In Career

If you’re good at something, don’t do it for free

Freelancers, take note!

If you are good at something, don’t do it for free.

My minimum for billing, is I can give a 5-minute answer to give some general information if required, but it should always lead to more business in the future for me.

I am not about to spend 50 minutes on the phone helping a client sort out their problems if I am not getting paid for it.

The only exception is if you don’t have experience, like if you’re straight out of school or in the middle of summer and you need SOME experience on an internship.

Not getting paid is not ideal, even as an intern, but it’s expected because you’re new and green to the job.

Otherwise: If you are good at something, don’t do it for free.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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So true.

Posted on June 28, 2015

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4 Comments

  1. Lila

    In the design world, sometimes clients try to make a designer “work on spec” so basically its “if we like your design we will pay for it or if not we won’t.”

    Which is hilarious because no one goes to a restaurant and says to the waiter “if i like your restaurant’s food, I’ll pay for it and if I don’t then I just won’t.” That’s just as bad as making people trying to work for free.

    http://www.nospec.com/what-is-spec

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’d love to go to a restaurant and not pay for bad food. 😛

      Creative work is not free work.

      Reply
  2. Ramona

    100000% agreed 🙂

    I don’t do work for free either. After 13 years spent learning web design and online marketing, I should at least get paid for my skills. I do provide some insights (just as you mentioned, if it doesn’t take too much time), but anything else is billed.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I don’t mind helping if it generates more business for me, but I will be damned if I am going to give that work away for free.

      Reply

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