Are You Charging What You Are Worth?

I recently had a discussion with a client about their pricing structure we are building. In the conversation we spoke a lot about the different aspects of setting a price. As per common knowledge you look at many pieces such as market requirements, expenses, profit margin, etc. During the conversation, two aspects certainly stood out: Value and Competition. In fact we looped back about 3 or 4 times to talk about these two.

People by nature begin their pursuits with a high value thinking to themselves, “I am worth X amount and people will pay for it”. As time continues and the business is being setup, realizations of what they are worth and what the market is asking to pay are completely different. Ideas spring up that in all normality you would think should be for the better but in actuality are not.

The question to answer is:

“who am I asking to get feedback from?”

The client paid my firm to consult on their pricing and marketing model, to develop the business model and to implement a marketing campaign. In the process we had collected real market data creating a business model that would see the client’s business grow. Even though the hard factual data showed the pricing model was solid, during the process, our client had these negative thoughts of it being priced to high.

We pondered this phenomena over and over trying to figure out why this was occurring. Here we had a client paying us for solid real time advice, yet they were getting worried that it would not work.

After brainstorming for quite some time with the team, the question we kept bring up was “why did the client love the pricing but then changed their mind?”.

Was it fear? Was it too big of a change? Were they comparing themselves to others?

Why am I writing this post?

The reason I write this post today is because we asked the right questions to lead to the answers we were looking for. The client had spent quite some time talking with friends, family, and colleagues who discouraged the pricing structure. They were actively discrediting the ability for this person to sell at the pricing we had set.

The fact is that when you start a business you need to maintain your self-worth. Your image of who you are and what your value is must be maintained. The risk in starting your own business is high. With that comes high stress and with high stress come thoughts. They can be positive or negative.

Positive thoughts can make your experience of starting a business a beautiful one. One that brings you to the next level of who you were meant to be!

Thoughts can also be negative. These thoughts can cause high anxiety and a failure complex mentality. Draining your mental resources will only lead you to a level that will put you on the path to failure.

How do these thoughts come to be?

They come to be from conversations with people who are either negative or positive. People who are family members, friends, colleagues, and the people closest to you. People can drain you quite quickly with their negative thoughts. They can bring you to a level of self-worth that will make you feel like there is no possible way you can succeed.

Solution for this?

Establish rules with the people you talk to about your business. If you family has no knowledge of business, if your friends have no knowledge of business, if the people you associate with have no knowledge of business, do not talk to them about business. They will tell you their opinion that is based on what they see and not what is. They have no real research to back their claims. Only the bubble they live in.

Focus solely to talk with people that are in business. People who see your thoughts, your values, and self-worth. These people will help guide you in the right direction, a support that is much needed during the start of a business.

My experience with Project Managers has lacked success. What can I do?

One of biggest problems any stakeholder will be faced with revolves in dealing with a PM who fails to succeed. The question I was asked the other day:

I have always had a bad experience, what can I do?”

FACT: you will always be presented with a problem where acquiring a resource is troublesome. This could be a project manager, but also, a marketing professional, HR, Payroll, accountant, etc.

The trick is simple, pick and choose all you want, but find someone who can specialize in your situation. Every situation is different and every problem has a certain required result. So why would you use the same PM over and over?

It is not always 1 + 1 equals 2.   Sometimes in the heat of the moment it turns into 3 and know one knows why. What then?

Simple is as simple does. Pick a PM that has been there or one that can handle pressure and risk. We often find ourselves in times where we are dealing with such situations where a norm by the “book” person cannot handle the risk and needs of the project in real time.

Characteristics of a PM that can handle risk includes charisma, strength, character, and most of all fearless in change. The end game requires a PM that can say the magic word “NO”.

One of the best examples comes from a recent client who had a repeated failed project. The key requirements were never met. The project scope was out of line and never became visible to availability of resources. A simple approach would be to say no but everyone hired needed the pay check.

Saying NO to people is hard but saying NO to stakeholders is even harder. The best guideline to hiring a PM on unsuccessful projects includes a characteristic of someone who is able to say and do different than the status quo. This is to say that this person will speak up to what is wrong and not fear losing their paycheck. This person has the keys to success. A highly effective PM when in operation!

Can a Project Manager who is not Specialized in the Area of the Project be Successful?

Have you asked yourself this questions before? Have you been in a room where this question has been asked before? What were the results? Were all parties on the same page?

This question is usually a black and white kind of question for most. Either one agrees or does not agree. There is rarely a middle ground. It is based on experience and biased knowledge of what is possible. The story goes, if it’s a technical project I need an engineer. This engineer needs to be a project manager.

But why?

If a project manager is the smartest guy in the room then will we need to hire more engineers to do the work? We probably will have to hire someone new, as the engineer turned PM has the PM work to do. So how can they have enough time to complete the engineering work?

If this is the case then, do you pay the PM more or less money? Do you have the engineer make decisions or do the engineers make the decisions? What happens if some engineer work needs to be done and so to save time and money on the budget the PM starts doing some of the engineering work?

Fact is that although it’s a great idea, one has to look at the big picture. A PM has the knowledge of managing projects. No two projects are alike but basic principles are used. A strong PM is able to apply these to any project and be successful. The level of success is based on how well the resources are utilized. For instance, if the PM is not an engineer, they will leverage the engineer’s knowledge on the project in order to fully complete the PM tasks. One cannot exist without another.

Being inclined to hire based on reputation is a good thing, however, being inclined to hire based on PM characteristics strengthens the choice. If a PM has a personality that can deal with the engineers and talk their language in the meeting room, then that candidate can be successful.

If the harnessing of resources is done properly by the PM and is supported by the stakeholder and owners of the project then success is easily achieved.

Is Your Project on Track?

The question that haunts most stakeholders relates to the project finishing on time and on budget. It is a normality of project management that exists in common fashion.   Stakeholder needs a project complete and a project manager has to deliver.

FACT: Projects are rarely on pace with planning!


Many factors exists. The scope of the project is really the defining factor. The questions have to be revolving around the probability that it will be complete.

Have you been in the stressful situation of uncertainty?

The actual play time is the introduction stage. The place where the project actually starts and the beginnings start to flow; meeting new people, gaining insights, brainstorming, etc.

The problem to this begins with people not realizing that the scope is the single most important document that one has to work with in a project. All planning starts with this document and without a solid scope document all things may come to a halt.

CASE 1: Scope document is not complete. Owner of project requires changes. What happens?

CASE 2: Scope document is complete. Owner of project requires changes. What happens?

In either case, when a problem presents itself it will cause some form of chaos. The fact of the matter is that most owners will understand that the scope document was complete or was not complete, however they will not really care. You, the PM on the job, has a due diligence to complete the scope document and maintain its integrity.

A PM’s primary focus has to be the scope document and the requirements defined by what the project owner requires. Simple steps include the provisions and understanding the characteristics of the project and presenting a thorough requirement document to the customer. A change request process must exist that is understood by the stakeholder.

Further this thought process, the stakeholders must have complete compliance to the process and a full abbreviated amenability must be completed to scope.

Take the proper approach to verify and make certain that project is completed to scope and can sustain uncertainties within its preplanned requirements.

The final complete project remains in accordance to the scope and its compliance!