When is the work good enough? Work/Life Balance Video with Dyana Valentine

Dyana ValentineWelcome to my Work/Life Balance Video series. Today’s question is: How do I decide if the work I’m doing is “good enough,” especially when I’m not getting paid a lot to do it?

I’ll answer below and in this video:

Vote 4 Quality: every time! from Dyana Valentine on Vimeo.

Give us your answer in the comments and tell us what work/life  balance questions you struggle with and I’ll answer them in future videos. Here goes…

I had a very strong negative reaction to this question which was quickly followed by the memory of being in EXACTLY the same
position. I’ve been there: I said “yes,” then got down the road of a
project that just didn’t feel great. I felt I wasn’t being paid enough
and I was feeling ho-hummy about the work as I got deeper into it.
Thankfully, I very, very rarely get into that position anymore. Here’s what I did for myself and I hope some of it might be useful to you:

1. Check Your Roll: I get a really strong “employee” mentality
vibe from this question. Are you looking at your freelance work as a
money = butt-in-seat situation? Or is it really fueling your passions
and driving you to bounce out of bed in the morning? Dig deep and
figure out if it is only one specific situation or your whole scene that’s a problem. It might be time for a change if you are often in the “good enough” situation.

2. Vote For Quality: Every time. Really. If you lower the bar and
are going for good enough on a regular basis (and this is not
satisfying you or your clients), then it might be time to up your
game. As my friend and collaborator (and CFC 2010 speaker on “Prioritizing, Deciding and Doing”), Sam Bennett, says, “Going for the “C,” (as opposed to the A+) is appropriate and useful SOMETIMES. Be selective and do your best work wherever possible.”

3. Clarify Boundaries: Take the time to discuss projects fully,
outline the role and scope of the project. You and your client are the
ones who decide what “good enough” is before you ever start working. Get clear on what your client expects and on what you want and are willing to give. If you do this consistently, you’ll keep the quality high and the expectations — both yours and theirs — met.

4. Know Your “Yes”: If and when you say “yes,” be clear about your reasons. Are you doing it for the pure love of the project, because you want to add a portfolio piece or (insert your reasons here)? If you can answer that clearly, then you will be able to give 100% of yourself in service to that end.

How do YOU know what’s “good enough”? Leave a comment and/or question in the comments below. And you can learn how to go from self-starter to self-finisher and find cool tools to grow your business on http://dyanavalentine.com!

Listen to BTW: [audio:http://iliseb.audioacrobat.com/download/1792d71d-73dd-b4a6-cda0-9f96f21d016d.mp3] For more of Dyana, she’s on Talk Story with Jeni Herberger today (9/23) at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern. And check out her session on collaboration at CFC 2008 and check out Sam Bennett’s session at CFC 2010 here.