You hear people say “my plate is full” all the time and right now, you’re glancing down at yours, pretty embarrassed at the sight. “Full” doesn’t begin to cover it. It looks more like Gluttony got a five-day pass to Country Buffet and it all happened to land on YOUR plate, RIGHT NOW. You’ve ignored those take all your want but eat all you take signs and the ass of your business is screaming for you to go do some cardio or something because it’s pushing max density. You can’t possibly eat another bite but you cram in the fried okra aka 45th project anywhoo and you end up laying bed, exhausted, wishing business bulimia were a viable option.
Maybe you know the feeling. Or perhaps it’s just me.
I’m an admitted workaholic, recovering helium hand and professed potty mouth. I own all three like brilliant footwear or a slinky, strapless chartreuse cocktail dress. Your choice. And on a completely unrelated note, Ash Ambirge just sent me an email that’s forever plastered banana hammocks into my brain. THANK YOU.
Yeah – so, scatterbrained yet focused, those are my days. And so we come to a conversation on getting shit done and other things that I feel bear convershizzle. (Note: that might be my made-up word of the month, and you were here for it. Bravo.)
My first thoughts are on building your business. Diana Adams of BitRebels shared this infographic yesterday that put out some astounding numbers. 40% of “freelancers” report they have trouble getting paid. Another 48% report that the pay is lower than they expected. As someone who required a bitch slap from none other than Shelly Kramer to get my pricing model in line with my skills, experience and track record, I get this and have some rather biased thoughts on it.
- On getting paid: If you’re having trouble getting paid, it’s a client selection problem. You also probably have a shitty work agreement/contract. Fix that shit.
- Start requiring a commencement deposit. Client won’t pay? Fuck ’em. Move on.
- Get a contract for all that is holy. If you missed Mike Monteiro’s Fuck You, Pay Me – watch it now.
- Still having trouble getting paid? It’s a YOU problem. Learn to invoice, get someone to invoice for you and stop feeling bad about asking to be paid for the work you’ve performed.
- On how much you’re getting paid: If you didn’t do yourself the favor of performing due diligence prior to launching your “freelance” business, it’s quite possible you’re working for third world wages. How do you fix it?
- If you say that your local market will only bear a certain price threshold, stop limiting yourself to your present geography. Expand. Build your footprint. Find a new fucking market.
- If going rates in your area don’t permit you to live above poverty level as a freelancer, maybe you’re better off going back to the corporate gig with all those fancy things like health insurance, withheld taxes and retirement plans.
- Maybe your problem is that you’re calling yourself a freelancer. I hate that word more than I hate the person standing in line in front of me in the grocery who wants to write a check with nine people stacked up behind her. Who writes checks anymore? Anywhoo, you should be running a business and treat yourself like you run a business. Mental acuity prepares you for having better business acumen. Look – two A-words and neither were naughty!
- CHARGE MORE. If you’re worth it. If you’re not, figure out how to MAKE yourself worth more.
And with that business out of the way, we come to getting shit done. I have two book projects in progress with rapidly approaching deadlines along with multiple client projects and the need to live life away from my MacBook on occasion. SO how do we go about getting shit done? We just do it. No one’s going to do it for us and procrastination is crap. Cowboy-up and step to the plate. My means for achievement? Lists. I make a list and don’t go to bed until I’ve knocked it out. Late nights? Yes. Satisfaction? Yes. Panic-free sleep? Awwwyeah. Time to screw around on Facebook in the morning since I’m not bogged down with shit I didn’t get done the night before? W00t.
So we treat our businesses with respect. We get it done. We dream of banana hammocks (we just do – stop asking questions). Go forth and stop writing checks your ass can’t cash, especially in the grocery store when there are nine people behind you. And feel free to tell me I’m an asshole for my biased views on “freelancing” (kill me now) and straight talk about owning your business practices. If it ain’t a client problem, it’s a you problem. And if it’s not a client OR a you problem, it’s a perception of reality problem. And that STILL makes it…you guessed it…
a YOU problem.