What Is It With Building Contractors? REALLY THO. (Plus a Lesson on Pre-Qualifying Your Clients Or Die.)
Okay, serious question: why is it that building contractors are the
worst human beings ever worst business owners on the actual planet? What is going on here? Do I need to make an online course? Do I need to open the Ashley Ambirge School of Business for Contractors, Home Improvement Specialists, and Other Slippery Assholes? (That SEO could get interesting.)
Guys. It's killing me. I've had one window company and two different wallpaper hangers take allllllllll the time to get in their van, drive up to an hour into Old City, Philadelphia, find PARKING in Old City, Philadelphia, greet me politely, walk up my stairs, wonder if I'm on crack because I'm so enthusiastic, and then proceed to take a half hour out of my time, and theirs, walking around and measuring things and pretending to be knowledgeable and jotting notes down and indulging me with a chuckle at my bad jokes here and there.
And then they leave. Promise me the world. Tell me that we're going to be very happy together. Like all the Casanovas do.
And then these punks ghost.
I'm over here, following up with my little text messages, texts they were happy to respond to B.C.—before coming—and not a word. Not a single one-word reply. None of that juicy ass for me.
And so then I'm like: what am I doing wrong? Is it ME? I wish I could still say I looked too young and naive to be taken seriously, but that is no longer the case—as the gray in my classy shaved temple indicates—so now what am I? Too female? Too smart? Too laid back? Too fun? Too ready to give you all my money? (And lots of it, because I will have no idea what it costs.)
What's the problem, boys? Do you not like my walls? Are they not pretty enough for you? Important enough for you? Sexy enough for you? Do you think them silly and juvenile: a foolish little wall trying to dress itself up as an adult, and you will have none of it?
I can't figure it out. At first, I didn't think much of what I was wearing when you came over. Sweats and a hair bun, good to go! But then, the more you pulled away, the more I started to think: is it because I'm not wearing makeup?! Is that the reason? Am I not using enough of my “divine feminine powers” to draw you in and make myself important in your eyes?
That was an exhausting thought. That having the money isn't enough: you've got to pay with your sensuality, too.
So, sure shit: I put on that makeup for you the next time. I was not going to lose THIS one. THIS ONE would be my prince charming: we'd ride off into the sunset on a roll of floral Anthropologie wallpaper, and finally, I would be saved. At last.
Except, you didn't call me back either.
I pined for you, that week.
Which soon turned into a month.
Which soon turned into several.
Oh, thy building contractor, thy wallpaper hanger, thy beloved one. I may never understand why you did what you did, but all I can do is learn to accept it. Accept that you will always be inferior to me when it comes to business. Accept that you will always be a subpar professional punk. Accept that you clearly have no idea how to manage your time, or your projects, or your bandwidth. Accept that you have no idea how to pre-qualify a client (you know, before wasting all of your precious billable hours going out of your way to meet them at their ~house~, for gin's sake). Accept that all of this would be a lot easier if you used something like Dubsado (affiliate link so I can earn a referral fee to not give it to you). Or, you know, a calendar. Or a form. Or anything that would help you figure it the fuck out. Therapy could help. Or someone who does math. Because all those hours you're wasting playing pussycat with clients you didn't want in the first place, are hours you could have been making money with clients you did: enough money so you didn't have to scramble around constantly look for more projects to quote, which you'll never send anyway, even when the clients follow-up, so you can sheepishly never answer them like the teet of an inadequate sasquatch that you are.
Oh, thy building contractor, thy wallpaper hanger, thy beloved one: it's the year 2020. Get your shit together. Your days are limited. The internet is coming for you—and so are more competent humans.
Because, darling: it's not me, it's you.
And I'm only a slippery asshole in the shower.