Take a moment, if you haven’t, to read the comments to my blog Splitting Hairs from a couple of days ago.  I appreciate it so much when people respond to thoughts here, so thanks to Anthony and Wayne.

Let me just reprint another comment made by a close personal friend here in Las Vegas.  A guy who’s successfully run his own company for 25+ years before the economy shot his legs out from under him.  His response to my re-post of the blog on FaceBook sparked a lively debate between us over hors d’oeuvres tonite.

His argument comes from the perspective from that many some years of dealing with all kinds of hardball knuckleheads in his business (civil engineering), and it made me open my eyes.

Dave, welcome to my world!! If I had a dime for every discounted service I prepared in the hopes of landing the “big project”, I would be rich.

I call this the “call girl principal”…… The value of services rendered diminishes rapidly upon delivery of those services! Don’t take it personally and don’t enter into an agreement expecting a pat on the back just because you thought you did good work. The only way you will know if your services are valued is if they send you more work.

I have learned after 25 years in business that it is not about what you think is good, but what value your goods/service brings to THEM. Don’t assume you know what is best for them because you will be wrong every time. Your “rich” client didn’t get to where he was by being freindly and compassionate. He got there because of adherence to strict business rules.

What should you do? You should realize you’ve just learned a very valuable lesson and use it to strengthen your business acumen. Secondly, get a retainer!!!

His comment drew this remark from another LV friend:

I have only been in the business of providing a fee based service for a relatively short time but I too have learned that any service provided without a signed agreement, if not an agreement and a deposit, is a service provided for free.

Take solace in the fact that your willingness to work on ahandshake is noble, and I admire you for that. Although it does not provide the monetary reward you may have expected your talent and dedication will.

Thank you for sharing your story and opening it to the rest of us to comment.

CourVO

Thanks for all the constructive thoughts, people!

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