Sometimes Some Things Are Not Worth the Money
Over a period of years I developed an ethic of giving the ultimate service to my clients. I also developed a marketing/business savvy in which I did not like leaving “change on the table.” In other words, as I served my clients, no matter how challenging they were to deal with and no matter what they asked of me (within my standards of integrity), I bent over backwards to deliver. Somehow I adopted the idea that always going the extra mile brought greater business success and I think for the most part it does, but I recently had an experience that really shifted how I look at success in business.
Maybe this particular business relationship coupled with a number of years of very often overriding my feelings which were trying to tell me something was what brought this awakening front and center for me.
I was contacted by a former advertising client to do work for her in a number of arenas all of which I perform every day extremely well for other clients. The money was good. She agreed to my price which was a price indicative of the value of my service. And I produced.
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Whenever I visited this client I could see she wasn’t really present for our meetings because she had so much else on her mind. She shared with me that she had a hard time keeping staff and I noticed this to be true over her years in business. She is strong willed and demanding but I felt I could completely work with her because of all my experience working with all sorts of people and I felt certain that my industriousness would complement her needs. No problem, I thought.
As she constantly shifted and changed her mind about what we were creating, she began to blame me for the length of time to completion even though I had to go back to the drawing board almost every time. I was also made quite wrong for not getting some things exactly right and I admit I made some mistakes. Hey, there is no business situation or workplace where the employees or subcontractors always get it perfectly right!
She began developing a mild accusatory hostility toward me when the job was dragging on. She barely looked at the work I created for her and then declared I hadn’t done what indeed had definitely been done. I didn’t meld with her idea of who I was. She needed me to be someone I wasn’t and she made it clear that she was trying to understand me psychologically to understand how I worked. (Wow. That's too complicated!)
Anyway, I received a call from her one day (and by this time I was developing some real angst inside myself around working with her) to say that she wanted to change our agreement and pay by the job when she needed something to be done. Normally, I’m fine with that, but I had already come to a place where I knew to continue our business relationship really was not worth any amount of money to me.
In the past, I would have powered through it all not wanting to leave any change on the table like I said before, but this time I realized I had to leave that old thinking behind and follow the nagging insightful feelings inside myself. I had to stand up and give myself some honor and respect. So I told her that we were not a good match and that I appreciated the opportunity and I immediately severed our working relationship.
The extra money had been nice, yes, but I was far more happy being released than putting up with whatever that was (I really prefer not to characterize it too much here). The money was just not worth compromising my mental and emotional health.
Now I say this because we are currently looking at a presidential administration that is claiming fantastic economic times for us and I know that peoples’ wallets are the most basic motivators in the voting booths. I have always noticed how people will vote a candidate in for another term even if his policies do not align with their core values and beliefs as long as the current economy causes them to feel financially secure.
In other words, people often tend to compromise their personal integrity for money.
I’m concerned that although we have a president in office who lies and hides many of his destructive actions from us every single day, he and his politician supporters in congress who have forgotten themselves for whatever reason may be voted back in because the economy is good.
This is akin to prostituting ourselves. When does our personal integrity become more important than money? When do we stand up and declare that a self-serving, self-aggrandizing, lying, fascist president does not represent who we are?
When do we realize that we are the creators of our own abundance and not our president?
When we begin to listen to the voice within—from the heart, not the head—that says if we must be represented, we will only be represented by a person who embodies our most divine attributes?
Not possible, you say? It’s only impossible as long as we never take this stand. As long as we remain silent and push along the current status quo, we will suffer on levels far more serious than our wallets.