I frequently mention to my new clients that my Modus Operandi is that I value business relationships over revenue. For this reason, I have no issue investing time for little to no money. Perhaps, only my mature audiences can understand why I do this, while my other critics rest on the idea that “Time is Money” – but really it’s not. In business, many associate the time they invest to be worth x amount of dollars and should be taken seriously, insisting that they are not in the industry of wasting time and subsequently money. Consider this: if the misfortunes of the world ever fell upon you such that you had not one cent to your estate, then time is all you have. Unlike money, you can’t make that back.
Years ago, I lived in the depths of society in the basement of an apartment on the south side of Chicago. I witnessed all sorts of misfortunes there, from young girls raped and beaten and a close friend of mine that was killed right before my eyes. One lesson that I’ve learned and can never forget is that you can’t take back time once it’s gone. You can’t make that little girl forget the time her innocence was lost, and you can’t give my friend time to make better decisions that would have kept him alive. There’s no amount of money you can spend, or any job you can work to earn back time.
So, why waste time worrying about money and what your time is worth when there are much larger things at hand? Don’t get me wrong, I know what my work and my time is worth. Hourly rates for graphic/web designers start at $25 per hour and project rates usually don’t fall under $500 at a minimum. So, why do I undercut myself? Why am I so humble? Don’t be mistaken, for a long time, I was in the business of making money myself. Now, I’m in the industry of making moments. Like the moment a small business owner who is just starting out sees their new logo for the first time and is so overwhelmed with elation, that they post it on every social network at their finger tips. And, like the moment when that new business identity affords them another avenue to generate the money they needed to pay back two months of late rent because there are no jobs on the market. . . the moment that their child doesn’t have to live with no home and in the chills of the wind because mommy has her own business now.
I don’t dream to have a large corporation, or a wealthy enterprise. I only wish to build relationships with lasting moments. In the end, I could die with a great deal of money in my estate. But, how much would last and what amount would be taken with me thereafter? None. But, the relationships that I build and the moments I create will become legacy. Every bit I will leave behind will not be circulated in treasuries eventually to become as invisible as credit. Rather, what remains of me will be circulated in the hearts in minds of people who didn’t envision another moment of good fortune until they met me. From this, I will not charge you with a request to make moments and not money. Instead, I leave you with a thought: if your time is money and money never lasts, then what are you truly worth?