June 6

Why You Must Understand Your Value Before Engaging in Contract Work as an Entrepreneur.


While human nature offers a spontaneous and wonderful outlook on life, it can sometimes provide a challenging dynamic, especially as it relates to social desirability. As I have shared previously, social desirability suggests that we all have an innate desire to be liked or accepted as we travel through life. As you can imagine, this innate desire can pose a problem when coupled with an entrepreneurial drive to succeed.

Dr. Jason Carthen: Understand Your Value

Entrepreneurial Drive

For example, during negotiations for a contract with a large firm, their negotiation tactics surprised me. Rather than come in at a reasonable counter-offer based upon my suggested fee schedule for the proposed Scope of Work and project length, their response required further negotiations from me due to the proposed budget. Social desirability could have dictated just accepting the contract to keep the peace and moving forward with potential bitterness. Instead, I opted to allow a contract to serve as a buffer while illuminating the proposed value contained in the Scope of Work.

Providing Contracted Value

Let me share with you why a contract serves as a useful tool to communicate your value especially in an entrepreneurial setting. As is the case with almost any business agreement, it is important to have a detailed contract written up between an organization and the consultant it hires.

The document spells out all of the requirements and expectations of both parties before any of the work begins. This is also the point where tremendous value can be revealed by way of expected outcomes and specific timelines based upon results.

Scope of Work & Ambiguity

Having this contract in place helps to minimize or eliminate any ambiguities in the scope of work. Keep in mind it is usually easier to negotiate on the front end rather than after the project has been initiated.

At minimum, here are 3 key objectives the contract should satisfy.

  • Questions regarding who pays for expenses or how time will be calculated should be clearly defined in the contract.
  • The overall timing of the project is another factor that should be included in the contract.
  • All of the services to be performed with responsible parties should also be clearly defined.

Key Takeaway of Contracting

Based solely upon preference, some parties may want to initiate a letter of confidentiality or mutual non-disclosure agreement as well. The key takeaway suggests that having a clearly ratified contract in place will give both parties assurance their sensitive information will not be shared with any third party and the contract reflects accurate compensation for the proposed value provided.

When everyone feels secure and there is open communication, the client-consultant relationship can be mutually beneficial and satisfying.

Point of Clarity Quote:

My mission is to add value. My attitude is of active curiosity and my method is through relationships of trusts.

-Francois Baird


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