Please Help Me End This Financial Frustration

The following guest post is from one of my favorite writers, Neal Frankle of Wealth Pilgrim. After reading the post, head over to Neal’s site and check out his free subscription options.

In an earlier post, I wrote that if you want to learn how to solve a problem, write about it.

So…eh…that’s why I’m writing this post. I need to solve a problem.

I’m not sure if writing (in and of itself) is going to do the trick this time. However, I do feel that your comments will be vital. Will you help me?

THE PROBLEM:

Several months ago, I hired Sally. She’s a highly respected and qualified consultant but she doesn’t seem to be keeping her end of the bargain. I pay her a monthly amount and she is supposed to help me take advantage of a very specific business opportunity. She is a guru in her field and she’s uniquely suited to do this job. It’s more economical for me to pay to have this service done than for me to try to do it myself.

Don’t get me wrong. She is providing value. In fact, her value exceeds the investment I make. But she isn’t delivering what she promised and she doesn’t deliver on a timely basis. She changes phone appointments at the last minute. Things are getting done much slower than promised. What’s worse, she always has an excuse and it’s starting to feel like I’m being lied to.

I like and admire this person. She’s considered an expert in her field, but it’s starting to really feel bad.

The problem has taken on a personal dimension. Maybe that’s my mistake. But I considered this individual more of an ally and friend than a hired gun. Someone who understood what I was trying to do and who is genuinely interested in helping me achieve my goals.

I think about this issue throughout the day. It really bothers me and it makes me a little sad. Sally’s advice is really good and helpful (when I get it) but the thought that I’m being lied to overshadows this. I feel rotten.

STEPS I’VE TAKEN

A few weeks ago, I sent an email to Sally and told her what needed to change. Her response didn’t address all my concerns but I let it go since she did address some of my concerns. I thought (or hoped) we were back on track.

Well….I was wrong. We aren’t on track. In fact, we’re more off track now than ever.

ALTERNATIVES

Let me reiterate, I have no interest in doing Sally’s job myself – I need to hire someone to do it and I have a budget for this. Firing this person and doing it myself is not an option.

My strong preference would be for Sally to get it together. I need her to do what she says she’s going to do when she says she’s going to do it.

If that doesn’t work, I have identified another person. Jim is very qualified but I don’t think he can replace Sally completely. She is pretty unique in her field. Since some of the work involves marketing, the connections that Sally has, makes her a very valuable asset and team member.

As I said before, if I was convinced I could replace Sally, I’d do it. But I’m afraid that if I do fire her, I won’t be able to replace the connections and brainpower she has.

How would you approach this problem?

Here’s are the steps I’ve come up with:

1. Send her a copy of this post.

I’ve really spelled it out here. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve too. As an additional bonus, your comments may help light a fire under her (or my) rear.

2. Spell out exactly what it is that I want/expect/need and the time frame that it must be completed by.

In my earlier email, I didn’t do that.

Basically that will include a time line to complete certain tasks as well as a time line by which calls and emails should be returned.

3. Ask Sally if she can commit to that.

4. If she does commit and doesn’t live up to her commitments, move on no matter what.

In the past, I’ve had to let staff go. I used to have this tremendous fear that I was doing it prematurely and/or if I did fire the person, it would be impossible to replace them.

I no longer feel that way. I know that everyone is replaceable – even me. But for some reason, I am really hesitant to draw the line with Sally.

Have you ever been faced with a choice like this? How did you decide it was time to cut and run? Am I just being a girly-man?

Comments

  1. I hire consultants all the time to help out in my business. I think the problem here lies with you and not Sally. When you hire outside help like this, you need to be clear: I need A, B, C from you. This is your deadline. I need A accomplished by this time, B by this time, etc. etc.

    You need to realize that Sally does not have a vested interest in your business like you do. She is not going to care about it like you do. She is paid contract labor, not an owner of the business.

    The second mistake was to think that Sally was your friend. She is not your friend, she is contract labor. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be nice and pleasant with her, but your personal conversations should be limited — you have a relationship to do business together.

