August 21, 2011

What do you stand for, and how fast?

Filed under: business,marketing — Erik Dobberkau @ 15:23

On a regular basis we encounter people not walking their talk, backing up from what they have promised to us because, ironically, we discover their promise can only become reality when we contribute our share. And as always, everyone feels they have they biggest pack to carry, their expense were the largest. That’s why Obama’s change he promised doesn’t come: It doesn’t come for free, which everyone seems to have expected.

And it’s what business owners and freelancers experience quite often. They were picked because they seemed innovative and audacious, to make you catch up with the competiton, even take the lead. And then, it’s all just lip service. Well, not each and every time, but in the vast majority of cases the result is far from what it could have been (and should have been, otherwise the client would have picked someone else).

So when you’re getting hired because you’re different, when do you stop being different for, ultimately, the money? What is the measure, a happy client (who’s happy because you responded to all his requests by giving in) or a fully accomplished objective (which might first look like it’s at the client’s expense)?

The point is, when you’re dealing with someone who’s constantly looking for deniability with regard to the project outcome towards their boss, you’re clearly working with the wrong person. And in most cases when it’s about doing something different, the boss is the only person you should be working with. (And if the boss is looking for deniability towards the board or the shareholders, you better be asking yourself what you’re about to get into is really worth the money.)

This is not to say that you should never compromise. Yet don’t compromise too early to avoid a head-on dispute, because in most cases these are the points where something needs to be done to achieve the desired result. As Seth Godin said, “thrash early, and thrash a lot”. You’re there for a reason. Don’t vaporize it lightly.

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