Starting a business isn’t easy, but the reasons why aren’t what I expected. I expected to be pounding the pavement and networking, but I had no idea how often I’d be in the situation of being taken advantage of. I guess it’s a learning experience, but I am startled and frustrated with how much free work I’ve done as part of interview processes, training programs, and panels in an effort to secure my next piece of income.

I’ve had people drop off the radar entirely after I’ve wasted 7+ hours of time (not to mention more than a month of waiting) on a process, I’ve created custom pitch decks for clients that canceled the meeting the day-of, I’ve created full classes of coursework for a course that never materialized, I’ve created several rounds of proposals for a project I was later asked to do on trade.

I really try not to complain too much, but I do feel like at this point, I need to take a stand.

I will not be doing any more spec work as part of a “vetting process,” and I won’t rely on something to materialize before a budget is approved. If you cancel on me more than once, I won’t take your calls anymore. At some point, I need to have some respect for myself and my time, because at the end of my day, as a self-employed person, time is my currency these days.

I love what I do. I’m a smart marketer, a great strategist and trainer, and a media expert. And my time is worthwhile.

If you’re in need of smart marketing, let me know.

But if you don’t have a budget, hire an intern.

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