    In my opinion, you need to cut Sally loose in a nice way so you can maybe utilize her at a later time when you can clearly establish the working relationship. Just tell her that at this time you think you are going in a different direction and need to re-evaluate your strategies. Tell her the new strategy may involve her at a later time, just not at the moment. Use the new guy for now, but make sure you set up the relationship that clearly spells out what is expected and when.

  2. I would do a pros and cons list and start writing the pros and cons of keeping her and then the pros and cons of firing her and decide from there. Giving her a copy of this post is fine, but it sounds like she has you over a barrel because she provides value that you think is worth what you’re paying her…just not what you expected. One concern I’d have is with her integrity. That would weigh heavily on my cons list and be enough to end it. In any situation, but certainly in a business situation, I would not want to do business with, or be associated with, someone who wasn’t trustworthy.

  3. As someone who does paid consulting work, like Sally, I think that a post like this would either inspire me to agree to what you’ve put in your e-mail or to leave you entirely and immediately.

    Either way, I think a guest post on a huge and popular personal finance blog about my failures would probably make me resent you if I kept on working.

    I don’t know how she’ll respond, since I’m not familiar with her temperament or the situations (or non-situations) that kept her from working with you as promised. It may serve as a time-management wakeup call–every self-employed person or part-time freelancer has to do periodic readjustments.

    But while I think blog posts, especially where they’ll get a lot of eyes, are a great way for dealing with a company’s failures, I don’t think they’ll provide lasting solutions where a one-on-one relationship is concerned. The readers can’t decide not to shop there, and if they all called her or wrote her letters, that would be harassment.

    In fact, the tenor of this comment section–people who have nothing to do with it’s voices–may be the thing that turns the tide. Whether I was overworked, overstressed, and dealing with crises in my life that interfered with my work or whether I was unorganized and letting down my end, I wouldn’t like to see myself critiqued in a comment section (which is one reason I’ve refrained from doing so, plus I have no idea what’s going on on her end).

  4. I think that she looks at you as a friend instead as her boss. Do a person to person evaluation and put her on probation FOR 3 months. ETC.

  5. Time for a face to face chat. Email is great, but it strips the emotion from the conversation. You need to clearly state your expectations of her, and ask her to buy into the relationship. Its easy to misinterpret the tone of an email – nearly impossible if you are face to face. If she does not meet your expectations, you need to provide her with the specific expectations that she did not meet and mutually move on. You do not need someone “out there” speaking badly about you and your business. Be fair and give her reasonable opportunity to keep your business.

    No offense, but sending her a copy of a blog post is a little juvenile, kind of like speaking about someone behind their back. I hope that her real name is not Sally. Good luck!

  6. Sorry, cut her loose. Her connections and brainpower are not an asset if you haven’t tapped into them by now. They are buried treasure and you have no shovel. She is like human clutter…you are keeping her around “just in case” when you know in your heart she is not serving the purpose you “bought” her for.

  7. if she is as unique in the field as you say she probably knows it and that is why she feels she can do whatever she wants. I know that I AM replaceable at my job, anyone can do it, therefore I work hard at it. However, she can’t be the only person who can do it.
    I also don’t think you should send her the post. Just tell her out right…it would be insulting and humiliating to know that you shared this with the world.
    Give her one more chance in person or by phone, NOT EMAIL, (follow up in writing) and if she doesn’t change let her go, you have no obligation to keep on a bad employee.

  8. I agree that you need a face-to-face. You need to look her in the eye and be firm. This is especially true if she is not delivering what she promised. Lean heavily on what she’s promised and not delivered, more than just your expectations.

  9. Try paying her 60% percent of what you agreed to pay her as a “visual aid.” When she questions it, tell her that when she delivers 60% of what she agreed to give you, that is how you feel. Tell her the other 40% is on its way, and you expect her other 40% is as well.

  10. 1, Does she read your blog? If so, you have just solved your problem. I understand your desire to solve problems by posting but this is kind of like diming out your wife in public, expecting her to change. Sorry, I believe you have every right to be angry (which I sense in your post) & have an expectation for her to perform, hanging it out in the public was probably not the best way to handle this.

