I’ve been following a thread on my Women Designers Group mailing list where one of the designers shared some language from their contract, and a number of others commented that it sounded apologetic. Like ‘if I do this for you I will have to bill you for it.’

One of the respondees was dead on – saying that hey – this isn’t a hobby! This is a full-time (or more than full-time) professional job. There’s no need to apologize to someone you’ve worked for when it’s time to be paid.

I’ve struggled lately with billing for hourly work. Do I charge up front? Do I invoice on the back end? I’ve found that I have a few clients that I always invoice that pay extremely promptly – no worries there. I have a few others that I’ve invoiced once that took weeks and weeks to pay; that won’t happen again. I hate having to ask for money that’s owed me and sound like I’m apologizing for troubling them again, and again…

I wrote a letter that I’m going to send to all current clients detailing the new payment method for hourly work – either:

  1. purchase a block of time, 2-8 hours, up front at a discount,
  2. purchase time in 30 minute chunks with a credit card on my website, or
  3. give me credit card information to keep on file and I will charge upon their approval of the work I’ve done for them (or within 5 business days if they don’t respond to my request for review).

This might not go over well with everyone and that’s okay. I don’ t like rushing to complete a short project for a client then waiting 3-4 weeks for a check, that’s just not cool. But I will continue to invoice my very good clients who have always respected my time and expediency.

After screwing around for hours with IE6 in CMS Made Simple (which I’m really happy with, BTW, as a new user) I was pleased to find this extremely helpful tip this morning:

The Universal IE Hack

Another hot tip? Go on then.

Last year saw the launch of IE7. IE6 is still a widely used browser and IE8 beta is out of the starting blocks. A lot of IE hacks? Nope. Simply use the Universal IE Hack. Place the following code in the Head of your document:

This supersedes all documented IE hacks to date. Enjoy.

Tell me that’s not useful.

I just got my second fillup with my Yamaha Vino 125, and I’m averaging between 72 and 80 mpg. The scoot is rated to 96 mpg, but the way I’m riding (short trips, fast starts because I’m trying to get away from cars at lights and stopsigns) and the fact that the engine has only 180 miles on it are affecting that, I think. I’m going to keep track of the mileage indefinitely.

It is just ridiculously fun to ride, though.

I have a good problem. Before this week I was busy. This week so far, I’ve won four new projects – one big, one moderately-sized, small, and one just a few hours of work. I’m meeting with one client to launch my current largest project tomorrow so that one will be out of the way, and my second-largest one may be in launch mode in the next two weeks.

It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a little overwhelming right now!

How many clients is too many? I don’t think I’ve hit that point but it’s getting close. Two of the new ones won’t be starting up for several weeks so that helps too.

I just have this thing that I like to tackle big problems in long uninterrupted sessions – when I have meetings every day at all kinds of hours, like this week and last, that breaks my zennish rhythm. I wish I could break some of these big problems down into smaller chunks but sometimes the chunks are still multi-day ordeals.