Treat layout people well – they make what you write look great. BUT – if you are proofreading, check titles and cutlines carefully; layout artists sometimes key those in and make typos.
Charge enough to make a decent amount of money per hour. If a client won’t pay it, assume that person/company is not in your target market and move on.
Avoid procrastinating invoicing. It’s a pain for most of us right-brainers, but regular invoicing by freelancers is necessary for cash flow.
Be honest in business. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize and do what you can to remedy the situation. Then move on.
If you’re going to give away writing, offer it to a charitable or non-profit organization rather than a for-profit publication or business.
Recently while cleaning up my computer I found my farewell speech when I left IBM. I forgot many of these things I did. It is an interesting read.
I was reflecting on my career at IBM and I accumulated a few interesting facts.
- Worked 21.5 years at IBM
- Worked in 7 divisions, 7 cities, 14 buildings and 2 countries
- Had 17 managers
- Visited 14 countries, 9 provinces and about 40 states
- Been around the world twice but flown enough miles to circle earth over 20 times
- Flown in planes ranging from a single engine 2 seater to the cockpit of a 747-400 and served meals on an Air Canada flight when I was mistaken for a crew member
- Judged the Ontario Engineering Competition as the IBM representative for 13 years
- Spoken at over 20 conferences
- Received 15 awards
- Locked myself out of my room at the Princeton Hyatt wearing only a short Japanese robe
- Locked my keys in the rental car, wearing only a bathing suit while staying at a five star hotel in Boca Raton, Florida
- Published 5 inventions and filed 4 patents
- Eaten a whole clove of garlic in a Korean restaurant in Tokyo thinking it was an onion
- Had my work with CARES, the system for aging missing kids:
- Exposed at a national press conference that was the lead story on 2 national networks and the second story, to the end of the Ontario doctors strike, on the other two
- Recognized by the Metro Toronto Police
- Featured on several police shows including Top Cops
- Been searched by the Russian Army
- Been directed off the streets by the Mexican Army during an attempted embassy siege beside our hotel
- Traveled to Italy when American executives were being knee capped
- Met Nobel prize winners, ambassadors, IBM CEO’s and Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
And best of all, I have had the honour of working for the IBM Microelectronics Toronto Lab
So long, and thanks for all the fish
October 2, 1997