Friday, July 11, 2008

Making my way...

This week two shitty things happened.  Two clients flaked on me, which is really par for the course in my business, if you'll excuse the trite expression.  That means almost $1000 that may never see my bank account, but truthfully, I think it may have been for the best.  I say this because another family situation has arisen and it has made me realize how far I've come personally (emotionally) and professionally in the last few years.

As much as I need the money and the exposure and pieces for my burgeoning portfolio, I know that the two people who bailed out, one callously and selfishly, the other weakly and sneakily, taught me a valuable lesson.  One is the relative of a dear friend and the other I made contact with and we were on the road to being friends, but she needed work for her business and it seemed the perfect fit.  I was wrong.  Anyway, I've learned two things (and maybe I'll add to this list as time passes and I reflect more on the situation):

1.  Don't do business with friends or relatives.  Now I can't make that a hard and fast rule, because I'm doing business with a friend but we are working more as partners.  Perhaps I should say here, don't provide goods or services to a friend or relative in the context of a business transaction.

2.  If people are bad clients, that is to say, pushy, rude, selfish, lacking boundaries, weak, or passive-agressive, you don't want them in your life anyway, in any capacity.  I'm going to also go out on a limb and say that they probably exhibit these same characteristics in their personal relationships to a greater or lesser degree.

A few years ago, I might have lamented this whole situation.  I would have analyzed it to death and thought of it as a personal reflection on me.  I certainly wouldn't have reacted the way I did, which was to immediately get angry in a flash that passed as quickly as it came upon me.  I then gave the deadbeats a few choice words and moved on to the next.  

So far in this business I've had people from all walks of life flake out on me:  a wanna-be celebrity chef in L.A., a couple of well-meaning but slightly provincial "ghetto executives," the editor of a fairly well-known magazine, and now these two.  It's always tough too take and I imagine there will be many more and I will spend more time licking my wounds than I did this time around.  Overall, however, I'm proud that I've gotten to a place in my life where I see no other option but to put myself out there.  Now, I feel like I don't know how to live any other way.

I like that.

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