This can be an uncomfortable question. Not because any of us have unlimited time and unlimited money, but because it puts us on the spot in a few ways:
- Are you able to understand the project well enough to put boundaries around it? If you don’t, are you aware enough to announce what you will need to learn so that you can?
- Are you willing to be on the hook for managing the work so that you will be on time and on budget?
- Are you comfortable enough with your vendors and your team to accept responsibility for work you’re asking them to do?
- Are you a perfectionist, unwilling to ship the work until someone is finally so frustrated, cornered or broke that they pry it from your hands?
- The flip side: can you embrace the fact that no project is perfect and that by creating a budget, you’re leaning into boundaries that make you a professional when you do this work?
Too often, we’d rather say, “I’ll know it when I see it, it’s too important to compromise, you’re sucking all the fun out of it, the contractors won’t work with a budget and–don’t you want it to be good?”
But the best work regularly ships on time and on budget.