Each time I pay for service from a person I’ve decided to thank them for their time. That’s because no matter how much of the transaction they benefit from financially, they’ll never get back the time they gave to me.

Palm of a hand holding coins with smiley faces on

Photo by Materials Aart

To me money doesn’t feel like adequate recompense for a resource as finite and precious as someone’s time.

I pondered this conundrum while costing up an estimate for a new job recently.

When you’re estimating how much your resources are worth, the calculation must take into account that some intangible items are tricky to put a price on.

Value is more than the sum of the parts

When freelancers like me work on a project we invest more than just time into it. Things like skill, passion, patience, effort and experience all contribute immeasurably to the overall quality of my finished products.

Copywriting and photography are artistic pursuits too. So as a freelance copywriter or photographer you inevitably invest part of your soul in the copy or photos you produce. That’s why it’s sometimes saddening when our craft gets misused or altered in ways we never envisaged.

For all this existential despair there is hope though. When a job’s successfully complete, the feeling of satisfaction from happy clients and genuinely heart-felt comments from my photographic subjects means the exchange of time becomes a much fairer deal.