Get the Money

November 8, 2014

Get the Money

Greetings, fellow trudgers “on the road of Happy Destiny”…

I woke up early this morning, refreshed and ready to go and thinking about a client project. I decided to go right into the office and take care of the client work first thing.

I walked into my office only to spot a check received from a different client, sitting in the middle of the desk. The check, an overdue payment, had arrived in yesterday’s mail along with by an urgent request for new work (as often happens) to be done.
So… what do I do?
  • get the original client task done I was planning?
  • handle the new work ordered by the client who just sent a check?
  • process the check and get it to the bank?
  • make the decision easy, and just go back to bed?
I thought of the famous quote by agent Shep Gordon (subject of the documentary Super-Mensch). When asked why he was so beloved by his entertainment industry clients (who read like a who’s who of the biz), he said he followed three rules:
1. Get the money
2. Always remember to get the money
3. Never forget to always remember to get the money
So, this morning, the check got processed first.
Happy trails!

Breaking Better

November 18, 2013

Breaking Better

Breaking Better

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the Road of Happy Destiny”…
Today, a report from the under-earning front:
In the process of spending 16 hours getting out long-overdue invoices, I gleaned a few choice tidbits.
First, the bad news:
– Missed getting paid for a bill from almost year ago, and not an inconsequental amount, either. Client missed it, I missed it – went on to do a few more months of billings, never caught it so never sent follow-up statements – for reasons, the matter is closed. Pricey lesson.
– Neglected follow-up on three more recent unpaid invoices totaling several grand. Sending out reminders now, and in this case will collect – but it will take time, create unecesssary gnashing of teeth and wringing of garments. Have to rectify and offer amends. More pleasant physical sensations, I can think of — for example, having the back of my neck chewed on by rabid raccoons.
– Some bills would have been relatively painless, had they been sent promptly. When bills add up they metamorphose and begin to turn green and reek of something like rancid yak butter. Clients get cranky — why wouldn’t they?
– Identified some prime examples of (first step) unmanageability. For example, dedicating 2x the planned hours to bring quality to projects as estimated in fixed-fee proposals. Some projects that might even have benefitted from a less-than-perfectionist approach. For another, over-volunteering for charitable causes with no clear benefit (then not having enough time).
The good news?
– Today, I’m trying “THE plan” instead of “MY plan” — at least as far as debt goes. Didnt incur any unsecured debt during all this, one day at a time. As a result (perhaps), business is running solvent – ie, what’s coming in exceeds what’s going out. “Result: Happiness” (from David Copperfield).
– All accounts reconciled to the dollar. I know what’s in the wallet or the checkbook without looking in them. Do I like doing it? I’d rather stick darning needles in my own ears, but as they say, we change when the pain of not changing hurts even more than the change.
In stopping work completely for two days to get this done, now I’ve fallen a bit behind on deliverables. This pressure feels amazingly uncomfortable. But, if I don’t make invoicing more important (I think of the examples of food or oxygen), I can’t survive – and if I don’t survive, I can’t share all this fun with you!
Because the most important tidbit of all has been — I probably can’t do this alone. (Rats.) :0)
Happy Trails!