Sometimes…every time…

We always want to help out a friend but is it always wise to do so?

I recently undertook a project for my wife’s friend that I estimated at 40 hours.  I charged at a rate that was about 1/3 of my commercial rate.

The job has taken 60 hours largely because of the client not providing clear enough instructions and changing things as they went along.

This has meant that the favour has actually impacted on day to day work as the time lost has to made up out of hours.  That’s evenings and weekends when I could be spending time with my family.

Another friend of over 25 years asked me to help with something the other day. The lesson I have learnt is that even if you are charging you still feel different to a normal customer. So you do your best and give a great service.  But at the end of the day you are doing a lot for someone.  The time could have been donated towards a charity project.

I haven’t said I will help my old friend as I simply don’t have the time. And even if I did I would have to think twice or even three times.