Nothing you do is easy.

A few years ago, I made 100% of my income through freelancing.  Unfortunately, I never quite knew what I was doing - I overbooked, undercharged, failed to sub-contract, and made ends meet by sheer luck.  Still, I was good at what I did and had plenty of happy customers referring new business my way.

Once such referral came at a WordCamp.  I had lunch with an old client, still happy with the site I'd built and surprised it had been so cheap.[ref]No one ever taught me what to charge, so in my earliest freelancing days I only billed $25/hour.  It wasn't until I had a client refuse to pay a too-small invoice that I learned how to raise my rates without scaring customers away.[/ref]  He had a few introductions to make for me, and introduced me to a former vendor of his own who was looking for a developer to finish a project.

I let him explain the details of the project for a few minutes, fleshing out the complexities and challenges of the design.  I ask what he'd tried before and saw quickly where his original plans had gone wrong.  Within fifteen minutes, I knew exactly what needed to be done to finish the project.

"Yeah, no problem!  That will be super easy for me to take care of."

He sat there for a minute and just stared at me.  Then he stood up, calmly walked across the room, and left.

I didn't get the job.

As things turn out, the details he had presented regarding past attempts at completing the project covered a 6-month period.  Six whole months of him sitting at a computer trying to solve the problem on his own.  Six months of trying to live up to his own reputation as a software engineer.  Six months of failing to finish the project.

I sat there and said it was easy.

A couple of years later, I ran across him in a coffee shop.  We exchanged pleasantries and caught up a bit.  Then he stopped and cleared the air, "you know, telling me that project was easy really hurt.  You're a nice guy, but I have never been so insulted in my life."

This was the very first time anyone explained they viewed me as an expert.  I'd invested countless hours learning web development and WordPress in particular.  To me, certain tasks came relatively easily.  To others, much of what I did was considered magic.

It takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice in a field to become a master.  Ten thousand hours to become an expert.  Ten thousand hours for it to become "easy."  This is time your client hasn't spent learning your trade - which is why they hired you in the first place.

What you do isn't easy - it's easy + 10,000 hours of effort.  Don't act like it's easy, and don't ever insult your client by telling them what you do is easy.  If it were easy, they wouldn't have hired you to do it.