A couple of days ago I had a discussion over the chat with a friend of mine. In this conversation I recognize fears I had myself many times in the last years while having to find new ways to earn some money. I see how my friend is tricked by the mind and is allowing fear to direct his actions. Out of fear he tends to make deals that are not best for him. He tries to please his client on forehand using deception and giving a message that could be misunderstood and might be difficult to restore.
I’ve done the same thing and tend to do it still now, just out of fear the person that is asking me for my services might not want them any more when I state my price. My recent experience is that if I ask a fair price for the effort I am delivering and I am properly communicating on forehand what my services are going to cost, there is no real issue.
I’ve lost some business doing so, but seen afterwards it was a kind of work that never paid off, I had even to cover expenses I never earned back. I concluded it was better not to make any money than to lose money while hoping I could make some.
It seems that people like the way I am dealing with prices. It might not be the approach they are used to, no special discounts just for them because they are my special client. Just the same price for everybody and everybody gets the same level of service. One of my customers is a tough case. Once she established a price per hour she did not even consider to ask me if I agreed with it. She simply stated that it was the way it was done here in this town. I agreed just because I needed the money and I did not foresee big issues in delivering what she was going to ask me to do. When it came to doing translations I informed her that I was going to ask a different price since it is a job that (within our actual system) is rated as a higher skill job and therefore has another price.
Yesterday I visited this customer to discuss a couple of things and found her being sick. She asked me what she had to pay for the translation but she excused herself for the fact she hadn’t any money on her to pay me. I was left with no other choice than to leave this payment open until the next time. Bad luck since I badly needed the cash for groceries and gas.
Today we had to find a solution. No cash not much left in the pantry to eat. I had to find money before noon.I first worked hard to finish a translation and then I called the customer, and since she wrote me a mail telling me she felt much better I asked her if she was home by mid morning. When finally someone answered the phone it was her father telling me he had no idea when she was coming home. Bummer! Later she called me to ask if I was home in the afternoon. She wanted to come over to pay me. Ouch! I had been thinking all kind of bad things in my secret mind about her not willing to pay me because I might have asked to high prices for my translations… but nothing was true, she even called me in order to come over to pay me.
Nevertheless we needed a plan B. For our friends A and J we are doing several jobs. S decided to finish a part of her job so we could deliver the work and ask money for it. Unfortunately we found out they where out of town and could not make it before noon.
Plan C. Collecting the little money we still had and delaying the groceries one day. I had to go to my job in Fano (60 km trip) this afternoon with someone else that was specifically coming over to travel together with me and I needed to fuel up a little. So, I left with just enough money to buy the fuel I needed to make the trip.
When much later that night I came home and found my customer came over and paid almost the whole amount a part from some small change. Not much later our friend A stopped by and in a hurry she gave me a bunch of banknotes just saying it was and advance for all the work we had to do for her.
At the end of the day we found ourselves with much more money that we counted on. Still an amount to be handled with care, but at least we will be able to go to the shop tomorrow to buy food and fill up the car with the fuel we need to travel around. The only thing that might hinder us tomorrow is snow, we’ll see tomorrow how to deal with that situation.