Praise God for my Squad.
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.”
- Proverbs 24:16 (New Living Translation)
I screwed up big time ya’ll.
I had a good friend, a former coworker actually who I stayed in touch with after leaving the ad agency I used to work for. He happens to be an art director and, when I shared the idea for my book and how I needed design help for the launch, he jumped on board. We agreed to an amount of compensation & the deliverables and got to work. Naturally, he gave me the “homie discount” because he wanted to be a blessing and also believed in the work I was doing.
After completing half of the project deliverables and paying him half the total fee we’d agreed upon, I started running low on funds and soon realized I wasn’t going to have enough to pay for the second half of the project. A ton of unexpected expenses had come up since we’d first made our agreement (launching ain’t no plaything) and I had some other things I knew I’d have to do with the money I had left.
SOMEHOW I thought it was ok to send my friend an email saying something to the effect of, hey can we just not go through with the second half of the work; I’m not going to be able to cover the other half of the fee because of x,y,z. You cool with that?
Long story short, he was NOT cool with that. Not only had he given me the “homie discount” but, little did I know, he had spent more time on the work than he’d originally intended, and, going through a life transition of his own, was depending on getting that final payment. And to top all that off, me casually sending this news over email felt like a slap in the face to our friendship and all the hard work he’d done.
I felt like the slime of the earth. How could I have damaged a friend’s trust like that and not even realized what I was doing!? Especially when I’d been burned by bad clients in the past so I knew exactly what this felt like!
I realized I was suffering from bad client syndrome. I was so focused on myself, how busy I was with my project, how scatterbrained I felt in the midst of a whirlwind launch, that I never took a second to put myself in someone else’s shoes. This taught me a hard lesson:
Being too absorbed in my business is not good for business.
It could literally cost me valuable relationships and hurt my reputation as a businesswoman. I realize now that if I’m so distracted by what I’m pursuing that I’m hurting the people trying to help me get there, it’s time to take some irons out of the fire. Period. My relationships are too valuable to me.
Of course I did my best to mend the situation with my friend. It's getting there but it doesn't feel like we're back to 100% just yet. That’s why this week’s scripture ministers to me so much. I hope that if you’ve messed up a time or two in your business and accidentally damaged a relationship you had, that you forgive yourself and get back up. It’s so easy for us to trip while we’re running after our dreams. The very act of running towards something inevitably sets us up for the potential to fall, but thankfully God and His grace are always there to dust us off and get us back on our feet.
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