Or not, as the case may be…
It is so tempting sometimes, isn’t it? The desire to prove we’re RIGHT. I have this client, or rather I had this client up until recently who started out as the sweetest, nicest, more effusive person, in retrospect that was somewhat suspect because, honestly, I’m from New York and she’s from London and we know better – especially in a business transaction, which is what this was. I don’t save lives, or careers, or failing businesses, I BUILD WEBSITES. Which you, oh dear client, can use to save your own life, career, business, if you want. And I’ll give you the best tool possible, to a fault. In fact this whole experience with this client (who shall remain unnamed as this might get legal) was a lesson in everything I have previously thought was what I was doing right, and, oh boy, do I see now how wrong it is. I once again squeezed my talent and experience and perfectionism into a tiny budget and overperformed so much, gave her so much more than she technically asked for, and allowed her to flip flop so many times on the design (even though I have a contract which only allows for 2 changes; but in the interest of making her happy did not bring this fact up at all!) that the project went a bit long. In fact it went butt up into another long-standing obligation I had. By the time I mentioned this to her I has so energetically debased myself that every truth I told her sounded like an excuse.
So if you think this a rant about a fucked up client, you are wrong. Believe me, her behavior is inexcusable, but she has to simmer in her own coo-coo juices so it’s not really my problem. The crazy I am talking about is my own mind… my own belief that I don’t deserve full compensation for the quality of work I do, my own belief that I have to be perfect, my own belief that I have to give and give and give ’til it hurts and only then is payment justified. God I am sitting here OVERWHELMED with gratitude for all the amazing clients I have had over the years who have not taken advantage of this tendency in me.
So all I can say right now is as God and Google and the NSA are my witnesses I shall never undervalue myself again. It doesn’t serve me and weirdly but perfectly it doesn’t serve my clients either. Amen.