Do you charge friends and family for your time?

This is a question most people who, at any level, class themselves as self-employed. During my research I found this quote I love.

You know you’re a hairdresser when your invited to a dinner party and everyone else is asked to bring a plate, but your asked to bring your scissors

I’m not a hairdresser, but I am a geek and do IT support. I’ve lost count of how many times I’m asked to take a quick look at someone’s laptop, iPad, printer or any other digital device.

Specifically though lets talk NXFIFTEEN.

I wanted to host my own emails. I wanted something with full groupware support, email, calendar and contacts the full range. Since then things have grown. More and more family and friends have been added to the server and as server usage has grown.

I’ve had to upgrade my hosting more than once to support more people. I’ve been covering these costs cause I was stuck in a mindset never changed, at start it was something I wanted and everyone was just tagging along. The problem is, it’s not as true as it used to be.

In the beginning I had a host that matched my needs, but over the years I’ve added more memory, a faster processor and recently a bigger hard drive. Not to mention my time spent updating software making things secure and backing everything up.

So at what point am I no longer doing this for myself but start doing it everyone else. The truth is it’s long since passed.

Now do I start charging for the services I offer or do I continue footing the bill?

The truth is I don’t want to charge, and that’s my choice. Others in similar situations may feel differently. There really is no one size fits all rule. So I’ve had to weigh up my own pros and cons, plus consider my own feelings but in the end I want to pass on the bill to someone else – after all how do I decide how much to charge anyway.

So if I’m not planning to charge, whats the alternative? I’ve opened the site up too contributions…. who knows what this will end up like

Stuart McCulloch Anderson

For over a decade and a half Stuart has been in love with all things science fiction or technology and for almost fourteen of those years his operating system of choice has been one breed of Linux or another and despite some brief trips back into the world of Windows Stuart has never found him self wanting anything else.

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