If I’m So Tough Why Can’t I Speak Money?Posted: November 21, 2008
I pride myself on being direct and being experienced enough as a freelancer to know better. So why do I find it so difficult to bring up the dreaded topic of money and billing rates especially when I’ve already submitted a proposal to a client and go the extra step of doing initial exploratory work free-of-charge?
This particular instance which I’ve described above recently happened to me.
I felt even more worthless when I got off the phone with said client and realized I was so busy trying to sell myself that I’d forgotten to bring up my rates. In all honestly, my proposal outlined my hourly billing rates and he had skimmed it and given his initial “ok” but we’d never had a conversation specifically related to how much he was planning on paying me.
Ambiguity doesn’t sit well with me and in business, it’s the kiss of death. I realize that if I can’t have such a conversation with my potential client it might not bode well for our relationship longevity, but I opt not to think so deeply on this one. I don’t think it’s such a simple cause-and-effect.
I choose to think that much like I don’t like having to tell my boss I’m taking a vacation and might conveniently forget to mention it a few times before I eventually bring it up, this is another example of a conversation I’d rather not have because it makes me uncomfortable and ok, if you want to get deep here, I fear (more than the rejection) that ugly word: Conflict.
I’m not throwing in the towel on this project or this client. Yesterday I had to send him a document I created and I used that as an opportunity to remind him of my rates. Sure, it’s a bit of a pansy move and it does little to further the line of DIRECT communication, but work with me here. It’s a start.