hourly rates for freelancers

Hourly rates, for freelancers, aren’t everything

My husband loves taking pictures and videos of our family.

He’s the documentarian — the one who makes cheesy holiday photos and birthday invites and keeps all the grandparents up to date with the kids’ latest antics.

A few months ago, his cell phone contract was up.

He got something cheaper. (He’s an Android person … I don’t get it.)

And guess what? The camera was crap. Legit crapola.

By the time the camera was ready to take a picture, the baby was already doing something else. And the times when he actually was able to take a picture — or so we thought — it didn’t end up being in the camera roll at all.

He couldn’t see spending $900 on the good phone with the awesome camera.

I couldn’t see not doing it.

Day 1 with new phone: He took this adorable video of our son saying “taco” (or trying, at least). This video alone is worth $900 in my opinion.

Not to mention my husband now has his joie de vivre back — taking and editing pictures and videos — something he loves.

That’s worth a bucketload, no?

Let’s think about what would happen if we didn’t invest here

… If he kept the crappy phone.

Sure, we’d have $900 more dollars.

But he becomes a shell of himself, losing a hobby he loves.

And we don’t have amazing pictures of our family to look at and share.

We’re not rolling in cash over here — but even when you’re a pragmatic and responsible person financially, some things are just friggin’ worth it (like the time I spent $32 to ship a dress a few miles).

So, if you’re questioning that purchase — the one that improves your quality of life — ask yourself: Are you accounting for everything involved (besides just money)?

Now, onto work…

How valuable is our time when it comes to our work?

As self-employed peeps, we’ve all done those exercises to figure out what our hourly rates should be (even if we’re just knowing it ourselves and using value-based pricing for our clients). But again, some things can’t really be measured in dollars…

I just said no to a project with a big-ass budget because there were some red flags.

Sure. Maybe it’s a luxury to be able to say no. To be able to pay our mortgage without me taking that job.

But here’s what usually happens. Saying no opens me up to something better.

Saying no protects my energy and sanity (which are pretty much everything when you’re self-employed).

Because what would happen if you say yes to that crazy project?

  • You make the money
  • You hate the project, you hate people, and you hate every day that you’re doing the work
  • You’re in a bad mood, and that makes you snap at your family and skip the gym to eat Doritos instead.

And the whole thing snowballs…

Now, what happens if you say no to the crazy project?

  • You maybe pass the project on to someone who would like it
  • You maybe have a little extra free time to get a pedicure
  • You’re available and open-hearted when that great project comes along (and it will)
  • Your energy and creativity is protected and allowed to grow instead of being depleted

Recently I talked to Ilise on the Marketing Mentor podcast about saying no and some other boundaries that have served me well over the years. Also, in Part 1, I talked about how I got my business started despite anxiety and self-doubt.

In closing, buy the good thing you need to enrich your life or your work.

And say no to bad projects.

Because your time is worth more than just dollars.

Written by Deidre Rienzo

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