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The Vicious Cycle of Hourly Logic

Here’s what’s so bad about using hourly billing for calculating your value: it makes the client focus on hours worked rather than any “magic” you produce.

And in the back of your mind, you know this focus will affect how much value you get from this project. The longer you work it gets harder to ignore the “hum of time spent.” Eventually, this noise drowns out the symphony of expertise and creativity you were hired for.

And people

Here’s how this problem then keeps re-creating itself:

1. TIME PRESSURE: Watching the clock diminishes the potential for value-generating or time-saving innovation. Or getting enough sleep.
2. MENTAL SIEGE: Tracking time takes energy away from your flair and passion. Or, again, enough sleep.
3. LOST POTENTIAL: The result ends up missing much value it could have had from creativity or exploration.
4. UNDERVALUED EXPERTISE: Client perception is skewed by the muted value they see in the project, leading to a value communication mismatch as your hard-won expertise gets grossly reduced to [hours x rates].

The client will only see the muted value and conclude it represents your best shot. This will then inform the negotiations for the next project for this and similar clients, resulting in time pressure on the next project as well. And so the cycle begins again.

The great news is, you only need a couple of part-time projects to break out of this cycle. Do it:)

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