About Self-Confidence and the Value of One’s Own Work in 10 Ideas

Introduction

I have been working in consulting since 2005. What I do in consulting can be read here and here.

In itself, ”explanations” is what is proper to give when, with the decisions one makes, one confuses somebody or one doesn’t rise to the occasion. However, because man is often a rationalizing being rather than a rational one, it is important that the people with whom and for whom I work understand the reasons behind certain decisions that affect them directly. Whatever I say or do, I risk displeasing somebody, or somebody may judge me for what I say or do.

In my entire career, I have remembered the people who helped me for free or in exchange for very little money: they gladly offered to me coaching, mentoring, design, photography, promotion, training sessions, without asking for anything (much) in return. There are too many tens of people for me to start thanking each of them – I should write a separate article on this. That is why I have kept a pro bono component of my professional activities for a long time, dedicated to certain people, depending on certain professional criteria. I am glad I could do that.

Since 2015, I have also started a series of collaborations as barters (quid pro quo) which have been and continue to be useful and productive. 

A practice that I have developed since 2016 is to offer free consulting sessions to customers with whom I am working using for the first time techniques to check if their implementation by me succeeds in generating the expected results. Once I measure the results, these techniques enter my repertoire for a fee.

They shall continue – but only at a decreased level and according to new conditions.

Starting 1 April 2017,  I have increased the tariff to 70 Euros (~85 USD) per consulting hour.

  

Why this increase? Here are 10 reasons for it.

1. This gradual increase is, on the one hand, a reflection of the quality of work that I perform, as compared to what is to be found both on the international market, and on the Romanian market. I know coaches who can’t do what I can do and get at least twice as much as I do.

2. Secondly, it is a reflection of the success recorded since 2015 by providing consulting services via Skype/Zoom for tens of clients in 8 countries. Currently, I can see that I can provide consulting services just as well in English as I do in Romanian, so my price should be a consistent one. 50 Euros per consulting hour is not a serious price on the international market. Some virtual assistants get more. 

3. certain professionals prefer to set their tariffs according to the client, also considering the country of origin, the purchasing power, etc. I prefer (at least for the time being) to maintain the same tariff for all my clients, even though depending on certain private agreements I offer certain discounts (for instance, if I get involved in a project of 10 or 30 consulting hours, I find it normal to have a discount based on the amount of work). I like to be as fair and acceptably transparent as possible to each client.

4. Since 2016, I have spent a lot of time experimenting with new techniques and approaches, creating models, studying advanced materials for personal development, psychology and marketing on my own. These are very functional. I am very confident that they are worth being used for a larger audience. Actually, they are so functional that I could ask for 300 Euros/hour for them and I still think that I would find clients (although it would be harder at first, so let’s get serious). So, I take into account the suggestions received from clients and collaborators telling me that I sell my services too cheap, that I need more promotion, so that people would hear about me, that I need more confidence in myself and my skills. I am being criticized for the fact that I don’t show more courage in my inclination to become a leader. This change follows, however, a natural trend: to ask more for what I provide. So, high-standard skills must be reflected by high prices, which would make a difference regarding the competition. By earning more, the chances of having more time and more money to dedicate to the promotion of my services and delegate the tasks that fill my schedule in an insufficiently effective manner, are increased.

5. By asking for more, I can offer my clients the chance to contribute, and my work could be performed at a higher level: I can take part in training courses, I can perform researches, I can purchase technology that would make my and their life and activity easier, I can externalize services so that I can only focus on what I do better. In other words, I can become a better professional to meet many people halfway. I can create products that would be accessible to thousands or tens of people, through which I would share my knowledge more broadly so that more people would enjoy what I have to offer.

6. So that I wouldn’t be accused of going over my head and breaching the agreements that I concluded, each person is entitled to change their mind (I also reserve my right to change my mind every once in a while). Each agreement and contract may be renegotiated. There is BATNA (the best alternative to a negotiated agreement).

