How to Get Things Done

In my first two years of university, I used to finish all my work long before my peers. For a while, I thought it was my brilliance, genius, and intelligence, however it eventually dawned on me that I am not as great as I thought I was. The secret to my productivity was – FOCUS. Nowadays, I find myself surrounded with facebook, two mobile phones, children, text messages, email notifications, growl notifications, skype messages, and numerous other distractions. This is disastrous, since it can take 15 minutes for a programmer to continue editing code after an interruption. According to this […]

Time vs. Expertise vs. Cash Investment

All partners in a business or personal relationship need to bring something to the table, otherwise their participation is worthless. Eventually it will crumble. Recently, I was asked by a new partnership to bring some money to the table on top of my expertise [experience in technology] and time to solidify the commitment level. My answer was a rather firm negative, because my role is to utilize my expertise to make sure our developers are building the right software, testing the software, integrating the software, and making critical technical decisions. Another party’s role is to bring money to the table […]

What did I learn over 7 years?

It’s been seven years since I decided to go on my own, having absolutely no clue about business, entrepreneurship, and the dog-eat-dog world, other than my somewhat useless readings of business books, blogs etc. As with many other risks, this was destined to fail. Yet, by God’s blessings, I remain standing so far. Granted, in the process, I have had numerous failures – whether ventures, client projects, getting paid or whatever it may be! There have been way too many days where I just wanted to give up. Despite all the ups & downs, at day’s end, this path worked […]

The Consultant’s Dilemma – Price Negotations

I generally tend to set prices as they should be – not too high, not too low, but it still takes some guts to say “NO” to a client trying to negotiate farther. Firstly, if the price is right, the price is right. And without the confidence to withstand potential pressure, you end up budging. Secondly, you have to realize that clients are there to negotiate, and your job is to help facilitate this into a mutually beneficial deal. Just because a client asks for a discount, doesn’t mean it is a bad client, nor does it mean the client […]

The Entrepreneur’s Trap – Pricing

It wasn’t until one of my partners told me to throw out $100 hourly that I gained the confidence to charge more. He explained how business works, at least big business, and how they are used to paying the right amount to get the job done. I can’t share how many times I have been bit or projects have failed because I underbid on it- mostly because I was too shy to throw out large numbers. And this tends to be a common trap for new entrepreneurs or consultants. You are not established, you aren’t IBM or Microsoft, and the people […]