Dedication of Entrepreneurs VS Work Availability

Dedication of Entrepreneurs VS Work Availability

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.

Outweighted by Dedication to your projects?

For many business the task of branding, marketing, website creation, and maintenance eats time and resources many entrepreneurs don’t have to spare.
Mr.D Studios Sites vs. WordPress.com

Mr.D Studios Sites vs. WordPress.com

This one is randomly thrown in because the month is almost over and I wanted to share it with you. I was meeting with a start business here in Pittsburgh earlier this week and the owner asked a question that I wanted to be able to answer as clearly as possible: “What makes a Mr. D Studios Site different or better than a site through WordPress.com Site? WordPress.com sites are free.” It took a longer period than expected to have the man across the table from me understand the difference.  Not that he was dumb, my answer was fumbled. It felt like a bunch of vaguely related terms falling out of my mouth. Although I recovered the ball, I feel like I could have played that game a lot cleaner. It was personally embarrassing. Never. Again. EVER. After educating myself on the difference, it is very simple. Mr. D Studios wordpress sites are custom built for businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, organizations, and people who want a full personal site. WordPress.com is a free hosted blog site. Mr D Studios WordPress Sites do not belong to me, Mr. D,  or the Studios. It is owned by the client. They own it because they paid for it. There are no limits to content, themes, plugins, and modifications. There is are the costs of designing, developing, and hosting the site. WordPress.com sites are “free”.  “Free” means there is a catch. If you have a WordPress.com site, there are catches. Ads are posted to the sites, without permission unless you pay to be ad free. Your site is limited to 3GB for more space you have to pay. If you want you own advertisements, you have to split the profits. If they don’t like your content, theme, or plugin they can shut off you site. With these and many other issues, firmly separate the two. I hope the difference is clearer. A great article that helped me figure it all out is over at WPBeginners, with a solid infographic and pros & cons. Definitely worth a read if you have any questions. ***Another great article for the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is at Start Blogging Online written by Mike Wallagher. His info graphic is very spot on too.*** Let me know what you think in the comments below, on my twitter or on facebook.        

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
Reflection Causing a Change in Direction

Reflection Causing a Change in Direction

So I have been Broadcasting radio silence over the last several weeks with the blog, and I apologize. The biggest reason for doing so is I have started to change the way i look at business. Although I am a “Creative Consultant” as the market refers to people in my field, I feel that what Mr D studios stands for needs to evolve beyond myself. I recently join Fizzle.co – A very fun and engaging community for modern entrepreneurs – I have started to interact with my core group of potential clients. Fizzle consists of Business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies that are aiming to move forward with a business idea. Many of whom have concerns with starting the collaborative process with a Graphic Design and/or Creative Consultant. For over 5 years now Mr D Studios has been a great outlet for me to demonstrate my skills to potential new businesses. However, with a vast amount (over 20 pages) of feedback from the business owners in Fizzle, I have come to realize I missed the boat.  

Every single person who gave me feedback in someway or another made one key point:

What can you do for me and/or my business directly?

  So over the last several weeks and the next few coming up, I will be working in my spare time to answer this question for new visitors. This will take a back seat of course to my existing customers’ needs. While I have a rough Idea of what this will entail, I am not actually sure how much really needs changed. Please bare with me and Mr D Studios as we start to grow a way to better serve you, the client.
It’s Not Your Service, It’s Your Expertise.

It’s Not Your Service, It’s Your Expertise.

Have you ever heard one of those lines that skews your thought behind something? Regardless of what that something actually is, you suddenly have an epiphany about it. The line that got me recently was:
“No one hires a mechanic because he turns bolts, People hire the mechanic because he knows which bolts to turn.”
I was reading an article on charging clients a fair amount, and it had a comic with a conversation between a client and a designer. Something along the lines of:

Client: “Can you make me a logo?” Designer: “Yes. I will be right back.”

——— ten minutes later————

Designer: “Here you go.” Client: ”I love it, How much?” Designer: “$500.” Client: “500? really? it only took you ten minutes. I am not paying you that much for ten minutes of work.” Designer: “ You aren’t paying $500 me for ten minutes of work. You are paying me $500 for being able to create it in ten minutes.”

For me what that translated to was not the fact that the “client” isn’t paying for the service, they are paying for your expertise in preforming that service. That’s right, your expertise. I know a lot of people who under cut themselves drastically because the client because their new clients can’t afford it. Within reason that makes sense. However, you have to find that middle ground, where you aren’t losing money. Conversely, a clients has to be willing to spend a little money, as an investment in order to make a little money.

Final Thoughts

While I wrote this in regards to design, it applies to any area. Mechanics, Doctors, Chefs, and others. It’s a unique way to perceive the issue, but remember you have built your knowledge about your sector, and probably have business or student loan debt because of it. Why would you undercut yourself to share or use that knowledge? Exactly, you wouldn’t. Please feel free to leave a comment and share this article with a friend in need.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
diy or hire a professional

diy or hire a professional

In recent weeks, a lot has gone one here for Mr. D Studios. Although most were only small steps, there were a lot of steps taken. but with every step, every change, came more new questions. Being based out of the Greater Pittsburgh, you get to know the general culture of your geography. Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Area are very hands on, and blue-collar to say the least. That is a big reason in why Pittsburgh has an immense small business population. However, the hands on approach that Pittsburgh business are known for has brought a very understandable question to the front of the line:
“DIY or hire a professional.”
With services like Squarespace and WIX, “DIY” is a high viable option. 

After researching it, the answer seems to come down to two major things: time and simplicity.

Time:

Are you going to have to time to not only setup, but also support, your website? 

While setting up a site is relatively quick, there maybe an administrative back-end to learn, and actually putting the information into the site. Those three factors are where massive amounts of time goes with a website. Time is REALLY consumed if there are products or services being offered in an e-commerce shop on your site.

Simplicity:

How easy is the system to learn? Does this cover everything we need our site to do? Can I teach the system to others? Simplicity is great, but things that are over simplified can become very vague. 

Those are the biggest two factors to consider. 

Other factors that to consider is appearance/theme options, expansion and added functions, and mobility. While many DIY services have a limited number of themes and little to no expansion of functions, Most of these services are mobile ready. In contrast to doing it yourself,  there is hiring a professional website developer or consultant as an option. Time is then an issue in regards to when do you need it done, but project creation by them on their time, and you can focus on your business. A good Website consultant or firm will help you show your appearance and needs to make sure the product is best suited to your needs. In reality, DIY or Hire a Professional really comes down to your needs as a website owner. Dig into your reasons for having a site, research your options, and pick the best suitable solution to your needs.

DIY or Hire a Professional Resources:


Here are several great articles to help you choose the option that is best for you: Wordpress vs. SquareSpace
  1. http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/squarespace-vs-wordpress/
  2. https://www.websitebuilderscritic.com/squarespace-vs-wordpress/
Wordpress vs. WIX
  1. http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/wix-vs-wordpress/
  2. https://blog.udemy.com/wix-vs-wordpress
Even a DIY wordpress site vs a professional wordpress site carry a large variety of differences.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a professional should never be an expense; it’s an investment for your business. You will be glad that how easy your life becomes when someone else takes care of the heavy lifting. If you are now looking for a professional wordpress consultant, you can take a look at my web design page and get in touch with me. Please feel free to leave a comment and share this article with a friend in need.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.