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Burning bridges: I've got a business dilemma to run by the prestigious Loungers

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by archon10, May 31, 2015.

  1. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    I've got an interesting dilemma where I just want to hear opinions. Note that I already know how I'm gonna handle it, but I am crafting my "yeah, no" letter and weighing pros and cons. What a fun Sunday. There's a lot of freelance/sole proprietors here and I'd like to just hear what others say.

    Players:
    Company U
    Contractor A
    Me

    Story: Company U contracted me from Jan 2014 to June 2014 last year. An NDA was signed but not a non-compete. They "fired" all their writer contractors. OK, that's the game. Been using Company U as part of my resume/portfolio/sales/marketing pitch since they let us go. Fast forward to March 2015 and Contractor A is Company U's official content manager. Contractor A needed a backup writer for a short gig with Company U since regular writer was on vacation. Haven't worked with Contractor A since the first of April, but I don't mind being a backup. We have no contract, but I wrote content, paid. Boom, done. She asks if she can ping me in the future if she ever needs me again. I say 'sure.'

    Fast forward to 2 days ago. I bid on a gig that could use my specific area of expertise I learned from Company U. I bid high because I have something the other freelancers don't -- experience with Company U and I know what works. Buyer tries to dick me down by over half. I write back "I'll cut $50 off the price, and the others are cheaper than I am, but they can't say they know how Company U works and how to make sales."

    Now, Contractor A's regular writer gets pinged by the buyer and apparently the buyer repeated my sales pitch and asked if regular writer can do better. Regular writer pings Contractor A to ask if it's "legal" to write for Company U and write for someone who sells through Company U at the same time. So, I get a letter from Contractor A saying it's a conflict of interest and I need to have her review jobs related to Company U before I bid (that's never going to happen lol).

    What would you do, Loungers? Cave for maybe a few hundred bucks in the future. Ignore the letter and keep trucking? What say you? Burn a bridge? I'm trying to think if there are legal issues involved, and I wouldn't be surprised if Company U tried to bully me using legal, but I think it would be an empty threat. I know lawyers do stuff like that just to scare people even if it's nothing. I don't see how they can enforce it. I'm ok with losing the gig. There's no promise of work in the future and I'm not losing out on much of anything if Contractor A refused to work with me ever again. There's more money in saying that I worked directly with Company U, so I know what sells rather than hang on to an empty backup gig. But, at the same time, I'm basically burning a bridge.

    Opinions?
     
  2. dondada7

    dondada7 Power Member

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  3. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Looks like you've already reached a conclusion, so I'll give you the same advice I give to my self (and find myself failing to do it sometimes, because it can be hard). Sleep over it, and whatever you come up with in the morning, do it. No thinking, no re-thinking, no remorses. A decision taken, all is well, back to creating value.
     
  4. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    Yeah, actually, I will write my response today and probably think about it until Tuesday. Learned that lesson the hard way.

    The more customers I get, the more I find that I get customers in the same industry because that's my experience. The problem is that I work with people who have apps/content/whatever that are very related to each other and they are probably competitors. My thoughts are that when the contract ends, it ends and I can move on to a competitor if that's the way the wind blows.

    decisions, decisions
     
  5. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    There is just so much business to be had I'm a little surprised this is even a dilemma for you as I'm sure you have a boat load of business as it stands.

    I'm not a fan of burning bridges generally but I wouldn't be spending a lot of time on making a choice.