Friday, August 03, 2007


I'm very tired this evening... tired of work, tired of websites, tired of trying to juggle so many different issues in so many different places, and make sure they're all done on time, tired of making just enough and no more.

It's my Seasonal Vacation Deficiency, rearing up again as it does every year. Each summer, I get very busy, and then when it all dies down in September/October, I can't afford to go anywhere. I haven't been on a proper, week-long vacation to the beach or some other sybaritic location in 2 years. My chiropractor, trying to fix a stiff neck problem I've been having ever since I fell down some stairs 2 months back, rather solemnly told me that I was suffering from a Fun Deficiency.

Sorry, I'm in the midst of a pity-party today... I've spent the last 3 months helping maintain an online campaign for a young man falsely imprisoned in Nicaragua, 10-15 hours a week, and although there have been significant strides forward, none of our work has yet led to his actual release. As tired and broke and burned out as I am, I still know it's nothing compared to what his parents are dealing with, so I don't feel I can complain. But it's pro bono work on top of my regular workload, and it's just frustrating.

I'm managing the bills and rent and my client list is enough to keep me busy, but I can't afford to just STOP and go away for a week. And this is the same lament I've been making for 2 years now. My close family and friends think I should increase my rates, but I just find that so incredibly hard to do because I know how difficult it would be for me to pay someone $50/hr to work on my computer! So I automatically assume it's a financial burden for everyone else.

Every time a client pulls out their checkbook and says, "so, how much?" I feel guilty for asking for anything over $40, even when I might have spent 3 hours on a job. Part of it is because I feel like if I was smarter/more experienced/did more research/took some classes, I would do the same task in half the time, and therefore I'm not deserving of more than $40/hr. This, despite the fact that my knowledge base has doubled and tripled since I started my business. I just feel like they are writing out my check, thinking, "boy, is she not worth this much!"

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a bargain.

1 comment:

Mike Howell said...

Charging for computer work has been challenging to me as well. People are always begrudge the expense for something they believe should "just work." Think of it more like getting one's car fixed... those who can do it themselves save money. If you took your car to the repair shop and it only cost $60 to get it back on the road, you'd be thrilled.