Ted on HOW Design: collecting unpaid invoices
Non-payment is a huge problem for freelancers. Check out Freelancers Union’s World’s Longest Invoice for a sense of how many go unpaid.
When I learn a client hasn’t paid me, all my feelings surge up and threaten to overwhelm me. Why? Pure, raw fear.
- Fear that I did something wrong.
- Fear that my work wasn’t really all that great.
- Fear that I’m not good enough.
I just want to curl up into a ball and hide — and somehow slip quietly into denial to forget the pain. (I once stupidly sued a client rather than deal with why he wasn’t paying.)
Or, worse, I become super angry and indignant, and want to tell everybody what a jerk the client is.
When these feelings overcome me, I have to remind myself that I’m human. And because I’m human, I naturally react with emotion when I’m under stress. Money is a subject that always stresses me out. Especially when there already isn’t enough of it, and somebody isn’t paying.