Selling Time

Professional services have somehow been left this weird legacy of putting a price on our time and then having to estimate the amount of time it takes for us to do something in order to price a task. There are, of course fast ways and slow ways of doing things and it seemed that you can trade off efficiency with being cheap – ie. you can end up pricing some work the same way either because you are efficient/smart but expensive, or that you’re inefficient but cheap.

This leaves us all relatively miserable because when we start out, we need to spend a lot of time working in order to survive and we might not be able to make the time investments to get better or more efficient when we are just barely making it to survive.

Then, when we do eventually get better, our rates might be high so we may not be able to do so many different interesting things because the customers will start to self-select. Of course, it’s good to continually work with good, demanding customers who push you reasonably to achieve more and better.

Is our time really all that cheap or quantifiable only by money though? We can all be sure it is worth much more than that. Maybe there’s a better way to do these things.