Here is a diagram that I shared at BHB2014 – please excuse the lame (and ugly) graphics! A couple of people have asked me to share it, so here it is.
Essentially it’s a framework for thinking about how to position your goods or services in a negotiation – or as I like to think about it: in a conversation that leads to an agreement. It won’t answer all of your questions, but it might be a nice place for you to start asking them
It can be so hard to work out what your products and services are worth – and there are always factors outside your control that are relevant. Of course there’s what it costs your to deliver them (including the years you spent honing your skills or your craft) but there’s also what it’s worth to the other person – a factor of its scarcity and uniqueness.
Is there something that’s easy for you to do, but also pretty much easy to get other places? This is the boring snoozy spot – it’s unlikely to be either lucrative or exciting.
What about the stuff that’s easy for you to do and fills a unique need – in the ‘biz’ we call these the cash cows. Sure you might get a little bored, but these are the jobs that will keep your doors open. As your business grows these are the jobs that you want to delegate to others or start to reduce your dependence on though – because you’ll get bored after a while.
What about the things that are unique and special to you – but (so far at least) of little interest or use to others? Oh dear, this is a sad space to be – it’s not lucrative, and whilst you might be having a wonderful time doing this work – it’s not sustainable over time.
The magic sweet spot is ion that top right hand quadrant – the place where the magic happens and you can deliver the unique and interesting work that you really want to do to a client or customer base (or an audience) who really value it. You’re happy, they’re happy and the world is a wonderful place.
“As a creative person running your own business, you’re gonna need some parametres and some structure. Set yourself some goals. Learn to treat your art like a job. Stop procrastinating. Remove distrations. Be your own boss, and don’t take any shit from yourself!” Missy Higgins, BHB2014