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Do you know how to raise your Internet Price?

Do you know how to raise your Internet Price?
Internet Priced to sell!

I went shopping this weekend for a new car. I entered a few numbers and in a few minutes I could see exactly the Internet Price for 41 specific cars within a hundred miles of me, and my Inbox started filling up with emails from Internet Sales Managers. I can remember just a few years ago this kind of Internet Pricing didn’t exist, and then a few years on how media pontificators would say you could never sell something like a car, or a house on the net.

Now, I can find the Internet Price for anything: my car, my home, a college education, major surgery, you name it.

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Even me.

Plug in the skills you want, the years experience, optional equipment and how you would like me wrapped and there’s dozens of sites where programmers are listed by their Internet Price, some with pictures as nice as those of new cars. Would that be cash, check or charge?

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If you’re not a programmer, don’t feel too relieved: there are lots of people hard at work to set your Internet Price, and the day your picture will be looking out of the screen with a Click Now to Purchase link is fast approaching.

So how do you raise your Internet Price? How do you – yes you, reading this post right now – compete in a world where anyone who needs one of you can choose from everyone like you? Here’s what won’t work:

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  • Drop your price. American programmers can’t match the price of Eastern European programmers who can’t work for what Indian programmers who are getting beat by Chinese Programmers who go nuts when Open Source programmers do it for free!
  • Accessorize. Add more degrees, certifications, boot camps, post conference workshops, courses, classes, workshops, continued education classes, online classes, night classes, while you supposedly sleep training classes to the end of your name you have to get a oversized business card. So what? Everyone else with an Internet Price has just as many certs as you do.

In my opinion, here’s what will help you raise your Internet Price:

  • Don’t just hold down a job; excel. Slackers are a dime a dozen, and just as replaceable. Whether you flip burgers or man an IT help desk – both jobs I’ve had – how you do what you do matters not just to who you do it for, but hugely matters to your future.
  • Create and share value. Whether you’re self employed or work for a company, the more ways you can create value and share that value, the more valuable you are.
  • Be passionate. If you hate your job, quit! In all my working years I’ve never met someone who hated their job who was worth a damn at it and I’ve never met anyone who loved their job who wasn’t sought after. You know the part where you were told do something sensible, something respectable, something that you will make good money at? It’s a lie. It’s just that simple.
  • Define yourself online. We live at a time when hundreds of millions of people can connect, just by raising their hand and clicking their keyboards. That’s a bigger, more profound change than if tomorrow we can all levitate off the ground any time we want. If you pursue and discover your passions online, you will connect with other passionate people. You can do it by blogging, you can do it be participating in online communities, you can do it any way that works for you. The Internet can set your price and the Internet can make you priceless.

Value, passion and the Internet reverse the trend of treating people like they’re as interchangeable, replaceable and exchangeable parts to be bought and sold at the lowest Internet Price. And I for one am very glad they do!

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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