Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Harsh Lessons Learnt

Spent some of the day working on a long-term project that's been giving me fits. Left me exhausted and irritable, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The big problem is that I under-estimated the amount of work I'd need to do to sort out something. Now I've had to dedicate hours to it. It's not the client's fault that I didn't understand the scope of the work, so I'm not going to back to her to whine. Note to self: next time, insist on access to the back-end of a web site before quoting for a content refresh job.

I'm learning more than I wanted to know about the letter of the contract. I generally ask clients to pay 50% of fee for projects, but did not enforce that on two projects because I knew the companies and the people.  Now both projects are done and I'm having to follow up repeatedly for the money. Chasing money makes me very uncomfortable. And the second client simply said they didn't use my document (ergo, they're not paying.)  For a moment there, it knocked my confidence because I wondered if what I did was such a bad job that she'd say that. But I'm also very disappointed with myself because the person in charge of the project is a life-long friend. And while she's asked for advice and help ( in the name of friendship), this was the first time I insisted on it being a business deal ( I can't keep giving it away and was starting to feel used). Yet sadly, I'm not suprised she did this, because when it comes to work, the signs were there; I just ignored them.

But not all is doom and gloom. I got back the edits for the children's book coming out in September. So I'll need to rework the manuscript, taking the editor's advice and comments into mind. It's one more step to publication.

3 comments:

Judy Croome said...

((hugs)) I think you need one! Money and friends, sadly, don't mix. Husband has learnt the hard way that when you have a specialist knowledge some people think it's free. He has a limit in his mind of how far he's prepared to give away advice, but at the end of the day, he's a professional and has a professional charge out rate. It's a difficult lesson to learn, but you were 100% right to draw the line. And in future make her pay up front. As a friend, she should respect your professional boundaries.

tiah said...

Ouch!

Damaria Senne said...

@ Tiah - Ouch sounds just about right :-)

@ Judy - I wish I'd learnt what your hubby knows by osmosis, not thru life experience.

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