What’s on the iPod: Old, Old Fashioned by Frightened Rabbit
What a day yesterday, in a good way. I accomplished more than I thought I could manage in nine hours. One article, three blog posts, two smaller projects, and a poem for my writing group. I didn’t get a post for this blog ready, but given what paid work I did, I’m okay with that.
Today I’m starting a roughing-in of another article, an interview, and another ongoing small project. And today is marketing day. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m expecting one job to disappear within a few months. I’ve replaced it with smaller things, but I won’t be satisfied until I find an equal-or-better replacement.
Dear friend and coach Lisa Gates has a post on her blog this week about asking for what you want. In her usual wisdom, Lisa touches on the crux of why many people fail at career advancement – we just don’t ask. This is so true, and it applies just as much to freelancing as it does to a 9-to-5.
As I’ve mentioned here before, some of us freelancers get so tied up in winning the bid that we forget to make it worth our own efforts. We want to please – we want to get the job. I myself have made decisions and concessions too many times and ended up resenting the job and myself. I “negotiated” a job in which I receive $3,500 to write a complicated course. The three-month job as it was framed took eight months and was a mountain of work and research. The client wouldn’t budge from the original price, either, even when I explained how much more was involved. Bad negotiating on my part.
Another “win” that turned sour – a ghostwriting job that was supposed to be two months and a handful of smallish chapters. That snowballed into two years and more rewrites than necessary. Luckily, I was able to renegotiate with the client and get a more lucrative, fair deal on those rewrites.
Then there were the projects in which I started with one client and ended up expected to answer to a posse of “editors.” Unfortunately, most of those projects ended before the deadline. I did manage payment on most of them thanks to contracts.
These days I push back the minute I realize the scope and workload don’t match the price agreed to. I have to. I’m protecting not just my business, but myself. Standing up for what you need, and asking for it every time, is the only way to run a successful business and act professionally. If you act professionally, you’re more likely to be treated as such.
What were some of your not-so-great decisions? How did you resolve them?