Bird in the hand?

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.

Top job

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.

I waited.

Then waited some more.

Better deal?

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:

  1. Hassle the prospect for a decision on my quote?
  2. 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.

Let down

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.

Can you?

Big time

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.