The Indie Side Of Business. Learnings from saying Yes to free work and prove your worth.
There’s an opportunity for a gig, but you need to show you can make it. To prove yourself before talking money. Or even talk small money in hopes to turn it into a larger gig. You say Yes and work for free.
Here’s what I learned: it’s bullshit.
Most of these situations are unfiltered. They’re just “opportunities” you don’t want to miss.
So you’re too excited/over invested about it.
The pattern? You don’t qualify them.
- Is this making any sense at all of where I’m going?
- Do I (even) have a direction?
- I’m trustworthy, but is the other side too?
- Do I have any guarantees about my guarantees?
Not having these basic questions (just to start) leads to getting burnt. And it hurts. It hurts even more when it’s re-occurring.
This is what happens:
You do the free work and then…
“Ha! Thanks, moron! Now I’ll keep shopping around with a better understanding because of your free work.” → We’ll evaluate it and get back to you.
Prove your worth.
Fix my apparent problem and we’ll see if it’s good enough.
“This makes sense. I’ll look for who can make it for cheaper. We’ll get back to you. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
Or you just get ghosted.
Start with small money.
“This works. Great. Let’s keep moving.
Wait. Why are you so expensive now? If you made it for cheaper before, you should keep the same cost. You’re ripping me off, man. What are your costs?”
There’s another way.
Starts with No.
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