Sometimes You Have to be an A-Hole: How My Brother Helped Me Adjust My Business

How’s it going? With the 70-ish% vocal loss I’m in, it’s given me a lot of time to think (as if a writer doing some thinking is a big surprise anyway, right).

Anyway, my brother sorta came to the rescue with some sage business advice I’ve been needing based on what I’ve been up to lately.

Let’s get to it.

In the past week and a half, I’ve been having negotiations with a current client about doing other work for them. And putting it mildly, those negotiations ground to a halt.

Like a 90-mile-per-hour-train-pulled-the-brake halt.

I simply would not (and I got confirmation from my writing friends, with a couple caveats), do the amount of work this client suggested for the amount they were willing to pay.

Is it about money? Well, sure. Most things are. I realized all that in my moments of weakness that nearly resulted in me taking this gig. It would have been a tremendous slash in my fee (and I don’t know yet if I want to negotiate for a percentage of new business generated).

The scale was tipped in the client’s favor to get an asset they were going to use forever, while I would have gotten not so much in return for about 5 or more hours of my time (not including any revisions and back and forth we would have had to do).

When I ran all this by my brother (or most of it, before my voice took a nap), he said:

Sometimes you have to be an a-hole.

Sometimes you have to look out for you and how your own efforts, time, and what-have-ya are being rewarded (or not). And then move accordingly.

You have to look out for what you’re getting, as well as what you’re giving.

And with all the projects, writing, and more being thrown around that I’m working through, I’d forgotten that.

It’s good to be reminded.

Writing and business need a good balance. In a perfect world, we’d get that all the time, and everyone would be happy.

But we don’t have that, so we have to make do.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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