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    Why experts charge more

    When there's a YouTube video, recipe, or course for everything, how can experts charge so much? If anyone can learn to code, why do senior engineers routinely get $200,000+ per year? ๐Ÿคจ

    Let me tell you a story from my first year of owning a bike.

    Swizec's bike next to a bridge
    Swizec's bike next to a bridge

    Back when this beauty was new, she developed a clutch problem. Pull in the lever, the clutch gets stuck, you fall over in a walking-speed corner like a sack of potatoes.

    Don't ask how I know ๐Ÿ˜…

    Bikes lean to steer. And they're heavy. You need power to stand up from a lean. Engaged clutch ๐Ÿ‘‰ no power.

    I figured this was unusual for a bike that's 6 months old. I'll take her back to the dealership, see what they say.

    The generalist can figure anything out

    The dealership specializes in Triumphs, Ducatis, and Moto Guzzis. They have a bunch of mechanics on staff.

    A mechanic looks at the bike and scratches his head.

    "I don't know man, could be anything. Maybe the clutch is broken, maybe the cable's getting stuck, or it's the lever itself. I see there's a bang near the clutch where you dropped the bike ... honestly dude this is like a 3 hour job. I'd have to take your bike apart and dig into the issues. Best you make an appointment."

    I suffer with the clutch for a few more weeks. If you push the lever out with your fingers, it's almost reliable!

    The expert takes one look

    At the appointment I get a Triumph expert.

    He tries the clutch and grunts. Then he hmms and he squints and he says "Triumph over-tightens that screw from the factory. I don't know why. We loosen it when setting up the bike for you, but sometimes it goes back. Here, lemme loosen the screw for ya"

    Dude pulls out his keychain with a tiny pocket wrench, pokes at the clutch lever for 10 seconds and it's perfect. Smooth as butter. 10 second fix, 2 minute chat, didn't charge a dime.


    The "video for everything" guy, he struggles

    At $150/hour that Triumph specialist gets expensive fast. And he doesn't enjoy boring routine tasks.

    So I learned how to fix my own bike ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง

    Wrenching on your bike is fun! Very relaxing. You watch a video, struggle for an hour, accomplish a routine task that impresses nobody but you.

    Righty tighty, lefty loosy! I forgot that once and almost made the rear brakes unfixable. Had to bring out the 5ft wrench ๐Ÿ˜…

    When the Piston & Chain club went out of business, wrenching became difficult. No more workshop. No more tools. Gotta buy your own.

    I now have 3 different spark plug sockets, 5 sets of spark plugs that didn't fit, and a strong understanding of my limits. Spent a whole afternoon running around buying tools and supplies for a fix that takes 2 minutes. But I can replace my own spark plugs now ๐Ÿ’ช

    How to become an expert

    The expert does less work, but they do the right work.

    The quickest way to get there is to choose a niche and dig. You need a positioning statement.

    Who do you help, how, to achieve what? hit reply


    Published on March 7th, 2022 in Mindset, Compensation, Salary

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    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help ๐Ÿ‘‰ swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

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