By- Thomas Kubrak
One of the hardest things in business to admit is when you’re wrong. In my opinion, it’s also one of the hardest things to admit to in life.
For business, you have two sides: The Client and The Service Provider. When one of those sides is upset you have to make it right or you don’t have business. It’s that simple. You can’t avoid this like you can in a personal matter, where you can just refuse to fix it or avoid the other party without consequences.
It’s a lot easier to say, “I dont’ think it’s that bad, I don’t even think my client is too upset about it.” Than saying, “I screwed up, I need to make this right.”
First off, apologize.
Secondly, talk about the money, if you need to.
In my case, I needed to talk about the money.
Specifically, I’m talking about what I did when I failed to communicate how far behind I was on the project I mentioned in my last post( https://tomkubrak.org/2021/12/14/1-write-then-eat-8-lessons-in-ghostwriting-my-first-feature-length-screenplay/ )
Half of the contract.
Yes I gave up half of this contract. My client wasn’t the one who suggested it either. I believe he would’ve paid me regardless, but I think he would’ve done it begrudgingly, considering my lack of communication for a large chunk of the project. Which is why I told him to keep the final half he would’ve had to give me upon completion of the project.
GET TO IT BEFORE THEY DO
If you believe you messed up apologize, own up to it, and fix the problem before they even have a chance to get mad and yell at you. Say all the things about you they would have said if they got to it before you did.
Mainly, I did this for peace of mind. I hold myself accountable for my actions and unfortunately for me an apology, I believe, wasn’t good enough.
Even though mentally this was one of the more difficult projects I’d encountered, there’s no excuse for not communicating with your client. I had to take-this-bullet if I was going to last in this industry.
I was too far behind and let him know too late. I did this for me, and if I didn’t I wouldn’t have learned my lesson. At the end of the day, I want to work with many, many more clients on their stories and transforminng them into award winning screenplays plays and books. So, if I want to be able to do that, I can’t afford to make this mistake again.
Like I said in the previous post ( https://tomkubrak.org/2021/12/14/1-write-then-eat-8-lessons-in-ghostwriting-my-first-feature-length-screenplay/ ) the project was completed on time, but I was insistant to my client that I would take less time. As you know, it took the entire alloted amount of time and not the shortened amount that I insisted it would take.
Once I told my client, “I’m sorry I want to forfeit my final half.” He didn’t want to accept it at first, but I was insistant on it and he finally did.
This, I believe, helped us restore our relationship and work together harder, to complete this project on time. If I hadn’t done this… Actually I don’t even want to speculate on that, but I’m glad I did nonetheless. I believe it helped restore the energy too, that we had lost and needed to create a finished product that we were proud of
At the end of the day, if you ghostwrite long-form works like me, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your client. So, bumps-in-the-road are bound to happen. Just know what to do, be honest about what’s going on, and when something happens, react quicker than I did.
Or…you’ll have to pay the price.