    2. It’s time for a face to face with a list of concrete, detailed expectations or requirements.

    3. If you think the conversation is not going to change the outcome, cut bait..

  11. I agree with Mrs. Micah. Showing her this blog post is a bad idea. Polite as you were, you kinda just trashed her – publicly. Though I’m sure you’ve changed all the names, still thought #1 is “what if someone finds out you’re talking about me!?”

    Furthermore, for the fact that you’re writing about this on a popular blog likely means this deal is on life support as is. If this were about your marriage, I’d tell you to get into couples counseling.

    If you are really committed to making it work, then you need to outline, in writing, exactly what the performance criteria are. Where she’s failing, and where she’s not. Then set up regular performance reviews with reward and consequence.

    Otherwise, cut her loose. This really sounds more like a personality conflict. Maybe there are other things going on in her life that are affecting her work. Who knows?

    By the close of business, I’d be sitting down to have a cup of coffee with her and talk this through – no more emails, no blog posts. She’s a human being and if she’s as good as you say, then she more than deserves that.

  12. One of the biggest issues today is lack of communication. The electronic age doesn’t help any. Typically what HR would recommend is that when an employee doesn’t perform a meeting (in person) take place. Expectations get presented in writing, reviewed with the employee and a date to meet to review any improvement or action required. If our kids acted out we would tell them what our expectations are and what the impact will be if they do not behave. you have the right to be disappointed and let down, however, to take this public is not appropriate. How would you like to see someones opinion of yourself aired seeking the worlds comments?? Humilation never solves – only creates more issues.

  13. As I thought about the choice of working with Sally or Jim, the following saying came to mind:

    “Talent is fine, but passion is divine”

  14. @Neal: I’d like to weigh in here, too. I generally agree with the above comments, but I would add that the single best way to confront this is head on.

    I would follow up the original email with a sit-down, face to face, maybe over a cup of coffee as someone suggested. We lose a lot in nonverbal communications over email, but I agree with your original plan to get it in writing.

    In the end, it might be best for both parties to mutually end the agreement. If you aren’t sure you can trust her, and she feels like you don’t, it’s going to be tough to restore that relationship, regardless of the reasons she is being evasive/dishonest.

  15. Thanks for the feedback.

    I’d like to respond to #2-Mrs. Micah,#10-Sherry & #11 Mr. Not the Jet Set:

    I weighed the pros and cons of writing this post heavily. I did not want to hurt “Sally” and that was a prime concern. Having said that, I think the issue is something many people deal with when they work with paid professionals.

    Maybe, at the end of the day, it was a mistake to post it, but here was my process:
    1. I changed all the circumstances such that it does not directly describe “Sally”.
    2. I wrote this as a guest post rather than on my blog to further reduce the likelihood of “Sally” reading this.
    3. I thought, hey, if she reads this, and “gets” that it’s about her, it would be a good thing for both of us. I think the problem is that she doesn’t even see her behavior as a problem so in the off chance that she’d read this, it would not offend her.
    4. Maybe I failed, but I tried not to attack Sally, but her business practices. I don’t see the problem with this.

    I will take everyone’s advice. I’m not going to send her this post. I’m going to speak w/her and follow it up with an email. I’ll respond to some of the other great comments in a bit.

  16. Like any employee/contractor performance issue I would have kept this confidential and managed her performance. Calling her out like this may backfire terribly. It might work too… but very unusual.

    If she is not meeting your needs list out the things you expect and set a time in the near future (2-3 weeks) for a review. Then setup a monthly check-in on performance if she is able to correct the problems within 2-3 weeks. During this test period document each time she fails to meet your needs and review those during the review.

    In the end weigh the pros and cons but if she continues to test your limits you are probably best off letting her go. Just think of the mental energy you’ll save.

