I came across this wonderful video a few weeks ago and it’s more true than ever. It has a couple of valuable lessons for anyone who’s freelancing or trying to run a business without bankrupting themselves.
Mike Monteiro runs a design company and takes you on a bit of a journey on when they hang up the phone because the other party brought their lawyer, but they didn’t.
The key lessons for me are: Lawyers will save you money. The higher you climb the “big client” or “big game” ladder, the more people will test you and try to stretch you, especially if you’re inexperienced.
I’ve started to love contracts, obviously short and straight forward and most of all honest, simply because it’s a written reminder what everybody has to do and who gets what as a delivery. I’m a fan of saying hard things early in the process, so writing up a contract is a good exercise for that. It’s, at least it’s supposed to be, a simple and honest description of the business relationship.
Do yourself and everybody a favour and write contracts, don’t start working without the startup fee. If you can’t afford to walk away from something, that’s where your job will wear you down and it’s the most painful. Trust me, I know.