I enjoy writing. I think I have a great job — sitting at a computer, putting words together and getting paid to do so is a fantastic arrangement in my mind. But there are days that remind me that this is work.
Last week, I had those days. A client that I had previously enjoyed working with did a 180 on me. He essentially told me that he would only pay half of my invoice. I couldn’t decide how to respond. I just kept thinking how unprofessional this was — how obviously this client didn’t think of me as a business owner.
A good businessman would never tell an electrician or a locksmith that he was only going to pay half the invoice after a project was already completed. He would never order a meal, eat part of it and then refuse to pay the whole bill.
The position that it put me in was even worse. If I accept the half payment offered, what does that say about how I think of my work? But if I don’t accept that payment, the odds that I’ll get anything are nil.
I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wound up accepting the half payment, simply because I couldn’t think of an alternative. I won’t be working with that client again, though. And I’ve been putting more energy into building those parts of my business that don’t rely on clients’ willingness to pay their invoices.