Not getting paid for your work is a dirty little secret in the entrepreneurial world. One of the reasons it's not a popular topic is because as humans, it can feel embarrassing. It can feel like a failure. Like something we need to hide. As a long-time business owner over the years I lost money by clients who didn't pay. I've fallen into the trap of either not having a contract or more often--not being willing to enforce a contract. Once I learned how to make sure to always get paid for my work my business flourished. Now I have amazing clients who pay me.
I discovered a foul-mouthed but amazing video through Ash Ambirge's brilliant post. Although this talk given at Creative Mornings is aimed at graphic designers, it's still relevant for startups and small businesses. If you're like many entrepreneurs, you probably started your business because your were passionate about the work. Creating contracts and making sure you get paid isn't something you likely enjoy doing or do well. This equation of loving your work but not loving the business/financial side of things can be a dangerous combination. Hoping, praying and crossing your fingers isn't a strategy. It's certainly no way to run a business.
Here's a Strategy:
1. Create strong contracts
2. Have the inner will/confidence/guts to make sure you get paid
Now go watch Mike Monteiro of Mule Design and his lawyer give you all the advice you need to make sure you get paid for all the good work you do.