There’s no doubt that working as an independent contractor has its rewards, especially in terms of owning your own schedule. However, even when we have full control times can be tough. Today I was working with a large company in New York that requires a lot of my time, and although I’m grateful for having plenty of work, giving equal attention to all of my projects was a challenge today.

For instance, I am a web designer that builds practical, functional websites for small and medium-sized businesses. Today I happened to end up working on a fairly simple project that ended up taking more time than I wanted. In this case, I was working on a logo for a professional makeup artist, and because I work towards perfection, I spent hours of unpaid time trying to make the logo correct. I went through 3 logo concepts before I finally came up with a design that I felt comfortable working with – and the logo is still not finished!

Now that brings me to another point of debate: should I have charged my client for the time spent in working through my dilemma with the logos? Many would say “yes”, and I know for a fact that based on some of my clients’ remarks about other contractors, those workers wouldn’t think twice about racking up those hours in their favor. And trust me, it’s during times like these that I want to keep the clock ticking and make the client pay directly for all the hard work.

But there is another side to the story that I believe pays long-term benefits. First, I will say that most of my clients would not know the difference whether or not I charged him/her in the correct way. I’m sorry to say it, but clients just are not that smart in many cases! But here’s the thing: most employers who feel comfortable with you will trust you – and soon will give you more work as a reward for that relationship. Despite how easy this concept seems, I am absolutely ASTONISHED at how many contractors have missed the boat.

It really boils down to the basics of relationships. Clients are no more than human, and although they may seem to put on a hard face, most of them are giving you a chance to show them that you’re able to accomplish a task smoothly and effectively. If you’re not able to do this, then no matter how much you make on a single project, you won’t get more work.

That being said, take the time think about how you would want to be treated if you had an important project. Are you living by the golden rule when working with all of your clients? Is this affecting the amount of work that you’re able to accomplish?


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