Another useless rule: Time=Money

Well, it does, sorta… but not in the way I came to think of it over ten years working in professions based on billable hours. The more I separate the value of what I do from how long it takes me to do it, the more I think through how best to leverage my time (investing it rather than spending it, with a profitable return on that investment), the more I consider multiple streams of income (including passive forms) – the more I’ve come to realize the relationship between time and money is far from fixed. And that is a very good thing.

At this particular moment of my paradigm shift, I’m having to discard my notions of what an appropriate ratio of billable to overhead hours should be. 75:25? 50:50? What if I simply chucked the notion of billable vs. overhead and instead viewed everything I do in my business as equally necessary parts of an integrated whole? Instead of solving the ratio equation, what if I simply ignored the “problem” altogether and used other criteria to determine the value of my services?

* * * * * * * * * *

Do you base your fees on billable hours? What is your ratio of billable hours (time spent on client work) to overhead hours (time spent on admin, bookkeeping, training, etc.)? How do you track these hours? Are there sufficient overhead hours to support your billable hours? Does the ratio feel about right or does it feel out of balance? Would you gladly trade some billable time for overhead, except you can’t afford the reduction in income? Does this all feel like a circular trap?

There is a way out. Sign up for my workshop series and get off the merry-go-round.


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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



© 2008 Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works. All Rights Reserved.

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