In 2. Pricing Strategies

Break Up with Hours

When I started my business, I set my price in a super-scientific way. Basically, I ran into a friend who was doing something similar to what I had in mind. I’d never had my own business, had always been on payroll, and had no idea how to price. This friend was good enough to tell me how much she was charging. I thought, “Right. I have more experience so I’ll charge her rate + $10/hour.”

The good news: I had work instantly. Like 6 clients signed up in my first two hours.

Probably because that was an insanely low price. OK, reputation and credibility played into it, too, I’m sure. But honestly: that price!!!

Now for the bad news: those 6 clients turned into 12, turned into 18. I know that might /seem/ like good news. Yes, I was busy, but even though I had really happy clients, I wasn’t loving the work, was run ragged & still couldn’t make ends meet.

That ludicrously low price taught me that people would buy from me, and it also taught me that hourly billing can paint you into a tight corner and fast.


  1. Especially if you start with a low hourly rate, that can mean an absurd number of hours in any given month to meet your minimal financial needs. You know, like the roof over your head or food on the table.

  2. Which means you can end up with a schedule that is pretty thoroughly insane, to the point where you might wonder why your boss is such a jerk. (oh wait, that’s me.)

  3. You might also find that though you’re working, you’re not doing the work YOU really wanted to do when you started this business. You might be engaged in what Stephen Pressfield refers to as a shadow calling. It’s a step in the right direction, but more steps required.

  4. You may likely also find that you’re not working with the people you actually aspire to work with, and that your low hourly rate means you’re never called upon to deliver on the true extent of your potential.

  5. And then, when you realize your hourly rate is too low and you start figuring out what it would take actually for that set of clients to actually deliver what you know you need to make in a month, the resulting 4x increase makes your head explode.

But the most important reason why hourly billing is bad for you?

6. You’re not selling elapsed time. The problem with hourly billing is that it places the emphasis on elapsed time, instead of on the outcome. If you’re a coach, for example, the outcome you’re after with your clients? What you’re co-creating? Transformation. Sure, that happens IN time, but it’s not MADE OF time. Hourly billing short-changes you. Literally.

Break up with hours. You’re so much better than that.

If you’d like to learn more, hop on my free webinar on September 18th and take the Pricing Ninja Pledge. Click here to save your seat!

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