“I don’t take a piss without getting paid for it!”

Lesson for today:

If you don’t place value on yourself, your time, and your skills, sure as shit no one else will.

Case in point…

A dozen years back, I created a direct mail campaign for a guy doing a new business launch.

I got paid very good money, and the campaign was a boffo success. The client and I were both happy campers.

But for one reason or another, we lost touch. We weren’t in contact for, oh, three or four months.

Then, out of the blue, he called.

“Whatcha doin’ Tuesday?” he asked.

“You got something in mind, Matt?”

“Well, I was noodling over a few marketing ideas with my partners. Thought you might want to drive down here and we could pick your brain over lunch. Our treat.”

Matt and his partners were more than 200 miles away.

“Sounds good,” I said. “But I’ll be on the clock for both noodling time AND drive time. That’ll run you, oh, at least three grand.”


“You still there, Matt?”

“Lemme get back to you, Wally.”

Of course, he didn’t get back to me.

Big surprise.

This sumbitch had cajones big enough to figure I’d happily spend no less than seven hours of California freeway time roundtrip for a free lunch — and maybe, just maybe, a fuzzy promise of future paying projects.

Never, never, NEVER undervalue whatever it is you bring to the table.

As writer Harlan Ellison says in the video above, “I sell my soul, but at the highest rates. I don’t take a piss without getting paid for it.”

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