Every time I’ve been hustled or almost hustled, it’s because I was being impatient.
Every single time.
If you have ever been hustled or hoodwinked or cheated out of your hard-earned money, you feel a number of emotions. You feel like an idiot, you feel ashamed, and you certainly don’t want anyone to know how dumb you were, because your loved ones are going to tell you, whatever the deal was, it was way too good to be true.
I was reminded of this lesson, yet again today.
I am in the process of launching a line of t-shirts. I love it. It’s loads of fun, it’s exciting to me, I follow all of the blogs, and gather inspiration from other designers.
I have been working on this slowly and steadily. I took business classes, figured out the numbers, etc. I have been painstakingly making pretty expensive samples with high quality shirts with a reliable company that I’ve been really happy with.
And they don’t have shiesty, shady user agreements that basically say by me having them print my shirts, they have rights to my designs to use forever and ever, however they see fit.
Well, today I slipped up.
I got tempted to race ahead faster than necessary. A living social deal with my printer’s competitor was just too good to pass up. I could get more samples done for less money, with the same high quality brand shirts and be more prepared for the photo shoot I have planned in the summer.
So I quickly jumped on the deal.
Until I got to the competitor’s site and realized it was trickier to navigate, and it had a lengthy, read very slowly with a magnifying glass user agreement. They basically said, sure, your intellectual property belongs to you, but you transfer all of your rights to us, by using us to print your shirts. We can do whatever we want with it. They even used the words “forever.”
I had a familiar pain in my chest and stomach that I knew of from about a few years ago when I wanted a Louis Vuitton bag, went to a knockoff website in the middle of the night, ordered one and then with the clarity the next morning brings, I canceled my bank card. I knew I was dead wrong and I was going to pay dearly for all of the fraudulent transactions that I was sure to follow from letting those fools have my card number.
For whatever reason, I was tired of waiting until I could save up enough for the real thing and I wanted it right then. I didn’t even care that it was fake. It was so strange. It was impulsive and it was stupid.
I’m not saying Living Social or the company in question are shady, because they aren’t.
But for me and what I’m trying to do with my brand, I can’t leave anything to chance. Their deal just wasn’t right for me and would be a bad business decision, leaving me powerless down the line.
I’ve been working too hard for the last several months just to hand it all over to someone else just because I was being impatient, and just because I didn’t take the time to read the fine print. It would have been disastrous to get the shirts, be pleased with them, and go on their site and see they are selling my stuff and I’m not seeing any of the profits (they do have an affiliate program, but from what I understand designers get pennies off of it).
It all reeks of bad record deals, where young artists were tricked by the glitz and glamor a new car and clothes but had no rights to their own music masters or residuals.
I am affirmed through this potential mistake that I have been moving at the right pace with my small business. Things have been going just fine. I just got back two great samples earlier in the week. I tried to be cheap, I tried to take a shortcut. I tried to move faster than necessary.
It was an emotional decision I shouldn’t have made. I’m glad I canceled, I’m glad I didn’t go ahead and print with them.
The repercussions would have made me ill. This song is in honor of my impatient tendencies.