After college I started a small graphic design company. I hated pricing my projects for clients. 

It was uncomfortable because I never knew what was too much or too little. This was years after Paul Rand had made waves charging Apple $100,000 for the NEXT Computer logo. Wow! $100,000 for a logo? I couldn't imagine anyone paying me $5000 for one. But I also didn't want to be the "kid fresh out of school" that gotten taken advantage of! 

One day as I was complaining about pricing yet another identity project (that's what you call logo development, alongside how the logo is used on envelopes, packaging, letterhead, cards, etc.) one of my classmates, Alex, offered this advise. 

The advice was simple. Straightforward and it changed my life.

Alex said:

—"Jen, ask yourself this. What's the number that would make you happy for this project? Figure out your hours and total that up. Once you have your "happy number" you have to double it." 

—"Double it? You're crazy. They'll never go for it."

Alex responded:

—"You'll see. Just trust me. Double your number and take that to them. If they freak out, ask them 'what's a number that you could work with?' And they'll come back to you. But look at this way, you have some room for negotiation. If you took less than your happy number, then there is no way to make this a win for yourself!" 

What can I say?  Alex had a real point. 

From that day forward I always figured out my happy-price, doubled it and waited to see where the client landed.

Most of the time, I always end up ahead of my happy number, and that's a very happy thing.

What's the best advice you've ever received when it comes to dealing with clients and money? I'd love to hear your thoughts, stories. Share your wisdom.  

— JN

PS: This is an interesting article you may also enjoy about trusting your intuition when it comes to setting your price.