  17. Are your expectations of her work in line with what you are paying her. You self-admitted that you could hire another person but also did not think that they could meet your expectations.
    My supervisor discussed that she wishes I could take care of several other areas but she understands that within my boundary of 40 hours she knows I am not wasting time and I’m working at top productivity so this is just wishful thinking on her part.
    As a consultant she could probably allocate more time to you for a higher fee unless she is already committed or overcommitted to other clients.
    An open honest discussion of specific, I repeat specific expectations and how that would be accomplished is needed. Then ongoing feedback on how expectations are not being met i.e phone message “I need to receive callbacks from you within 24 hours and it has now been 3 days since I contacted you. This is the type of issue we discussed at our last review and the delays are causing me problems.” Hard to know without specifics but could some of the busy work be placed on someone else at a lower fee by either you or her? Like everyone else has stated communicate often until you both understand. Did you hear what she was saying the last time you discussed this issue? It does not sound like she heard or understood you clearly.

  18. I think it’s imperative that you carry out #2 & #3 in quick succession. Tell her exactly what you want and when and if she doesn’t deliver, you should hire Jim. Yes, she has contacts, but if she’s not doing her job, she could know a million people and you still wouldn’t benefit.

    A bit of background: I work in consulting in New York and would have been fired a long time ago if I had been working Sally-style. If I can’t help a client in the time allotted to me, then I refer them to someone else. The customer always comes first and when you have many clients, prioritizing and scheduling are the most important part of the business.

    I’m amazed this woman still has a job. I don’t know where you live, but you’ve already been more than patient. This sounds like it’s taking up too much of your time already, you’ve already devoted a whole post to it.

    Good luck!

  19. It seems to me this posting could be over-layed on a marriage that is going sour. There are hints of poor communication, mis-trust, and fear.

    Fortunately, unlike a marriage, an employee is much more easily replaceable. Sit down face to face with Sally, lay it out on the table what you’re expectations are, and how they have not been met in the past. If she’s not 100% willing to commit to resolving these issues, cut her loose and find a replacement.

  20. I think sending her a copy of this post would be a bit tacky. I would be angry if a problem between me and another person was aired on a widely read blog (hopefully Sally isn’t her real name). I would send her an email with specific jobs that need to be completed along with specific due dates. When she misses the first due date, let her go.

  21. I get what you’re saying, and your reasoning behind it. It still feels passive aggressive to put this in a posting. It sounds like the friendship dynamic of the relationship has created an element of “forgiveness syndrome,” as in, if I can’t get to it he’ll forgive me because we’re friendly, unlike so and so. In effect, your personal relationship de-prioritizes your business. Sit down, tell her that unfortunately you have not been handling this professionally due to the personal friendship you have; you needed to air a grievance, but tried to mitigate it. I guarantee where you see a guest post as shielding, many, including myself, would see it as, “it’s not enough for him to be upset or write about it, he took it to an additional public forum to complain, extending the readership of his grievance.”

    If she wasn’t a friend, you would’ve cut her loose when she started missing deadlines at the beginning. All of her connections are great, but if you’re not reaping the benefit of them, why are you paying for them? Once you let that go, you started a bad pattern that it difficult, sometimes impossible, to break. It’s time for a meeting of the minds, with apologies on both sides, and a separation of friendship and business dynamics.

  22. Hi Neal,

    Here are some thoughts from a Law of Attraction perspective.

    There is something inside you that is causing this problem to manifest. Drill down and you’ll probably find an emotion behind it. When I have had this problem in the past, it’s because I have an ideal in my head that I am not communicating well. You and I probably have similar personalities; I wouldn’t be surprised if this is your case, too. :)

    LoA states that you must envision and make clear the future, but then you must be open to it manifesting in unexpected ways. LoA breaks down when you say “I want $1000 by this time next month…by selling stuff at a garage sale.” That’s not LoA; that’s a goal and a project. ;)

    You need to separate what you want (business goal) from how you get it (currently Sally). Envision the business as you wish it to be in a month, 6 months, a year, etc. You must set the intention and then allow it to work on its own via the stroke of inspiration that will appear. The key is to not force your intention to manifest in a particular way.

    This probably means you should let Sally go, start over with the intention, and work from there. It may put you behind, but you will come out ahead quickly.

