Giving up before even trying: How people let money slip through their fingers

Know how you wonder why some people just seem luckier?

They just seem to be able to find work like contracts, or things just happen to fall into their lap?

Well let me propose something radical:

Maybe they just simply ask for it, put their hat forward, and deliver.

Case in point: Asking for quotes for a job

My sister just recently needed her walls to be repainted, and she wanted to put up wallpaper.

She called around, asking for people to quote, and even asked friends who might be interested in a little side work.

She didn’t know what it’d cost, but if it was too much, she was willing to rope in some family slave labour help to get the job done for free, with some major coaxing and whining.

Out of the 15 people she contacted, guess how many replied? 5.

Out of the 5, guess how many replied after she gave them an idea of what she wanted? 3.

Out of that 3, guess how many actually understood what she wanted and offered a guesstimate instead of coming back with more “fees” and questions? 1.

She hired him.

He had no competition and he was professional, did it as his regular job as a contractor and delivered on time.

When someone offers you a job or money, no matter how small, take it seriously

Don’t sit around on it.

If you’re busy, come right out and say so, or offer someone else whom you know is a professional and may be able to handle it for quick at a reasonable price.

This is a future referral word-of-mouth thing that is worth its weight in gold.

So if you don’t at least shoot a quick email to decline after hearing the job, you’re pretty much a deadbeat and there’s a black mark against you in terms of customer service and general reliability.

Then your word of mouth? Disappears. She might have recommended you to a friend or family member, but not any more. She’ll just recommend the guy that stepped up and did the quote rather than ladi-dahing around.

Sometimes, people are just testing you with a small job.

Then the next time something big comes along, you are the first person they call because you took them seriously for a small job, passed the test with flying colours and are in their good books.

All the rest? Forget it. They squandered their chance to make a good impression.

Don’t feign interest, and then drop off the face of the earth

It is far more respectable to tell someone: Hey I’m too busy for this / This is way more than I can handle, than to blow them off for 2-3 weeks without a peep.

People ask for a quote because they want something done. Usually right away or as soon as you can.

If you don’t reply, how do you ever expect to get a job?

It’s like being offered a job after going to an interview and then saying: Mmm… let me think about it for 2 months, and not bother to decline or accept within a reasonable time frame.

This is where people lose money, by being offered an opportunity either indirectly or directly, and then not bothering to follow up on the job, take it seriously, understand what a person might want and take the money.

So you don’t want the money?

Fine. But don’t complain about people who hustle and step up to the plate when a job has to be done.

This is how a reputation is built and this is how people get more business. They promise and they deliver.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.