[thelist] Financial Situation

Conyers, Dwayne dwayne.conyers at hp.com
Mon Dec 15 11:31:11 CST 2008

Ken Schaefer [Ken at adOpenStatic.com] was rumored to have stated:

> > On Behalf Of UIT DEV

> > So I am on my own and I am not going to charge $11/hr to develop
> > software when I used to get paid $44/hr, plus benefits and such.

> Again - you might want to produce something that people value at
> $44/hour. For the same reason that GM can't sell cars at prices
> people aren't prepared to pay, it seems you are selling services
> that people don't see the value in. You might want to sell
> something that's of higher value at $44/hour+benefits. That's the
> way the market works...

I remember many, many moons ago marvelling that a guy who worked with a new (at the time) technology that I was also well versed in (Borland Quattro Pro) was getting high rates for building simple spreadsheets while I was making McDonalds money doing the same -- plus other technologies.  This Goomer made such a high rate that he only had to work six months out of a year, and spent the rest of the year laying about in the Caribbean.

I wondered why I wasn't getting the same rates.  My conclusion was... marketing.

A couple years after that, I worked for a company that paid me $30,000 per annum to consult.  I went on a sales call with a corporate VP who sold a week of my services for $40,000. That was a revelation that I was that valuable... even though the powers that be'd treated me like Fagin treated Oliver Twist.

When I heard (probably unintended) how much customers were willing to pay for me, I kept a poker face, but was incredulous that my weekly billing rate was $10k over my annual salary.

I was even more shocked when another VP decided to give me the old eighty-six when my ambitious admin assistant suggested I should be fired so that she could move into my position -- even though she didn't have the skills to insert a floppy disk into the drive and execute SETUP.EXE.  But, that is off topic...  :-x

Anyway... I have former colleagues who worked side-by-side with me who are now senior executives at companies... and I guess the reason being is that they sold themselves into such a role while I have been content to remain in the customer-facing trenches because I like it (and managed to use the same techniques to close the pay/billing rate gap).

So... if you want to go back to $44/hr or even rise above that -- it is all about how the product is sold.  I have a couple friends who are in the branding, marketing and PR.  Not that I use such services full time.  However, I have received invaluable tips and advice that have helped.

Maybe you can get LinkedIn with some folks in that business realm and either barter or otherwise avail yourself of their talents?

Just my zwei pfennig...

I made magic once.  Now, the sofa is gone.

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