    On a totally unrelated note, thanks for downloading my Blog Success Manifesto! As an added tip, you’ll want to change the “free subscription” text at the top of these guest posts to something that doesn’t include the word “subscribe” to increase conversions.

    -Erica

  23. So, let me get this straight.

    You’re being lied to, which in turn means your compromising your values and integrity, and you’re having to email this person frequently, costing you your time and your money, about issues that she was HIRED to handle, again costing you time/money, which are not getting done on time, again costing you time/money and possibly making you look unprofessional to whatever clients you may have waiting for the work that she was HIRED to do.

    Did I nail the pertinent points?

    Sorry, this is a business relationship, not a personal one. She was hired, as is thereby an employee of yours, to do a job which she is not doing and lying to you about it costing you time and money.

    Never let anyone, especially someone you’re paying, compromise your ethics and integrity. I understand she has connections, but Jim may even have some that she doesn’t.

    Fire her immediately and apologize to all your clients who have suffered for her laziness.

  24. You are nailing me.

    1. Sending the email is out.
    2. This situation is my fault for letting it drag on (about 3 weeks).
    3. If she doesn’t perform, her expertise has no value.
    4. Face to face is the way to do it if possible.
    5. #9 – I love the idea of the “visual aid” but not sure it would work.
    6. I have to distinguish between what I want (a job well done and her friendship) and what I need as a business person.
    7. I love Erica’s idea – #23- envision my business out in the future and see if Sally fits.
    8. #22 – ab – I take your point. In retrospect, I would have written this differently. It is indeed passive aggressive regardless of the fact that the odds of “Sally” ever seeing this are very slim. (See my comment #15)
    9. Paul #24, you nailed the points and me. I’m on it.

  25. WOW without direct, let me clarify for you person to person clear communications you will fail at most things as previous posts have said (marriage etc.)I am surprized at a couple of things 1) how many people jump to conclusions about Sally.We only read your side of the complaint that is what friends do hear your side.It would be very enlightening for sure to see Sally address each complaint head on with clear communication.2)This shows the state of things in the world.Attacking,criticizing and using a coward’s way to engage the public forum on the pretense of problem solving.
    The post from Paul could have merit IF he knew the facts…..yeah if only

  26. Pam,

    This is not a complaint post…..but a request for ideas. This is not an attack on “Sally” either. I don’t see it as cowardly either to be frank.

    I also take issue with your response. If you look at the action steps suggested (tell the person what is expected and hold them accountable) how could that possibly be off?

    If Sally is doing the job, then she’ll put me straight. Either she’ll explain why my requests and expectations are off or she’ll get on the ball (or I’ll ask her to move on).

  27. Oops! I don’t think any of us meant to “nail” you on this. It is so incredibly difficult to have a business relationship with people you are friendly with. I think my comment was dry, because I’ve been in this situation before, and it never seems to have a good outcome. Either business or friendship suffers. I do wish you the best, and hope that a face to face meeting will lead to a positive outcome on both sides.

  28. Thanks AB…..I didn’t feel attacked at all. It’s just that I certainly see my part of this.

    While I was very clear when Sally and I started, I let it slip and should not have. I actually very much appreciate all the comments.

  29. Neal of course you don’t see this as an attack or cowardly if you were able to prior to this post you might have asked yourself questions like “what was not communicated clearly, where do I fit in to both the problem and the solution, how can I quickly and directly address each of my concerns”.I did look at the action steps suggested.Something went hayward that is for sure.My suggestion is to stop trying to blame Sally or anyone else and get to work on a solution.I know I know you take issue with my response.Clear and direct communications not for the faint of heart.

  30. Neal, while I agree with other participants in the discussion that posting the situation on your blog probably wasn’t the “best” idea, I do commend you for using the blog as a brainstorming tool to acquire ideas about how to handle the situation. At least you are finally moving in a direction to solve the problem instead of continuing to sit idly by hoping the situation will improve. I don’t think it’s fair that people are blaming you or blaming Sally. We all manage to communicate poorly, so I’d just take this as a learning experience, and do whatever it is that will help you move forward. Best of luck to you.

