Photo by Damian Gadal via Flickr

Are you delivering value? Or are you a paid monkey?

How do you know you’re working this way?

  1. There is discussion and interaction with the client.
  2. Conversations explore. Sentences begin with “What if….” and “How might we….”
  3. Revisions are driven by the shared desire — yours and your client’s — to make the work true to and expressive of the brand.

When you’re being a paid monkey, you are allocating time in the schedule and delivering what the client asks for. No discussion, no exploration. “Do this. Change that. Move this line over here.” You are keenly aware that you are working for the client.

How do you know you’re working this way?

1. You receive instructions rather than questions and ideas.

2. Revisions are designed to please the senior executive.

3. The result is something you’ll leave out of your portfolio. And the reward is a paid invoice.

In reality, most of us strive for the former and end up doing *some* of the latter. Defining the level of tolerance for *some* is up to you. But keep this in mind: the higher the percentage of collaborative work that brings real value to the client’s business, the happier the life ☺

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