I have many confessions as an independent woman, boutique business owner.
First, my intellectual capital costs something, it has a value, otherwise, folks would not be asking for my input, my presence, my work.
Second, my position as a solopreneur, mompreneur, entrepreneur, whatever, consultant, writer, educator, communicator, does not mean that I can just wait to be valued.
Third, my work is not free. Period. Like paying the attorney before you sit down or the doctor before you visit, consultants, freelancers, etc., we must be paid, we have bills, too.
Fourth, excuses, excuses, excuses about why we are not being paid the full amount (one client paid in something non-cash and weeks after-the-fact) or then acting like we did not agree clearly on a set of deliverables and an expected compensation.
Fifth, assuming that because we are not banging down your door with a tin can that we can afford to wait months to be compensated for our work.
Sixth, being ignored when we do make an inquiry about payment.
Seventh, debating on whether we need to hire a finance person and let them be the collection dogs, like those pesky bill collectors that drop notice-after-notice in the mail if you are ever late with that gas bill.
Eighth, contemplating giving up the passion for your flexibility for the assurance of boring stability and a steady paycheck, because the truth is like everyone else, your lattes are expensive.
Ninth, feeling guilty about feeling taken-advantage-of, especially when you love the project.
Tenth, wanting so desperately to maintain professionalism and not become that mad black woman with an attitude
Eleventh, smiling through yet another change, wondering if they are stringing you along with the promise of an end date, only to find cobwebs in the mailbox
Twelfth, wrestling for hours over keeping goodwill and not outing the client.
Thirteenth, deciding instead to take it as a learning experience and reaching into reserves because gas bills don't wait and lattes are still $5.
Fourteenth, joining a freelancers' union and finding out you are not the only one who has been stiffed in this contract-economy.
Fifteenth, deciding that writing about it may make you feel better
Self-therapy over, pass the chocolate...and another latte...shaking the tin can along the way.