Sometimes trying to do work for friends is just not a good idea. I always feel guilty asking for what I’m worth and because I feel guilty I don’t ask.
The practical result of this little mind game is that I do good work, but always end up being taken advantage of a bit. You know, $80 keyboards, and $40 spools of cable add up. But I just gave the shit away…
That’s a problem that I’ve got to get over. Part of it will be the absolute certainty on my part that I am worth every freakin penny I charge for whatever I do.
I need to make sure as well that I’m billing for everything that gets left behind as part of the job. “OH, your keyboard is broken… well it can be replaced for $20 or you can have my really nice $80 keyboard for $80.
I’d been asked to take a look at some data and see if I could present the material in a better way. I said, “Sure” without even thinking about it.
That was mistake number 1. I should have thought about it, I know these folks and I know how one of them thinks.
Mistake number 2 I shouldn’t have offered to do anything until we’d discussed MY PRICE!
It’s about time that I stopped being a charitable organization. My Price was never discussed and I find that really odd given the circumstances.
Mistake number 3 was that I should have called a halt to my doing anything when I wasn’t getting cooperation gaining access to the data I was supposed to evaluate. Instead I got directed to an incomplete website and was sorta left with nothing.
Mistake number 4 was not calling an end to the whole mess when suddenly I had a deadline to finish. I still hadn’t been given the materials I’d requested to make the evaluation in the first place.
In fact there had been an email wherein I’d been told that my friends had been sidetracked for several weeks. I took this to mean that they really weren’t committed to getting this little project off the ground.
In this particular case, I’ve got other clients that are PAYING and know what the heck in general they want and are willing to work with me to deal with questions that come up.
You know what? Cash talks!
I just threw in the towel on the undefined unestimated project.
Sure I’m leaving money on the table, but you know what? I think it was going to be a never ending, a.k.a never satisfied project.
I’m cutting my losses, and calling it SKOOLING!
I feel pretty good about it. Now I don’t have this weird undefined thing looming over my head. It’s helped a great deal with my ability to focus.
I’ve moved on to a challenging project where I can see the $$ at the end of the tunnel and I’m learning something new too.