You know, I was wondering, why do I charge for some things and why I don’t charge anything for some other things? I thought I should clarify it for myself and for the benefit of others. So there are a few ways people look at income. Those who are not yet financially independent are offering their time and skills to earn money. The more time and skill they have, the more they earn. Of course there is a huge hand of luck involved because one could be very well skilled and may be putting a lot of time as well, but they may not be earning as much. Most start-ups are started by brilliant people but 90% of them don’t succeed because you know – luck, right time, right place, yada yada.
But then why would a person like me, who is financially independent charge you something for a service. Why can I not do something for free? Well the problem with free is that there are many people who would want things for free and then there will be no free time :). But in all seriousness, I actually charge for some things and not for others. For example, if I am doing something out of my own interest, it will not cost you anything.
Some examples of no charge work are doing projects for others that I personally enjoy doing. I have done a few of these and while none of them took off, I enjoyed working on them. That is as simple as it gets.
Any time you are making me do something that I am not already inclined to do, I need to put a value on it. Not because I need the money. Really, I don’t. But if I am doing something which I did not really intend to do, then it will cost something. Take this blog for example. I was not planning on writing a blog, at least not in the current form. I wanted to write myself a journal of my findings especially in the realm of electronics and software engineering. The blog was supposed to be mainly as a reference for me to look back at how I fixed things. For example, how did I fix an issue in Linux or reduce errors in Arduino sensors etc.
Yet, here I am writing the blog because some people I know wanted me to share my knowledge pre and post retirement. I certainly don’t have anything better to say than most other bloggers out there, but I obliged. Now as a result of forcing me to do something I did not really intend to do in the first place, I want to associate it with a cost. No, I don’t want to profit from it. I just need the money for hosting.
I know most of you hate the annoying ads, but my thought was that I will run some ads and may be that will cover the cost of hosting. Unfortunately, the traffic to my blog is very low. Perhaps the only people visiting it are those who asked me to write the blog in the first place :). I don’t want to increase traffic by advertising my blog. I really want it to be discovered serendipitously because they were searching hard for something that is uniquely posted by me.
Another time I’ve asked people to pay up is when I have done some financial planning or reviews of their financial plans. Again, I charge because I could have done something I liked in that time instead of planning or reviewing someone else’s finances. I also charged for a workshop I did on financial planning for the same reason. I personally did not want to educate anyone, not that I like to keep my knowledge to myself, but that is not what is interesting to me. I also asked people to pay for projects that they wanted me to work on, but I was not personally interested. No one hired me yet, so don’t worry, I am not hiding any income sources from my readers.
That was basically my rant for the day :). It bothers me when people ask why I have ads on my blog or why can’t I do some financial planning for them for free or why I cannot help someone on their latest idea or project or why I cannot teach the future generations about money or software engineering or electronics or whatever knowledge I have. I am not interested in them. Otherwise I would have certainly taken a career as a lecturer or worked for an NGO or started one. No. I prefer a simple introverted life with family. Don’t want to be mother Teresa. Not my cup of tea :).