7. As far back as the end of 2016, I have said that I would do this, maybe some people still remember. 

8. When I have so much work to do for the clients I already have and I cannot afford to take any new ones, it is clear that something has to change. Well, a large part of these almost 60 tasks shall continue to be free and shall fall into the consultancy work category; it’s just that an hour of consulting services will cost more.

9. Sooner or later, usually within a few months, my clients manage to earn more money, partially further to the consulting services provided by me. Consequently, a tariff increase may be allowed. There is also the issue that some raise: well but ”there are some who haven’t been convinced by the value of your services yet, Ștefan! For them, it is too expensive and they don’t understand why you are asking for so much”. This point of view is only theirs. At the same time, I provide a free demonstrative consulting session, on a service chosen by the client. Also, as long as I get to the point where I don’t have time to take any new clients that are willing to pay for what I’m asking of them because I have too much work for the existing ones, it is only fair that I prioritize those who are motivated to use my services according to the value I require. If somebody chooses not to work with me because they think it is too much, for me it is not a problem. There are usually other people standing in line and waiting to work with me. I don’t have to call them; they call me.
10. Overall, the economy is doing well, there is a developing market for the services provided in the personal and professional field, where certain charlatans are doing much better than me, while I am buried under a pile of insufficiently paid work. 20 Euros extra per hour is not going to impoverish anybody but it would make my life easier.

  

There is no more free (or discounted) lunch

Starting 1 July 2017:

  • The only services that I continue to provide for free are the demonstrative initial consulting session or initial evaluation, for each client who has not benefitted from my services in the past and the practice sessions for me, using new techniques with the clients interested in them.
  • 70 Euros per consulting hour (for now). The same tariff goes for the coaching hour. The same value is also used for barters, irrespective of the number of hours in question.
  • I offer a 5% discount for purchasing a package of 10 sessions in advance.
  • What exceeds the consulting hour by 5 minutes is calculated for each minute exceeding an hour (1 minute=0.8(3) Euros). Yes, I know that for some Romanians ”time is money” is translated by ”there is also time tomorrow”; not for me, though.
  • The promotional materials, strategy summaries, metalanguage analysis, letter editing, evaluation excels, questionnaires, as well as the linguistic patterns of reframing limiting convictions, are charged (for now) with 15 Euros/performance hour.
  • The graphological analysis is paid by 15 Euros/individual for simple analysis and 25 Euros/individual for complex analysis.
  • The audio/video comment recorded onto the client’s material is charged with 0.5 Euros/minute for what exceeds 3 minutes/intervention.
  • 25 Euros per troubleshooting hour for the client’s device for any reason, charged by the minute.
  • In case of canceling the session less than 24 hours in advance for an unjustified and exceptional cause (e.g. you were hit by a car, you were affected by a flood, your mother died), you owe me half of the value of the consulting session.
  • The offer according to which I have started my consulting session at a certain price and we continue with the same price in the case when no interruption is no longer valid.
  • With each client, sessions are set in advance for the next 2 weeks and/or for the following 2 sessions.

Consequently, I have not increased my price because I am a bloody cheapskate, some sort of materialistic profiteer or I just felt like it. I didn’t do it because I had burnout or passive-aggressive habits this year, but simply because it is natural, justified, and human – for all these reasons shown above and more.

If there is somebody who thinks that it is too much, then I recommend to them to buy my Romanian books, where they can find the equivalent of very many hours of consulting at a very low price. Speaking of which, those are also rather cheap. I should increase their price. However, for the time being, I’ll leave them like this.

Thank you for your understanding.    

If you haven’t benefitted from this experience yet, ask for a free consulting session!

0040 729 034 883

Marcus Victor Grant

One-on-one Consultant since 2005

Text Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present. Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Despre încrederea în sine și valoarea propriei munci în 10 puncte“  previously published by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian at the 31st of March 2017 on Discerne.  Original article updated on the 13th of November 2018. This is a translation of the updated version. Text Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.