Let me introduce you to an inferior colleague of yours: yourself, three years ago. Remember that poor soul, yet unburdened by all the trials and tribulations you survived in the meantime?

The question is only just how much more value you can bring now, mathematically speaking. As we work, we grow, which means that many of us are now at least twice the expert we were three years ago.

And yet, if you take a look at how much you get compensated now vs how much you were paid back then, only the relative beginners among us have a hope of seeing that rate of growth reflected. Yes, as time passes our average compensation grows, but almost never at a pace that remotely represents the growth of value  – it’s usually lagging behind, and not by just a little.

Hourly rates can be useful (or are simply expected) for some types of engagements, but do a very poor job at keeping up with the value growth of our expertise. At some point, the choice becomes simply to 

  1. slow the growth of our hourly rate (and basically give away the lion’s share of subsequent value increases for free) or
  2. start charging in ways that obscure the effective growth of our compensation by charging for value, not time.

For me, that looks suspiciously close to a choice between actively breaking “the clock” model, or passively waiting to get your compensation broken by it instead._




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