Relaxing with a hot cup of coffee and my tablet this morning, I clicked onto my Linkedin icon and immediately began to scroll. It’s something I do faithfully throughout the week but not so much on the weekend. I am always glad see specific colleagues there. A couple of them in particular, share some extremely informative content, that I always look forward to reading. As it turned out, a gentleman that hired me and never properly paid his bill was soliciting blog followers. Out of nothing other than sheer curiosity, I read his post. I had to chuckle.
You see, in the spring of 2014, he’d opened up a so called 'marketing firm' with no idea what he was doing. He spent a boatload of money on a sexy new website (with a sleek Corporate feel) to make it look like he had a clue, yet anyone that knew him personally, wondered what the hell he was thinking. When he landed his first true PR/Marketing client, he called me because he was completely lost. He ultimately failed his client.
The reason he failed his task at hand was primarily because he let the gentlemen he was working for tell him that the data was wrong and they were right. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, data doesn’t lie. The hard reality is that you need to help a client understand how they've arrived at the moment in time they’re in. Instead, from the beginning, I suspected that he felt he had to be completely like minded to them (hence my graphic) and they simply steamrolled him. After he refused to pay me the full amount agreed upon, I stopped feeding him how to manage the platform, and he was released.
As expected, he came clean to them about who was in fact really responsible for the work that had been done. So, I wasn’t entirely surprised when my phone rang with an offer to pick up where he’d left off. My answer was a swift and confident no thank you. I knew 5 minutes into that call that you had to unconditionally believe what they believed to be the truth; and I knew without a single shred of uncertainty, that I did not. I never spoke to any of them again.
Some months later, I got an email from that so called marketing fella I'd left behind. He invited me for lunch, so that he could apologize for what had happened in person. When I declined, he became frustrated. When he pressed me why I would no longer have anything to do with him I was honest. All those months later it was never really about my money that he’d kept. You see, over that lapse of time it was about respect. He’d lost mine.
I know we all think money is the most important thing earned but in my books, respect is the hardest item we'll ever have to earn and if taken for granted, one of the easiest items someone can lose. Make sure you always treasure it.
Whenever asked about that point in time in my career, I have a very simple & standard answer. Which is...
I tried to help Save The Bala Falls... and failed miserably!