Late the other night, I began thinking about the various people who owe me money for editorial services I have delivered. In several cases, I know that I will never see the $2000+ for which I have completed various types of writing and editing jobs.

In most cases, I performed the work that I did with the understanding that my client would reimburse me when the work was delivered. In retrospect, I wonder if that was the best methodology. While I suppose that I trust my clients until they give me reason to believe otherwise, I sometimes wonder if I should conduct my business in the manner of so many others – pay me and I’ll send you what you want.

The thought that followed my feeling of injustice was the process I have historically employed – I dedicated a great deal of time and effort to your work and feel strongly that you should compensate me. Upon further reflection, I realized that this was ridiculous. When these people hired me, they did it with the assumption that I would approach the work with diligence and professionalism. Otherwise, why would they have hired me?

Have we lost our sense of doing the right thing when it comes to those who provide services to us? You wouldn’t hire a landscape company to take care of your property and then state, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t have any money.” The landscaper might very well erect a tent on your front lawn and take up residence until the money appears.

We don’t visit doctors without the intention of paying for those visits. Likewise, we don’t select groceries with the idea that the stores will donate that food to us because we are good people. My latest no-pay client stated, “Oh, we wrote that work ourselves. Thanks anyways.” In this case, it appears that their decision to do the work in house eliminated the debt owed for my one or two hours spent on the project.

No, I don’t intend for this to be a complaint section. But as I have said in previous blogs, it’s crucial that we keep promises. Clearly, those who don’t pay me what they owe will not receive new work without paying in advance. That’s not the point. Do what you say you’re going to do – if your word isn’t sincere, what is? Shalom.

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