My new life as a jobbing gardener come general dealer come part time scribbler is proving to be more rewarding than I could ever had hoped or expected. It's not so much the money that is being generated as the pure pleasure of dealing for oneself, free of the restrictions of employment. In fact, those restrictions bind many so strongly that they can see no other way to live other than at the beck and call of another who, as is only good business sense, will purchase as much time and effort as they can at the lowest possible price. I can now haggle a price if I choose and am never bound to accept unless it suits me, I can be unconventional about payment too.
I recently took a job to restructure a garden, involving the closing down of some flowerbeds, the removal of some shrubs and the rearrangement of others. I won the work on a quote of £450.00. During the course of the work the terms of payment changed and I ended up with £250.00 plus around a ton of coal including the two bunkers it was in. One of the bunkers has been sold already for another £50.00, the other is advertised. I calculate that I will be about £200.00 better off as a result of this than had I not been prepared to consider 'a deal'.
Flexibility is the key. Whenever we are bound by contract and especially contracts that are not negotiated but offered up without discussion, we lose the ability to negotiate. This soon becomes a habit and we accept whatever is offered, even when it does not suit us. If we get in the habit of negotiating, then we place ourselves in a far better position. We are able to choose the work that we take on and to decide the amounts, method and form of payment, whether that is as an employee, as a self employed contractor or freelancer or a part timer mixing elements of all options.
The downside is possibly a lack of time. Since my last post I have spent very little time on the computer. Not for blogging or surfing anyway! Since the order book is filling and the diary is already stuffed with dates that are more about pleasure than work, I can’t see that changing for a few months, the poor weather has provided a backlog of work, ( of all types), that it would be foolish to not take advantage of.
Things will be quiet here for a bit.