Recently, a new client was referred to me after escaping a potentially bad situation. One that could have gone far left had she not paid attention to her gut. Her previous "agency" attempted to buy her domain name under their own name. A big NO-NO. Had she not paid attention to her intuition, things could have gone very wrong.
None of this is such an unusual story.
When I started my first business, I was naive. I thought I knew soooo much. I mean...I had a college degree and solid work experience, right? But my new business would soon become the best bought and paid for education I could have ever invested in. I had to get played a few times before things really began to sink in. That's why I want to give you my top 3 ways to avoid getting played when finding help to work in your small business. Use these in any and all situations, even beyond your business.
- 1Learn something. This is key. While I often hire people to do things I don't know how to do, I at least educate myself on the subject before I start hiring. It's your business so it's your responsibility to find the right people and get the work done. If someone plays you in business, you may be their victim but you can't waste time playing the victim. Sh&* happens. Thank them for the lesson and focus on how you recover. Always prepare and put some time in educating yourself before you make hiring decisions. Try not to be hasty. Ask well thought out questions and don't appear to be clueless. Engage and be interested. It's YOUR business. You'll find better people that way. Anyone turned off by your questions and digging-in is not the right person for your or your business. Ignorance is bliss isn't your friend here. It only leads to getting played and being taken advantage of.
- 2Be real. One thing I'll never understand is how people really think they are about to get amazing work, time and effort from people without properly paying them for it. You want a multi-million dollar business but you want to compromise, haggle and trade your way into making millions? You want people to pay you what you're worth, but you're unwilling to pay people for the quality they can bring to your business. You think you can't afford it, but you can't afford not to pay for quality. I actually had someone recently tell me, "Anyone can just get their nephew to build them a website." And my response to that was, "Then they should. They're not my customer." Seeking out someone who does what they do everyday, and not as a hobby benefits you and your business. Sure, you can call in a favor and half-ass it. Sometimes that works. But..will those favors you're calling in be consistent, reliable and on time? I have friends ask me for free websites and help all the time. And my answer to that has evolved into, "If you don't pay me for it, I'll never make it a priority and get it done." That's real talk.
- 3Listen to your gut (aka God). If you have a bad feeling about something or someone, go with that! That applies to vendors, contractors and clients. Don't ignore the little voices you hear and the red flags you see. Believe me! Sometimes things and opportunities really are too good to be true. All money isn't good money. And all the rest of the sayings. Abandon ship if you feel a little uneasy! I know this can be hard, especially if it's a possible money-making opportunity. Turning down money seems crazy. But you can play yourself even more by getting tied up with the wrong people. Examples for when you should take heed:
I could go on and on about how NOT to get played. But if you remember these three, you'll be in good shape. Bottom line, here are your main takeaways:
- It's your responsibility.
- Paying people what their worth can prevent problems.
- Your ignorance is not bliss. Be informed.
Here's to not getting played.
Erin, The Rebel