No one can argue if you’re working with people, flexibility is an important factor. Otherwise, you might just find yourself without wiggle room.
When I drafted up my project bid, one thing I took into consideration was to make it amenable to any unforeseen problems. My customer was an older man, and I didn’t want him to think I was taking advantage of him in any way.
He was having some difficulty reformatting his manuscript from single to double spacing. Finally, I told him to email it to me as was, and I would do it from my end. This meant, I could hand back the black 3 ringed binder to him.
When we met, I was in somewhat of a hurry. Before I knew it, I was caught in his story about going to Barnes & Nobles and asking how one goes about a book signing and getting his friend to contact his friend about reviewing the manuscript for a possible movie.
I was waiting for a segue to discuss the remaining payment for the first milestone. It seemed he overlooked the details of my billing.
“You mean, I only paid you for 10,000 words, and not the whole thing?”
He had that deer in the headlights look. I clenched my lips together, forming a bit of a grimace, then nodded my head.
”It was right there on my fee schedule. I charge by the word, and I quoted you on the low end. You agreed.” (Picture me doing one of those “I should have had a V-8″ slaps to the forehead).
At this point, I knew the brakes were being slammed.
“I found a place that will edit my work and publish it all for twenty-five hundred dollars.”
“That’s great! Then, maybe you should go that route,” I told him, knowing there was more to it than that.
It seems this poor guy could do nothing, but dream how his story was going to play out on the screen. The music score in his head played so loudly, he couldn’t hear anything I tried to explain to him. He was blinded by the light of possible success.
He couldn’t seem to grasp that he was getting the cart before the horse. In fact, the tree for the cart hadn’t even been planted and the horse hadn’t been born.
Allen (not his real name) had managed to work nine months in order to put his dream on paper: a huge accomplishment for anyone. Dreams don’t always take the path of least resistance. You must be flexible enough to adjust to their demands, especially if they are serious ones. If not, you’re just wasting your time.