As you well know, Time is Money

Photo from: Internet Duct Tape
How do you determine what your time is worth? How about your expertise? Knowledge? Advice? We all give our advice and suggestions to friends and family for free. Is there a right time to stop this practice (maybe not for your family, but friends and friends of friends)?

Kate Ottavio has not one, but two great posts on the topic at PR Breakfast Club: Give it away… For Free! and Bring on the money! Working for free… (both excellent reads).

She makes an excellent point that “one will be asking us for our advice when we‘re out of a job or have closed shop.” Which is true.

I think there comes a time in every professional’s life where they want to make money and when your time becomes even more valuable.

If you aren’t comfortable quoting your friend your hourly rate, see if there is something you can barter for. Maybe your friend is an excellent web page designer and you are a great copy editor. Offer to edit his next term paper in exchange for helping you with your website. There is always something.

I know I’ve said it before, but don’t sell yourself short either. Make your projects worth your time and don’t be afraid to say no when the project isn’t worth your time. Obviously, try to leave the door open in case that changes, but don’t just accept a project to accept it or because you think there isn’t anything better out there. There will be.

Decisions, Decisions

I hate making decisions. I want to get everyone’s opinions and suggestions and thoughts before I commit to almost anything from what to make for dinner to an idea in the office. While this mentality ensures I’m not stepping on any toes, or making any one angry, it also means I can miss out when decisions need to be made quickly. This isn’t to say I can and don’t make a decision quickly when I have to, it means I fret over them until I close my eyes and jump.

Which brings me to the essential question, when did going with your instincts stop being a good reason to do something? Your brain processes information your conscious hasn’t had a chance to dissect. Maybe the reason you believe your colleague would be a great person to collaborate with is because your brain remembers how that person worked with someone else in the past or vice versa.

In this era of over information, having too much information or too many options can make making that decision ten times harder. I’m not the only one. The local Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts seminars or Lunch and Learns titles: “Pull the Ripcord – Discover a process that helps make tough decisions easier. Identify the type of decision you have to make, Isolate the decision objective and Initiate the Action.”

Sometimes, I think attending one of these would be good for me. Then again, I also think, what can they tell me that I don’t already know? I know I should listen to my instincts more often. I know I shouldn’t fret about a decision I’ve already made.

Have you attended a seminar for decision making? What did you think about it? How do you handle making decisions with an abundance of information available?