Your $5K hour

Your time has worth. It’s a non renewable resource. Once you spend it, it’s gone.

What would change if you treated your time like it was worth $5000 per hour? You might not be being paid that amount, but that it could create that much value.

If you believed it -

  • you could choose to only work on projects where that renumeration was guaranteed up front

  • you could choose to work on projects that you believed in enough that you were willing to ‘donate the difference’ between your $5K value and the fee they pay

  • you could focus on investing your $5K time in your own projects where the value created (financial, social or artistic benefit) is greater than the hours you spend

Instead of slogging away for eight or more distracted hours, how might you be just as productive or effective in only three $5K hours a day.

How might you use the remaining time?

  • What would a forty thousand dollar sleep feel like?

  • What does ten thousand dollars of play or homework time with your children mean to them?

  • What does it mean to your dad when you spend fifteen thousand dollars worth of time looking at old photos and listening to his favourite tales again?

I know you’re asking…"How can I justify $5K an hour? What can I offer that produces that much value?"

The question I asked myself was what thing or service could I conscionably offer at that price?

I realised the answer wasn’t something they could hold in their hands, it was how I made them feel.

After you’ve met spec, any further value is in how someone feels about working with or being associated with you.

Even if they can’t put their finger on what the difference is, someone who has the resources will pay 10X, maybe 100X to have the best. And the secret is, that between you and them, you can invent what the best means. The fastest, the most comfortable, the most durable, the rarest or the closest.

Beyonce fans saw exactly the same show at Wembley Stadium in 2016 even though some paid £78 and others £385+. What extra value did the top price tickets offer?

  • A story to tell. “I’m such a huge Beyonce fan, I spent…”

  • Proximity - knowing they are closer to the stage than anyone else.

  • I’d suggest the biggest selling point for the top price ticket is that you’re not paying for front row seats to see Beyonce, you’re buying them to be seen by Beyonce and everything that means for you.

A professional is constantly refining and adding to their skillset, but the most important leap you get to make when you adopt the $5K mindset is how to make everyone you touch feel like they’ve had a $5K+ experience. How can you help them feel seen, acknowledged, validated, healed, empowered? What story are they taking away that they can tell themselves and others about this experience?


What’s the first thing that will change about the way you approach your work when you make the choice to become a $5K creative?

Leave a note in the comments below.