Yawning FoxOne of the things that I always aim to do is to be honest in my writings. I try not to exaggerate things to make myself sound better than I actually am and I make sure to portray my failings as well as my successes.

I think honesty is an important part of happiness. The more white lies that you have to employ to get you through the day, the more stress incurred, with the extra complication of trying to remember who you told what!

‘You can never get caught in a lie you never told.’

Now I am not suggesting that everyone should become saints overnight and never lie again. I just think that in general being up front about things as early as possible can make things easier for both sides.

Previous Experience

There have been occasions in my career where I have been asked to not mention certain things to customers. This could as simple as being a few days behind on a deadline, promising something when I know the company didn’t have the resources to get it done on time or even trying to pretend there are more people working for the company than there actually were.

When asked about my business I like to make it clear to people that I am a one man outfit. This actually makes it much easier to specify when I would be able to tackle a job. When there is only one of you the customer has to realise that there are restrictions to your resources…

Some of these are worse than others but were any of them really necessary? I do not pretend to understand the sales side of a small business, yet, but is there really any need to go to these extremes?

If you start to fall behind on a project then would it not be best to speak to the customer as soon as possible and wait for their response. If they urgently need the job done then more resources can be allocated to the task otherwise the deadline could be moved back and the stress would be reduced. I understand that this isn’t always possible and that some customers may take offence to even being asked this question so in that case the only option is to throw more resources at the job.

The trick seems to be not to oversell your resources and to leave some room to breathe. This sounds much easier than it actually is…

If someone offers you work do you turn it down if it is going to stretch your limits a bit?

From my point of view it might be an idea to mention that fact right from the outset. Let the customer know that you cannot guarantee a delivery date for this as you have other deadlines approaching and the resources may be required elsewhere at short notice. To some this may not seem very professional but that’s just the way I like to roll…

I have never been very good at hiding things anyway. I find that I answer questions before checking my memory for approval first which can quickly lead to a slip up. The best I can do is to ignore certain questions and refer them to someone else who finds lying much easier…

It is much easier to answer a question honestly as there should be no need to think up an appropriate response.

Going Forward

The company I do the majority of my contracting work has recently changed hands. Soon afterwards I had a meeting with them and was surprised to find out that they have been reading my blog…

My first reaction was a sort of shocked ‘Oh No! What have I written about that could get me into trouble?’

This was a very short lived thought though as I immediately realised that everything I have written has been truthful and honest and so there was nothing to be worried about. If anything they had a heads up on why I decided to leave the regular 9–5 in the first place.

It was this meeting that inspired this post as I felt that my honesty helped me. Before the meeting I was a bit nervous as I unsure how things were going to go. Were my services still required? Would I be required to return to a regular 9 to 5 role if I wanted to continue getting paid? Having read some of what I had written not only did they know where I was coming from the new management seemed very keen for me to continue my work…

Right from the outset I made it clear that I intended to work roughly 3, 7 hour days, a week. This allows me to set my own times and gives me amazing flexibility, which I never even imagined previously. There is also the ability to add more resources, i.e. my time, if I start to run behind schedule on any particular task.

This has it’s upsides and downsides. I have probably had a lot more unused time than I should have had over the past few months. I can be a bit easily distracted sometimes especially by the mess that was my office. My new office is starting to take shape now. In fact I am sitting at my new desk as I type this! One important factor in the redesign is to keep things clean and tidy and to give everything a proper home so I am waiting on some new cabinets to allow me to start putting things away…

Some days I cannot get into a task so I end up doing something else instead. As I only charge for the time spent working on a project this is a win, win situation as I get to work on what I feel like that day and the company only gets charged for productive time spent working…

This also gives me the time to work on my other projects without feeling guilty. Take this blog for example. Due to my office being unusable for most of this week I am writing this post while I would normally be working! I consider this blog part of my personal brand so it is important to me to keep up the regular posting schedule. So today this post is top priority. When it’s finished then I can think about doing some other work…

Talking of this blog I like to be up front about everything I do. I do occasionally add in some affiliate links but only for companies or products that I have personally used and that I feel may benefit you. I do not expect to make millions from these links and I have no intention of pushing items just because they offer me a better chance of making money. I just want to pass on some things that I have found useful. If there is a small commission available then it seems silly to ignore it. Even if there isn’t a benefit to me then I will still include a link if I think it’s beneficial.

If you are interested I have added a Resources link to the header of this blog. This gives a list of products and services that I have found useful. I will update these occasionally so it may be worth checking out from time to time…

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1 comment

Shirl

What a man I was luck y to marry keep up the not telling lies as trust is everything.x

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