Derek Sivers
from the book “Your Music and People”:

Pricing philosophy


For years I made a living playing at universities.

One time a college far away in Ohio — about a 12-hour drive — asked what I would charge to do a two-hour show.

I said, “$1500”.

She said, “Oh, that’s a bit too much. What would you charge to do just a one-hour show?”

I said, “$2000”.

She said, “No, wait, you’ll be performing less, not more!”

I said, “Yeah! Exactly! What you’re paying me for is to get there! Once I’m there, playing music is the fun part! If you tell me I have to get back in the van and drive home after only an hour, then I’m going to charge you more than if you let me play for a couple hours first.”

She liked that so much that she came up with the $1500.

Point is: Business is creative. You can do things any way you want. There’s no need to adhere to norms. Norms are for businesses without personality.

Pour your personality and philosophy into the way you do business. People actually appreciate it when you do things in a surprising way. It shows you care more than most — that you’re putting your self into this — that you’re not just in it for the money.