In the course of this whole “being self-employed” adventure, I am finding that there are a lot of people who really want and truly think that they NEED an assistant but they don’t really have a clue what to delegate or how to delegate. They also don’t know how the process works for hiring an Independent Contractor and so I end up in a lot of situations where it’s more like a traditional job interview situation. Here’s the thing, though… you wouldn’t ask your doctor or your plumber “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, would you?
So…I responded to an RFP (request for proposal) and had a phone call with a potential client and she said she was really impressed but she had some more people she was interviewing and she would get back to me “by Wednesday, FOR SURE”. Well, here it is, Thursday afternoon and no decision. She did email me some follow-up questions yesterday (All of which fell into the “traditional job interview” category) and I responded.
A few times this scenario has played out and we get to the point of me sending a contract and they get hit with the reality that I *gasp* actually expect to get paid the rate that I quoted them and I never hear from them again (in spite of my follow-up efforts).
I am mid-range in what I charge for my services. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a potential client think they could get someone to practically run their business (at least all the marketing, social media, customer care, technology) for under $10 an hour. The thing is….if you hire me, you aren’t paying for any benefits, any office space, no coffee breaks, no potty breaks, no 3 martini lunches. I charge you for the time I actually work and that’s it. A lot of times they’ll play this BS game before that happens:
Potential Client: “You charge HOW MUCH?? I can get someone in (insert 3rd world country) to do this for $2 an hour”
Me: “And you are free to pursue that, if you wish.”
Potential Client: (harumph) “You aren’t even going to TRY to negotiate? Lower your rate by $15 an hour to get me as a client?”
Me: “My rates are my rates. You wouldn’t ask your doctor to negotiate, would you?”
Potential Client: “Fine. I’ll just go hire someone from (insert 3rd world country)”
And then I get 2 emails that are basically them still being incredulous that I won’t come down $15 an hour on my rate and they go hire someone from a third world country and then end up having to re-do a bunch of the work that gets given back to them which ends up costing them more than if they’d just paid my rate in the first place.
And yet… I will happily do what I do before even considering a return to the corporate world. Being the Boss is great!