The Best Thing Someone Said When I Was Chasing Down A Paycheck


This recurring feature was born out of a combination of the two of us looking for near-constant validation and advice from one another and finding that that quest is one of the benchmarks of female friendship, plus learning that a healthy dose of Googling “what to say when ___” and “what to do when ___” was coming up short in terms of helpful advice.

The most loathsome, hideous part of being a freelancer is trying to get paid. Why is it that I’m always delivering my work on time and never getting paid on time, I often ask anyone who will listen.

One such time, I turned to my best friend and business partner, the other half of this blog — Miss Nicole Michele Boucher — and she had the best, most succinct thing to say. Whereas I’ve always sent long, rambling, borderline apologetic emails inquiring about the status of a late payment, she advised me to be succinct and forward and strong.

So I took her advice and after months of unreturned messages sent this: “Coming up on third deliverable and would like an update on other invoices before submitting. Hope you can understand.” So obvious but so perfect!

The takeaway? Point out the work you’ve done, firmly state that you won’t be submitting any more unpaid work, and add the tiniest bit of guilt at the end.

We know you want to know what to say in a specific situation. Let us know what it is in the comments. 

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