I worked today. I met my partner at one of my old jobs with her customers. They wanted to see a completed project. It was good to see my customer she is always up beat and happy to see me. It is good to feel appreciated in these times.
In my business people pay me for my opinion and expertise as well as the product. In this business you come across the takers especially in this market. I can spot them more easily now than at first. The people that really want something for nothing, usually in the form of free design advice.
This happened to me on Friday. I knew it immediately when she wanted my opinion on each room. It is hard to manage this sort of situation. You don't know the motive and for some, as we all know, it is like breathing. Subtle manipulation a little bait here and there ever so slight push to get you to move in their direction. It is the way they have survived.
The question for me is am I willing to work for nothing in the hopes that in the future it will turn into more. In this case I am selling counter-tops and there isn't much of a mark up so a gave them a few ideas but not enough to raise my resentment thermometer. I have already spent too much time on this client and when she called and ask me to fax her plan to another counter-top company I called her out on it. I said to her that I had already invested time and energy with her and she was now going somewhere else. She still said please fax it and I did.
At this point I decided God was handing me a gift by letting this go. So I let it go. She called back and said she was sorry that she did want to use me and now we are moving forward. The lesson is I have to value myself before others value me. I have to be willing to accept the outcome which in this case the possibility of losing the job. I was willing.
While I was visiting with my old customer she mentioned doing her two upstairs bathrooms and bedrooms. I measured and I am putting together a design for her. It is nice to be appreciated and a bonus to get more work. Every one has something to teach me if I am paying attention.