Lesson 1: Why Aim for $100 an Hour?


Lesson 1: Why Aim for $100 an Hour

This three-figure hourly goal is one sought after by many across several industries. Be honest, if you meet someone who says they’re making $100 or more an hour and it sounds like they love their job, that sounds likes a great goal.


I can’t remember exactly when I first started earning about $100 an hour but I do remember learning the value of speed and efficiency when it came to getting a job done if I was being paid a flat rate. I used to clean a neighbor’s house in the late 1990s when I was in high school for $50 every two weeks. That included two bathrooms, dusting several bedrooms and vacuuming and some basic wiping down of the kitchen. (Now that I type that I’m like “What a deal they got!”) The first few times I cleaned for them it took me about three hours. I eventually got faster. I used to work another job at a bagel shop for eight hours at minimum wage (maybe $5.50ish those years) before going and cleaning this house. My 17-year-old brain realized that yes, I needed to do a good job, but I was getting paid $50 no matter what. So I figured out how to clean that house in one hour. That means I made $50 an hour twice a month in 1999. (Still a pretty good rate in 2021!)


The lesson I learned then that I tried to carry with me in my years as a salaried employee is that when you’re earning a flat rate, try to find ways to become more efficient and smarter so you don’t have to spend as much time on the project. That frees you up for more hours to earn more money with another client.


Now, if those neighbors told me they’d pay me $50 an hour to clean their house, I probably would have made sure I got very detailed and did three to four hours every time I was there.


The problem with hourly rates and efficiency is that if you are a skilled freelancer and can apply your years of experience to complete a job for a client in an hour, you don’t want to get paid by the hour. The turtle will take her time and dawdle and earn more money than your hare self while the client benefits from your speed and a lower rate.


That’s why when I talk about earning $100 an hour or more as a freelancer as a goal—and I show you how to do it in this course—but I want you to keep that hourly rate goal in your mind and not share it with clients if you don’t have to.


I want you to try to earn freelance wages via project fees (ideal), or word count rates or agreed-upon flat fees if necessary while keeping your hourly rate to yourself if possible. Or, make sure you provide a minimum number of hours to work on a project that makes it worth your time. I’ll show you specific examples throughout the course on how to do this, as well as some language you can use when negotiating with the client.


Now, if you’re calculating $100/hour by eight hours a day by five days a week and thinking that you’re on your way to earning $4,000 gross a week (!), I want to pull your feet back down to earth. If you can do that and not burn out, great! But what’s more likely to happen is that you’re going to have a few hours a day of actual client work that’s billable at that rate, maybe $400 to $500, three, four or five days a week. The rest of the time, you’re marketing, writing pitches, updating your website and public portfolios, reading industry news, networking on LinkedIn and updating your pitching documents. (More on that later.)


Most of the successful freelancers I know aren’t billing clients for or producing income-generating hours for 40 hours a week. I won’t say it isn’t possible but there are many other facets of running your own business that come into play when you’re a six-figure freelancer and your brain also needs some time to reset and refresh.


If you’re nowhere near the $100 an hour mark right now, this can seem daunting and that’s okay, I get it. You’ll learn tools and skills I utilize in order to make sure that every time I’m accepting an assignment---even if it appears to be low-paying at the get-go—it’s going to get me to the $100 an hour (usually closer to $150-200/hour) hourly rate goal. If you’re close to earning $100 an hour right now and want to learn how to find more better-paying clients and get this type of work more consistently, I’ll show you how to do that. Keep reading to find out how you can start earning more per hour by the time you’re done with this course.


This three-figure hourly goal is one sought after by many across several industries. Be honest, if you meet someone who says they’re making $100 or more an hour and it sounds like they love their job, that sounds likes a great goal.


I can’t remember exactly when I first started earning about $100 an hour but I do remember learning the value of speed and efficiency when it came to getting a job done if I was being paid a flat rate. I used to clean a neighbor’s house in the late 1990s when I was in high school for $50 every two weeks. That included two bathrooms, dusting several bedrooms and vacuuming and some basic wiping down of the kitchen. (Now that I type that I’m like “What a deal they got!”) The first few times I cleaned for them it took me about three hours. I eventually got faster. I used to work another job at a bagel shop for eight hours at minimum wage (maybe $5.50ish an hour those years) before going and cleaning this house. My 17-year-old brain realized that yes, I needed to do a good job, but I was getting paid $50 no matter what. So I figured out how to clean that house in one hour. That means I made $50 an hour twice a month in 1999. (Still a pretty good rate in 2021!)


The lesson I learned then that I tried to carry with me in my career is that when you’re earning a flat rate, try to find ways to become more efficient and smarter so you don’t have to spend as much time on the project. That frees you up for more hours to earn more money with another client.


Now, if those neighbors told me they’d pay me $50 an hour to clean their house, I probably would have made sure I got very detailed with the task and did three to four hours of work every time I was there.


The problem with hourly rates and efficiency is that if you are a skilled freelancer and can apply your years of experience to complete a job for a client in an hour, you don’t want to get paid by the hour. The turtle freelancer will take her time and dawdle and earn more money than your hare self while the client benefits from your speed and a lower rate.


That’s why when I talk about earning $100 an hour or more as a freelancer as a goal—and I show you how to do it in this course—but I want you to keep that hourly rate goal in your mind and not share it with clients if you don’t have to.


I want you to try to earn freelance wages via project fees (ideal), or word count rates or agreed-upon flat fees if necessary while keeping your hourly rate to yourself if possible. Or, make sure you provide a minimum number of hours to work on a project that makes it worth your time. I’ll show you specific examples throughout the course on how to do this, as well as some language you can use when negotiating with the client.


Now, if you’re calculating $100/hour by eight hours a day by five days a week and thinking that you’re on your way to earning $4,000 gross a week (!), I want to pull your feet back down to earth. If you can do that and not burn out, great! But what’s more likely to happen is that you’re going to have a few hours a day of actual client work that’s billable at that rate, maybe $400 to $500, three, four or five days a week. The rest of the time, you’re marketing, writing pitches, updating your website and public portfolios, reading industry news, networking on LinkedIn and updating your pitching documents. (More on that later.)


Most of the successful freelancers I know aren’t billing clients for or producing income-generating hours for 40 hours a week. I won’t say it isn’t possible but there are many other facets of running your own business that come into play when you’re a six-figure freelancer and your brain also needs some time to reset and refresh.


If you’re nowhere near the $100 an hour mark right now, this can seem daunting and that’s okay, I get it.

In this course, you’ll learn tools and skills I utilize in order to make sure that every time I’m accepting an assignment—even if it appears to be low-paying at the get-go—it’s going to get me to the $100 an hour (usually closer to $150-200/hour) hourly rate goal. If you’re close to earning $100 an hour right now and want to learn how to find more better-paying clients and get this type of work more consistently, I’ll show you how to do that. 

Keep reading to find out how you can start earning more per hour by the time you’re done with this course.

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