You might be thinking about taxes at this time of year. And that maybe causing you some stress.
Or you may be feeling taxed by the stress of a busy painting season just ahead.
I've been thinking about work stress recently, particularly about the toxicity of stress and the toll it takes on our health, relationships and general job satisfaction. Stress is real. The effects of stress can be as simple as being more irritable to more complicated - like the inability to sleep properly, addictions, memory loss, a compromised immune system. Stress can even lead to heart attacks and death. My observation is that some of us don't consider stress enough when looking at jobs. For me, I need to be more intentional about limiting it's influence in my work life where possible.
We are just painters after all, not surgeons, so why all the stress? Is it necessary? What factors lead to some projects being more stressful than others?
Governments tax behaviours that they deem unhealthy for individuals or society, to reduce consumption/exposure and raise money to finance the side effects. So...why not tax stress in your life, particularly in your business? Add a surcharge to jobs that involve more stress, put a premium on that stress to discourage and reduce the amount of stress and raise money to deal with the consequences of stress (vacation, massage, therapy, date nights, exercise, healthy food, etc...).
With that in mind I created a Project Stress Analyzer and Tax Calculator. I fill it out as part of the process for every project I quote in 2017. In fact, I print a bunch of these sheets and use the back side to make my notes during the site visit. If a project has an average (or lower) anticipated amount of stress there is no premium tacked on. But for every degree of stress above average I add 2% to the quote, to a maximum of a 100% stress premium...
The idea is to be more intentional about the projects I take on, recognize and reduce the amount of stressful jobs I commit too, and put a dollar value on the stress I do take on. So much of the stress we face is arbitrary: deadlines, unreasonable expectations, poor communication, running multiple projects, catering to lower quality customers, long commutes, variables out of our control, etc - these can all be eliminated, reduced or taxed.
What if there is some push back from your clients when they see your higher prices? Well it opens the door to negotiate a lower price in exchange for eliminating some of the causes of potential stress on the project. If they are not willing to address your concerns, it might be a good sign that this project is not a good fit for your business.
PROJECT STRESS ANALYZER & TAX CALCULATOR
CLIENT: ____________________ PROJECT: ____________________ DATE: ___________
TOTAL: _____/50 = _____%
2% x EACH PERCENTAGE POINT OVER 50% = _____% PROJECT STRESS TAX