by Nick Andrea
I work with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. This is a blessing I never dreamed of, and I am very grateful for it. Through this I have come to see my business superpower to be attracting awesome, inspiring people.
However, this skill hasn’t been born easily. I have had to deal with some people who made me feel expendable, undervalued, and used. I used to be really afraid of not having enough money. I’m sure that’s common with freelancers. Thus, despite being in an uncomfortable work situation I would keep returning, afraid of facing the unknown void of alternative possibilities.
Eventually, however, I have started to realize that I can say no and that the “not-knowing monster” was preferable to remaining in business relationships and partnerships that were self-demeaning. A good example is an interaction I had yesterday. I had a gig as a test run for this client to see my work. If it went well she was going to give me many more sites. I was, however, working through a third person who never clearly communicated the parameters. So, even thought I successfully completed the job I was told that it was “over-priced” and “should have been done in a timely manner.”
It was in that same email that I also found out that what was being asked of me was to produce a simple template, not a 20+ page site in its entirety, which the third party intermediary asked me to do. Despite her dissatisfaction, however, she was “willing to give me a second chance.” (Nevermind the fact that she was paying less than half of what I normally charge for freelance work.)
So, I first felt that her assertion about the value and timeliness of my work was unfair. Moreover, her willingness to “give me a second chance” was condescending, at best. So, I was faced with the choice between a likely guarantee of 25 more sites at half of what I normally charge (and a “boss”), or focus on the clients I already did have – and happen to love.
I chose the latter. Oddly enough, I got a new client yesterday afternoon, one who I am very excited to work with and for. Funny how that works.
I conclude that the quality of my relationships in business takes precedence over the money. It is important to build and maintain mutually respectful, valuing, and rewarding relationships. It adds life – energy – to the work. It adds purpose to the money being made. More than material abundance, it becomes personally gratifying as I grow through my interactions with my clients and colleagues.