Are you working with unrealistic expectations?
Here’s the scenario:
You have been allocated a $300 budget to deliver the client’s expected results without any staff support. The client wants a $10,000 product. Do you decline the project or do you see it as challenge and embrace it?
Most would probably look at this and think, “Hey, I’m really good at what I do and I love a challenge” and accept the job especially if it aligned with their personal idea of the “greater good”. I am sorry to say that you are setting yourself for a disastrous scenario.
Why is it in the fields of apparel design and digital communication that the work is always attributed to something that can be accomplished at a cheap price. Because both of these areas are competing against the mass producers that can deliver cheap while still making extreme wealth.
The reason the individual is setting himself or herself up for disaster if they take on the project scenario given above, is best explained if broken down into numbers and compared using a digital marketer and the freelance apparel tradesman:
Person A is given $300 to produce a $10,000 product for the client. For the digital marketer what is not provided in the description above are the unseen variables that make up the $10,000. Such variables are 1) the dozen or so people that make up the team that produced the $10,000 product; 2) the expertise level of each individual of that team that produced the $10,000 product. For the marketer the production level expectation is no longer $10,000 product but a $10,000 product made with X time of each of the members of the team which has its own dollar amount value + Y amount of personal expertise investment each member of the team which also has its own dollar amount value. It doesn’t matter how good that individual is who is taking on a $300 to produce at $10,000 product, the math will not let them create that product at the quality and results that the client is expecting the contract professional to produce.
For the apparel tradesman who believes delivering a $10,000 product on a $300 budget is a challenge worth taking is also not taking into account the hidden variables of that $10,000. On the mass production scale, the $10,000 is incorporated into the production cost of the industrial and automated equipment, the sheer volume of workers, and multiple levels of design, research, sizing, bulk cutting, assembly line sewing, packaging, and warehousing that goes into that product. On the entertainment scale, the $10,000 (like what we saw with the digital marketer) does not account for the number in the team that designs, shops, builds, alters, maintains, or the outsourcing of labor involved each having their own dollar amount value.
In both scenarios the contract professional that takes on such a project with a result expectation that does not match the money required for those results desired will attempt to make up the lack of funding and resources personally upon themselves, at a financial and time loss to the individual, in order to deliver what the client did not feasibly allow for, and still fail to satisfy the client’s emotional expectation 100%. With the apparel tradesman the justification may be that they are adding the purchased goods to their personal stock. For the digital marketer their justification may be, it’s only time. When the factor of a greater good is involved the personal sacrifice of time, resources, and money, which in reality are all commodity of exchanges, omits the simple fact that the contractor created a personal loss to the tradesman or digital marketer that is now their responsibility to replenish or replace.