324. Patterns

I’m learning that the hard way, all the time. I’m learning that there are no certainties. Only certain patterns. In business.

And one pattern is negotiation. And as I’ve said before: You’ve got to know your deal-breaker. Mine wasn’t reached this time, but it was close because I felt insulted. But you can’t get personal. You have to give it a try – the deal. Especially in my position.

Then you can always draw away, if it doesn’t work. The trick is, as with Big Photographer Client Who Has A Small P, when to draw away. When to throw in the towel. When to walk away.

That is something I can only get better at learning. Here may be a new chance.

Or a good deal.

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259. Whatever and Courage

So I suppose, after all that has gone before on this gig, I should feel bad that I did not slam the door, or had the courage change myself enough to slam that door earlier in our ‘cooperation’. I mean, I should feel humiliated, shouldn’t I?

But, honestly, I just feel kind of …’whatever’.

Perhaps that is a sign I already have the courage. It doesn’t matter that he acted first.

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246. No Diversions

But in my experience we, the people, forget so often to ask them ourselves: What makes me really happy? What I do now? The way I do what I do now to get something better in the future? Or … ?

We forget. And run in all sorts of directions for peace, happiness and joy, even if we are so often missing them. Chasing wild geese … like that stressful drive up the career ladder or whatever it is that makes no sense to strive for to become happy in the future, if it is done in such a way or if it is for such a goal so as to make us miserable for a long time in the present.

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232. Realizing Options

I already know his type (much like my former employer when I was in the health sector):

He is a man who deep down cares mostly if not exclusively about himself. You can give all sorts of reasons – my kid, my ability to make money with other clients, my health, etc.

He will try to make it seem like he cares and then he will make demands again, or shrug off any reasonable arguments from my side that he should not abuse my time. He has already done so on a number of occasions since February. So now I know what I am dealing with.

Including my own feelings, I guess. But that makes for a stronger ability to make choices in my favor.

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147. The Gift

I think it would be a beautiful thing if Jay was to play with some of that old LEGO, even if just for a few times. Even if he gets all sorts of new stuff that’ll probably interest him more.

It’s like past and present doing a kind of circle and touching each other. I know this is fairly normal – kids playing a bit with their parents’ toys, but still … I like the image of the circle of time meeting like this.

We’ll see how it meets and when.

I think when you allow yourself to really be with such moments and witness your child playing, maybe participating and taking time for it, then you can appreciate the gift that the passing of 35 years has given you.

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94. Deciding the Dealbreaker

I also have to decide very clearly, what is my definition of a deal-breaker with regard to a difficult client. Even if it hurts financially. Even if it is frightening.

But if you don’t know exactly what it is that will make you stop and take a new, in the short term more frightening course, like quitting a job or a big client, then you become even more frightened.

The courage to make that decision – and later stand by it, making it real – that is an act. Courage is action.

And deciding what my deal-breaker is with regard to this particular client is an action. An important action.

And once that decision is made, no going back, then the fear of actually carrying it out is lessened.

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115. But the Car Is Paid

I suppose that’s an interesting thought:

What if the key is here to learn to tolerate more of my clients’ complaints?

And do things in a pace that will keep me sane and then see if he actually puts his money where his mouth is?

And that place would be with someone who is cheaper, better, more reliable than me, about whom he has to complain so much to get an honest day’s work done, right?

Interesting thought. And perhaps a worthwhile thought for an entrepreneur.

Especially worthwhile if I can honestly say that I am doing my best and that 75 percent of the delays and problems come from my clients’ bad habits, bad planning, lack of knowledge, and lack of will to pay a realistic number of hours.

Maybe the truth is only 50 percent. But why should I take those 50 percent on my shoulders and stress to do better and better, more and more, for less and less pay? I think I can afford to err a little bit on the other side here.

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85. Perks

I. Don’t. Have. A. Job. Anymore.

I’m self-employed now.

That’s a another form of the curse of Adam in so many ways.

But it’s got its perks. Like getting to decide, mostly, when you get up and ‘go to work’.

And if I can do nothing else right now about to make energy and time for my passion and purpose, than getting up when I will, then I can damn well do that.

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