    In response to Pam: Neal IS getting to work on a solution by brainstorming through use of this blog. So much for “clear and direct communication” on your part, might I add, with your run-on sentences and lack of punctuation. If we’re going to use the internet to communicate, which most of us are in this day and age, we might as well use proper English when communicating.

  31. As a consultant myself I make it a rule that I never give excuses to a client. If I don’t have time to meet or call I say so from the outset. I have almost never made an appointment I couldn’t keep. I will go to great lengths to keep my integrity intact. You need to remember that even in the world of marketing, a person who wants to WORK for you but has less immediate value is more valuable to you in the end than someone with a lot of immediate value but doesn’t come through. Jim can learn. He can make those connections. If he is ambitious and wants your business badly enough he will make it happen. Sally needs to be cut off. This is your money we are talking about – not a personal thing.

  32. Amanda, that’s so true. I stopped reading Pam’s post when the sentence became illegible, so I might have missed something important there.

    By the way, technically it’s not frugal to buy a service and not actually get the service. If you only got half a pizza delivered, you’d want your money back wouldn’t you?

  33. I’d like to take a brief moment and thank my readers for their professional response to Neal’s post. I can think of a number of blogs where this conversation would have turned ugly real quick. This is a good example why I don’t mind telling people I have the best readers in the blogosphere!

  34. You certainly do have great readers!

    By the way, may I recommend something that I’ve found helpful in the past: the terms of the agreement in writing. It doesn’t have to be anything legally binding, but for reference only; it will lay out in black & white what the expectations are on both sides and it’s something to refer back to when one party isn’t satisfied.

  35. from personal experience – coworkers of mine were not happy with my work and decided to take to emailing commentaries about it – only thing is they included myself in their communications…. unfortunately for them I was the one doing the work correctly. thus the moral of the story is that by not directly speaking with me or working as a tem -assumptions were made – and a friendly work atmosphere was lost.

  36. I will second FD’s comments #34. That’s why I love submitting posts to Frugal Dad.

    I appreciate the civility and open exchange of ideas and yes…this could have really turned ugly. Of course that was not my intent but even with the best intentions, feathers get ruffled.

    I’ve learned a lot from everyone. I knew that if I asked for help I’d get from Frugal Dad readers and you haven’t disappointed me.

    I’ve found that the greatest benefit of writing is what I learn from comments. I never expected that to be the case but it certainly continues to work out that way.

    Many of you are bloggers (I imagine) and I’d be surprised if you haven’t found that to be the case as well.

    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses so far.

  37. paraphrasing here….

    Change the things you can change…
    accept the things you cannot change…

    so which is it?
    Wisdom to know the difference. Your call.

    Do you need her services?
    Can you get by without them.
    Change the situation or accept it. Your call.

  38. Why don’t you try Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 system? Define the question, then ask how it will impact your life in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.

  39. If there is the “Best” in a field, there is 2nd best that is hungrier that will do the job cheaper/ faster or with better customer service.

    Fire her!!

  40. The only thing I would have to add to the above is if deadlines are agreed to & failed at, ask if she has time to take you on as a client since these are things you told her about a long time ago and still haven’t happened. It allows for her to back off herself, and no bridges burnt. Then you can possibly even get her to do some transition work with Jim & possibly take advantage of some of her contacts.

    (I wound up doing this with a virtual assistant who I was friendly with but just wasn’t gettign jobs done. When I asked if she had time, she sounded surprised and like she was just realizing that no, she didn’t.) If she doesn’t straighten up THEN, you *know* it’s time to move on.

  41. @Neal #15

    Don’t get me wrong, you did a very good job of describing the situation diplomatically. Not always easy to do in matters of business.

    I can see that you are trying to do this in a professional manner, and I’m sure you will continue to do so.

    Still trashing her business practices is more personal than you may think. And she deserves the chance to correct her behavior after this job before moving on to the next.

    Unless she’s being malicious, this needn’t haunt her.

  42. Neal – The best I can offer beyond what has already been suggested is to be factual with Sally in a face-to-face meeting.

