As many of you know by now, I had throat surgery last week…
Nothing too serious, but it’s a still a serious part of the body to be operating on (and, yes, I’m still weaning myself off the air-cast on my leg, it’s been a hell of a few months). So, I did my research and found the biggest, best, fanciest specialist in NYC. And, by the way, just like every other big, bad, best specialist in NYC, he doesn’t take insurance and my insurance doesn’t cover out of network. Translation, I ended up paying many thousands of dollars out of my own pocket for a 1-hour operation.
I shared this with a friend who responded, “man, that’s a nice hourly rate.”
But, here’s the thing. The reason I was happy to pay every cent of it was because I wasn’t paying for his “time in the O.R.” I was paying to be as far as possible away from the guy who went first. I was paying for his 25 years perfecting his skills, thousands of patients, tens of thousands of hours and tons of newbie mistakes avoided.
I was, quite simply, paying not to be first.
And, there’s a lesson in that. It applies to pretty much every solo practice Career Renegade. All too often, people are tempted to charge an “hourly” rate for their services, because that’s what the rest of the market does.
I never charge an hourly rate.
Every once in a while, though, someone tries to reverse engineer it out of my project fees or retainer and remarks about what it breaks down to on an hourly basis. But, just like my super-hero doc, you’re not paying me for my time talking, writing or strategizing. That’s only a piece of the puzzle.
Let’s say I charge $10,000 to write a sales letter. Maybe it takes me anywhere from 5 to 25 hours to write. Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of money if you base it purely on “writing time.”
But, you’re not paying for the time it takes me to write it.
You’re paying for the thousands of hours I’ve spent studying the top copywriters, working with them, diving deep into the psychology and linguistics of persuasion. You’re paying to be as far away from the inevitable early disasters as possible. You’re paying the value of the revenue generating asset I am creating for your business. But, most of all…
You’re paying not to be first.
And, at least when I’m the client, the customer…or the patient, I’m going to pay to be as far away from first as my bank account can get me.
As always, just thinking out loud. What do you think?
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