A fellow-entrepreneur, solo independent contractor recently reached out to me to ask me business was faring considering how open I was about the challenges I faced. They wanted to know how asking for a 100% advance, for example, had affected my business. How was the #WTFNaina column affecting work, etc. There’s no way to tell because if someone is NOT hiring me for some reason, they aren’t going to come and tell me about it now are they?
How one is perceived by others, is not in one’s control. This applies to one’s personal as well as professional life. But keeping one’s head down and keeping at it isn’t going to cut it anymore. One’s got to make a noise about industry practices that need to die and die now. The “old guard” doesn’t get it. They either need to go or they need to change. I’m guessing, the former is what will happen sooner.
In the meanwhile, as fellow-solo-independent contractors, we have to talk with each other so that we may learn from each other. Now, most of us are not comfortable talking with each others, which is why we have blogs yo! Use your blogs and social media channels to sound the battle-cry and don’t be shy. We’re in this together regardless of whether this sinks or floats. I’m in it to help it float if I can help it.
How it affects business is not my business. Like everything else, business is not possible without external intervention. I can only control how I think, feel and do things. My actions and the choices I make. Life’s too short to depend on “business” to help guide my ethics and moral compass. I’d like others to not waste my time just the way I try not to waste the time of others. And the only way I know to educate others is by my own actions.
When clients tell me they’re pleasantly shocked that I do as I say – in terms of deliverables and timelines – it cuts both ways. I expect the same standards from my clients. And it’s a fight. No one said it would be easy and it only get’s harder. You have to decide what your lines are and then you have to draw them. If you can manage to have fun and lift up some others along with yourself, I’d say that’s a pretty darn successful business.
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