change my client’s mind-set. But it starts with selling time. The best thing you could do for yourself is to get the concept of time out of your head.”

It puts you and the client on opposite sides of the table. If you’re selling hours, it’s in your best interest to take longer, to bill more hours. But your client is interested in getting solutions that work as promptly as possible. What if you work quicker for one client than another but deliver the same value. Should you penalize the client you worked longer for? If you’re slow, it’s not their fault.”

“And if you get quicker at something,” Steve said, “which was happening with me, you should get rewarded, right? But I was charging less if it took me less time.”