Cracking the Code: Good is Often Good Enough!

Money is a measure of how you value your own worth and the services you provide. Women tend to undervalue themselves and their contributions. And so it is not surprising that many women tell me billing is a tricky and sometimes stressful topic.

If 100% of your clients pay 100% of every bill you are sending out without any complaints, your bills are too low and you should take a second look at the way you are charging for your services.

About 10 years ago I had lunch with one of my mentors – a very accomplished woman who understood this very well and was watching me struggle with economics and relationships in the practice of law. She had a present for me wrapped up and in a box. As she handed me the box she said to me, “Whenever you do your monthly client billing, take this and put it in front of you and look at it for 60 seconds before you begin the billing process.

I opened the box and inside it was an engraved plaque shaped like a ruler, on it the words:

“I WILL NO LONGER DO PRO BONO WORK FOR MULTIMILLIONAIRES.”

I try very hard to be fair to myself and to my clients when I bill. On those occasions when the amount of the bill is challenged, my policy has always been to stand by the billing decision I have made, tell the client that and leave it up to them to pay what they think is fair for the services provided.

Good Is Often Good Enough

For many women the desire to do the best they do puts them in the box of mastering the project. In life there is a time when “good is good enough” and it is important to move on. When I began to write a two volume, 1800 page technical book (from scratch) for a premier legal publisher, I wanted it to be the “best book” out there on the topic. It took me seven and a half years of nights and weekends to complete that project.

In hindsight, while I can understand wanting to create an extremely good product,

                                  I realize that striving for perfection was going overboard.      

Authoring a book that was good enough in a shorter time frame would have brought the book to market sooner, served its purpose, educated the lawyers who could have used it earlier and freed up my time to focus on other projects.

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  For more visit:  www.patriciaannino.com


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