This has been a big problem for me at different times in my life.  I have notice it more in the last few days when people have been asking to by stuff from the computer shop I work at.  One person wanted a computer but said they did not want to pay too much, so I was weary to tell them about the cheapest desktop we have which was $700ish.  That person called back and asked and I just let him know…$700 wasn’t bad at all and he said he would be by to pick it up.

Another instance was a lady who needed internet in the sticks, the best solution was a turbo hub, but I didn’t think she would go for since it did not have a lot of data available in the plans, I also told her about the plan with my tail between my legs, but she sound bright and excited on the phone when I told her.  I have thought about this for a little bit and have come to some conclusions:

*  People do not value things the same why I do:  Plain and simple.  I was thinking that when the customer wanted a computer, he would want what I would want.  I run Ubuntu Linux so I don’t need a powerful machine to run my Operating System.  I like to program write, listen to music and watch movies, which almost any computer made in the last 5 years can do no problem, so I get netbooks, cheap laptops and make then last forever (there is a technology rule that I have that I will have to make another post on).  So when I think I don’t want to spend much $200 would be the max, this customer wanted something completely different than I would want and was happy to pay for.  The same for the internet, I use ridiculous amounts of data on my internet, so I live in town instead of the sticks.  This lady just wants to get emails and facebook, so a little bit of data that can reach the sticks is great.

*  I have been burned:  While in Utah (and I try hard not to blame Utah as a whole since stats show it is one of the best places for business right now) I tried freelance web development, work on an e-commerce site that would have costed a couple thousands dollars easy had this client gone anywhere else, and when I wanted the initial $500, the guy resorted to all kinds of shady things and eventually when I would not give the guy said take it all back.  So maybe these experiences are telling me that whatever I do is not worth what I am asking for it.

*  Their is a Toxic Business Environment in College:  When I was going to college and trying to work at the same time, there were countless time that people offered for me to work for them for free and have it build my portfolio.  At first you think this is how you gotta get started, but the trend is that they will always pull this trick, or if you finally start charging they go to the next naive kid.

I listen to podcasts by Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller that have a lot to do with valuing you time and talents, use your talents and don’t be shy about what they are worth.  Just tell people they get what they pay for, more along the lines of this post, tell people what things cost, don’t act ashamed that you are charging someone for something, this is how the world moves round.

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