What Would A Man Do?


I just had a free lance writing gig and was hired by someone I already knew. Our relationship has always been strictly professional and yet, this is someone I’ve kept a friendly rapport with over some eight years. Though I wrote for  his publications in the 1990’s, I never reported to him directly. So our friendship remained steady – albeit at a distance. He found himself pitching a huge piece of new business recently and asked me to work on it. I posed the ususal questions about scope and time frame and of course salary. 

When he asked what I would charge, I did some quick math and requested  an hourly rate at my standard writing fee. When he replied that he didn’t have anywhere near that kind of money, I simply asked him to tell me what he did have. He quickly halved my number and I made the deal.

What actually transpired was I did twice the assessed work for half the fee. Very predictable as it’s never failed to go down like that in the past.  The one difference was, this time I asked for the remainder of the fee I first named to be deferred to the award of the job — which is fairly likely. At that point, I was offered a job. A much better result than a one time fee. Or was it?  A choice that was handed to me and, in some instances, I would not have necessarily accepted.

Why? The pros and cons of a future arrangement are: the job might not materialize, the job might materialize but not to my liking, I might be already be committed to another situation when and if the job does materialize. If I get the deferred fee:  it’s cash in my hands, I feel satisfied that I was paid for the work performed and I get what I initially asked for. This proves to my possible future employer -should I work for him later on – that I drive a hard bargain and will likely do that in future negotiations with him and with his vendors.

Being tough-minded where money is concerned is a good thing to employers and escpecially employers who are men.

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One thought on “What Would A Man Do?

  1. Half of what you wanted is better than 100% of nothing. You have a client that will become a repeat client and in time you will earn more than you imagined.
    Our time, which we believe to be higher per hour than what it really is, is nothing more than just our time. You did right accepting the negotiated fee. Closed minded thinking is not a good business practice.

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