So as business owners and entrepreneurs, we do what we do for two main reasons. The first reason is to allow us to do what we love. Second to make a living doing that thing. It’s pretty straight forward, right? However, of the two the second becomes the greater issue with regards to mentality. Money can easily become an overwhelming concern. It can even become crippling at times. For many of us, we fall victim to this causing us to take everything that comes our way. A”Project-Pit” as I’ve heard it called. I am currently going through this myself where the dedication of Mr. D Studios to too many clients with varying project depths at one time. After discussing the issue with several fellow entrepreneurs and freelancers, we determined a solution to rectify the situation. So yes, the “Project-Pit” can easily be avoided. How, though? Evaluate the Dedication that project will take to complete and weigh it against your Availability for the scope of that project. Let me clarify:
How is dedication measured?
According to dictionary.com, dedication is: “The state of being dedicated: Her dedication to medicine was so great that she had time for little else.”
With any project, the dedication to do any task depends on what resources it entails to complete it. These are the big three things you have to measure I order to assign weight to the dedication:
- Time – This is by far the most overlooked resource. Why? Several reasons for this. We often overlook time beyond the direct work hours. We forget about research and analysis, concept development, testing, and even paperwork. The known variables of a project. But there are also the unknown things that we don’t account fornicate projects. Client interference, accidents, and issues with resources are part of it. Muphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And lastly, gathering resources.
- Resources – Part of weighing dedication is resources. Do you have the extra materials, required consumables, and even manpower to dedicate to another project? The finances too. Sadly everything in business costs money. The costs vary, but you have to spend money to make money.
- Space – Do you have the space to create a finished product for your customer? The could be storefront space; work shed space or even cyberspace with modern technology.
How heavy is the sum of those three factors? While your heart may say, “Yeah let’s do it,” you have to weigh out all these things before you let it impact your availability.
How is availability measured?
By definition availability is: “having sufficient power or efficacy; valid.”
Resources, Time, and Space are limited. If we had unlimited resources, time, and space, then we would all be wildly successful. Nothing to hold us back. However, that is never the case. That’s why we have to evaluate and figure out what our limits and capabilities are. It’s difficult to calculate, and it will most likely fluctuate several times before you can lock on to a decent value. Availability has the same three factors, just different ways to quantify them.
- Time – the total/maximum amount of time you can devote to a project.
- Resources – the total/maximum amount of resources you have to devote to a project.
- Space – how much room you have complete the project.
How do we use our dedication weight and measured availability to determine if we should take on more work?
Said easily: Take your current availability and subtract your dedication from the total. Ex:
- Total time/hours available – New project’s estimated hours = X
- if “X” is negative you shouldn’t take the project. This first calculation hardest because you can’t add more time. You have to reduce the time from something else, causing that event/project to suffer.
- (Total resources in hand + Resources provided client) – resources used for project = X
- if “X” is negative you shouldn’t take the project unless the client will continually supply Resources. Monetary value is the easiest measurable unit because as I stated before, everything cost money. So like anything you do it the same way. How much do I have – what it’s all going to cost = X. this helps keep you from losing money on a project.
- Total space available – Space need for project = X
- if “X” is negative you shouldn’t take the project unless the client supplies Space. Client supplied space is a place to work or even hosting space.
In my experience, I pass on projects if unless all factors are positive/yes. It helps prevent overburdening yourself/business and your other projects from suffering.