adhering to my core values

December 29th, 2011

So last night was billing Wednesday. I don’t particularly like this night because it forces me to look at what we are not making and last night was no exception. I had emailed clients earlier in the day following up on long overdue bills. One, a good client of ours, called back and renegotiated several bills. A few were legit; the sites still had intermittent errors we could not track down. I struggle with this. If we were employees, they wouldn’t withhold pay if we couldn’t solve the problem (and we can, they just don’t want us to try right now). In other client’s cases, their fixes took longer than they should have. And we lost money. I just had about had it, and blew up at G. who busts his tail to keep up with the books despite working full time elsewhere. I said I was ready to quit the business, that I was not happy with aspects of our marriage and I felt that my stress was affecting it. If I removed the business stress we could work out the rest. He reminded me that I have employees, three mortgages – and even a day care provider – who count on me. So I’m in jail. With the door open.

I feel like George Bailey – he gives to his customers, never taking an extra dime for himself. He gets to the end of HIS rope and friends come to his aid. But I don’t expect my friends to come to my aid (nor should they). Like George, I drive a crappy, rusty old car. And then today, I realized I need to look at my core values. What I am about is delivering real, honest and amazingly devoted service to my clients. I’d do it if I were independently wealthy.

I don’t need a car (well, I do, it’s a safety thing right now, broken windshield, doors that don’t open,etc.) but I do need to look at what I’d do if money were not the issue. That is my core value. Maybe I need to carefully edit my clients, and work less or work smarter. (oddly enough writing that gave me a pain in my chest and made it hard to breathe…) There are amazing bright spots, the things we do for our not-for-profit clients, the clients who love us back.

I don’t need a lot of stuff. And  I  deserve to get paid my value and the value of my employees. And I will go above and beyond for you. I expect nothing less in return.

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