Sometimes life isn't fair. One of the most saddening experiences in life is getting cheated. Very often when this occurs it's financially related. I can think of three recent examples where I have been ripped off:
- Completing work for a client who delayed payment of the invoice and eventually declared they were not going to pay.
- Paying for an advertising service, where they faked the results and when we called them out on it they refused to provide a refund.
- Getting short changed in a bar, where the bar man declared if I wanted my change I was welcome to come round the back of the bar and try to take it from him.
None of these were happy experiences and all of them made me very angry. However getting angry in life is rarely productive or constructive. So I've come up with a new personal system to deal with scenarios like this. The first part is to minimise their occurrence.
I believe there are a number of steps that can complain this.
- Don't pay until you are required too.
- Get firm with fair payment terms, whether you are providing a service or purchasing one. Payment half upfront and half on completion works well to mitigate risk.
- Invoice before work is started, remind clients one week before an invoice is due and again two days before payment is due. On the day payment is due let them know and contact them if it has not been made, and contact them every day after until payment is made.
The second part of my new philosophy is to double up on Karma. I want those who have wronged me to learn from their mistakes and change. I don't have time or energy to make this happen, I need Karma to do it. So to entice Karma to work, every time I get screwed over I will lend an equal amount of money through Kiva. Kiva is a micro loans service that provides funding to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Thus every time I get ripped off it costs me double as I am committed to loaning the same amount to Kiva. I hope the doubling up of Karma will have some kind of impact in the grand scheme of things...