Today I decided to take a stand - Quite literally, but for two separate reasons.
The first was a positive one, and should help to improve my physical health. The second is less pleasurable, but will almost certainly reduce my stress levels and help to push my business forward.
Let me explain.
At a networking event I attended on Tuesday, I was convinced by a guest speaker to consider using a standing workstation in the studio. Humans weren't intended to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, after all.
I haven't actually invested in a proper desk yet, it's more of a 'mini-coffee-table-plonked-on-my-normal-desk' kind of approach. But for an experiment, it should work just fine - If the benefits become apparent, I'll buy a proper one... But after one day, I'm feeling pretty positive about it. I can feel a nice burn in my calf muscles, and it feels like I've been more productive than I normally would... Winner winner, chicken dinner!
The second stand I had to take was far less fun though, and it's been a long time coming.
In business, there seems to be a popular trend where people ask for work to be done, then don't want to pay for it.
I've managed to protect myself from this by operating a system where I take a 50% deposit up front and then have the final balance settled before any artwork files are released - This works pretty well and most decent, reasonable clients are more than happy to go along with it.
The problem I have is with a more long-term client... You know the kind, where every job is 'urgent' and there is 'no real budget'. They are 90 days beyond their 30 day credit limit, and I simply can't be bothered dealing with chasing their lackadaisical accounts department any longer.
I've tolerated with this for almost a year because I felt like I 'needed' the work.
But this is becoming toxic to my business. They're trying to take precedent over clients who pay on time and work to reasonable timescales. It's just not fair - I stick to my deadlines, but their's don't matter, apparently.
So today I fired them.
No business needs clients like this. They treat people badly because they are allowed to. So the obvious answer is to simply stop accepting projects from them. What I lose in revenue I gain in time, energy and self-respect.
Of course, I did this in a polite, respectful (but firm) way. I stood up for myself, my business and my principles... And it feels bloody awesome.