    You have to separate your emotions from the situation and only deal with the facts. Also, you tried an e-mail and that didn’t work. Forget about having her read this post. You must confront her in-person for maximum effectiveness.

    This situation is draining you which is a real cost that you have to consider. As a result, I say that you have to act soon. Give Sally the facts about where she has let you down, set your expectations very plainly, but professionally and finally ask her if she can meet them. If she agrees, then fine. If not, then you have to cut her loose so you can move on.

  43. Again, I learn a great deal from all your comments. Thanks.

    Comments #39 and #40 resonate quite a bit. The 10-10-10 method is really a good tool. I’ll use it.

    Also, I love the reminder that there is always a second best person. Nice.

    Thanks

  44. Trashing a person’s business practices in public? NEVER a good idea. And when you deliver a product or service, it’s always personal. That’s the first thing you learn about business. Everyone says “it’s not personal.” It is ALWAYS personal. Let’s stop that charade once and for all.

    You’re either naive about business or are pretending to be.

    Granted, you have issues and want advice. There is tons of info on this particular type of situation (consultant not delivering according to the specs of your agreement, etc.) online and in print. Why not do some research yourself, and vet sources that have relevant and expert advice.

    Asking a general populace, including people who don’t have the qualifications to even offer advice(how many have ever hired a professional to provide any service? If they haven’t, they should not be posting) to just post whatever they think is beyond ludicrous. It’s insulting. It shows your laziness and one wonders what kind of client you are. (We’ve only heard YOUR side of the story, that’s for certain. And there are always at least two.)

    You show a lack of professionalism and a lack of respect. Sorry if that isn’t what you want to hear, but that’s my opinion.

    FYI: I’ve both hired consultants and worked as one for many years.

    Your situation is a common one and many times it comes down to poor communication of one or both parties and unclear expectations.

    If you have a contract that lists the precise services, etc. you have agreed to purchase from this consultant, you should only have to refer to it and then discuss the issues up front.

    You also need to be sure your expectations are in line with your actual agreement.

    Many times clients have unrealistic expectations and this consultant may not be comfortable making that clear, which could be a factor in her “performance.”

    When I was in PR, we had clients whose first request was to “be in Vogue magazine.” We could never agree to that as a condition of work, even though we got a lot of clients coverage. An extreme example, but one of many.

    For the folks commenting here: Why do you assume everything this guy tells you is 1/true and accurate assessment of the situation? We have only his word and frankly he may not even understand how consulting works. Sounds to me like he doesn’t.

  45. Posts #31 Amanda and #33 JN Urbanski noted.As you probably expected I do not agree but thought over your comments.But #46 IRG I thought your comments were very commprehensive !

  46. Neal, it sounds as if she really isn’t committed to you. Maybe she has other committments that are a greater priority. It really doesn’t matter how much talent or how many connections she has if she’s not on board with your business. It becomes a negative arrangement that will probably fester and get worse with time.

    If you’re operating a small business, you can’t afford to have disfunctional service providers. You are your business, and you have to do what you have to do to keep it running efficiently.

    Have you considered that this may be her way of severing the relationship? If you’ve discussed the primary issues and nothing constuctive happens, this may be a possibility. Google her name, she might have a similar post on another site asking for advice on how to handle you ;-)

  47. Kevin (48) – Nice idea….I think I will google her!

    I think you hit it on the head. I’ve had numerous discussion asking what I can do differently in order to get a different outcome and the response is always the same….”I’ll get to it…I promise!

    I think you are right Kevin. I really can’t afford this. No sure anybody really could.

  48. In regards to promises not kept: fool me once…

    If you have accepted the behavior up to this point, you set an unfortunate precedent. I myself err in this way frequently- I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt.

    It is hard not to be taken advantage of. But remember that just because she acts like a friend, well, ask yourself, would she be as much a “friend” to you if no longer on your payroll? That distinction might alleviate the guilt if you have to let her go.

    I’d like to know how this turns out! And I agree about not showing her the blog. Too humiliating.

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