The last year has been a challenging transition from being my own boss to working with clients. When I met Brad and Seana Sherwood, I was really excited to work with them. They are interesting people with a beautiful unique property. I found them eccentric, but I liked that about them. As time went on, I started to change my opinion. It's not that they are not interesting or likable, but I began to realize that they are extraordinarily indecisive. I came up with a lot of great ideas for their home that they seemed to really respond too. The problem was, they never committed to anything. They often talked of their other home in the Hollywood Hills and how much they missed it. I started to get nervous, because I realized I had hours and hours invested in a project that may never commence. My suspicions were correct, because after 7 months, the only thing I have done at Skytop is the outdoor lighting installation. My commission on that job was $1400, of which I personally paid $250 to repair their broken sprinklers. With all my time and my employees time, I figure I lost thousands of dollars on that job.
After going through that experience, I learned that I will never repeat the same mistakes I made with Skytop. I will now need to be paid at the very least, an hourly rate to cover my time. This will protect me in the event a client decides to not proceed with the work after months and months of meetings and planning. I also need to know when to cut my losses and move on. When I started to suspect that Brad and Seana would never proceed with the work, I should have switched my focus to another client. The problem was, I didn't want to lose the valuable hours I had already invested with them (I also didn't have another client). So I stupidly kept wasting more and more hours hoping I would get more work from them. To this day, nothing else has come from the Skytop project.
Although initially frustrated and irritated, I am now grateful for the lessons I learned working with Brad and Seana. I feel very fortunate to have now built a large client list, and it will be my challenge to choose clients that are ready to make decisions and commit to me like I have committed to them. There was a time where I thought I knew it all when it came to business. What a fool I was.