@Jonwestenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) has posted a great piece on freelancing that so very much tickled my fancy. Very subtly titled “Fuck you. Pay me.” Mr. Westenberg discusses one of the mot annoying parts about going it all alone as a freelancer or as a small business owner: clients expecting you to do work for them pro bono. I would take that one step further. As someone who’s been freelancing professionally for well over a decade, my biggest concern is not so much that the client won’t pay me, but when they will pay me. Landlords, banks, companies and the like don’t take very kindly to “So sorry, but my clients are total douchebags and didn’t pay me when promised. I’ll just, you know, pay you next month – or perhaps the month after that – when these arseholes finally cough up my doughy dough.”
After Mr. Westenberg details the guilt attached to this constant hounding from clients (“Can’t you do this for me just one time?” “It would really mean a lot if you could do this for me…pretty please with cherries on top?” “We don’t have the money to pay you for this. I’m so, soooooo sorry.”), he describes how to assuage any guilt you, the freelancer and the one actually doing the work, might feel in these situations and in fact breaks it down temporally by the number of hours the average person lives (in his home of Australia, which apparently is 82 years).
Freelancers of the world unite!