Bird in the hand?
Flight of fancy *
Last month I did myself out of another $6000.
I hate it when that happens.
This chain of events (and my associated reasons and decisions) may save you from similar financial embarrassment.
A kind client extolled me to a plum prospect who needed help with an award submission. (Last year they came second.)
This job was so far up my alley, I took a torch to the briefing.
I’d done my homework and we hit it off at once.
Two hours later, my proposal (quote) was in their hands.
Then waited some more.
Suddenly, an internationally successful author I’d been courting for 18 months finally offered me a shot at the title.
Would I like to proofread her new book?!
This amazing gig promised to rocket me to a breathtaking new level.
It wasn’t as lucrative as the award submission, but that prospect still hadn’t responded.
I was torn. Should I:
- Hassle the prospect for a decision on my quote?
- Take the paid work & supercharge my writing career?
I chose B, struck a deal with the author and told the prospect I’d be out of action for a fortnight.
Whereupon they said they were happy with my proposal and keen to start (and finish) ASAP.
With deep regret, I said I couldn’t do their job justice in the time remaining.
I then spent several unpaid hours connecting them with another copywriter before going on holiday.
I was sorry to lose the award gig and worried that I’d killed my precious referral source.
But I was excited to return to the author’s thrilling project.
I came home to an email from the author, reneging on our deal.
I emailed her twice, explaining what I’d foregone, but got no reply.
I feel such a fool.
I obviously stuffed up, but can’t pick the place I went wrong.
Perhaps, as we’ve discussed, I should’ve hit the author for a one-third deposit to seal the deal.
But when your BIG BREAK finally arrives, who tempts fate by quibbling over ‘details’?
They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Alas, both mine have flown.
I’m not sure I even had any to start with.
What would you have done?
Paul Hassing | Founder & Senior Writer – The Feisty Empire
* Photo by Fonnie. More here.