I took up a fairly big project. This was a good learning opportunity.
I started to work on the Project for this individual which never involved me traveling almost for 45 min up and down for a month yet I used to go onsite to help integrate the software I built. Although It was a lot of commuting, I was so excited never bothered about it.
The software took almost a year to get the software working in accordance with the requirements of the MNC. After many meetings and a good number of Coffee drinks, “Company” was happy with the product.
Now coming back to this individual, I will try to tell you the mistakes I made so that you can be ready to deal with such situations.
You can learn a lot about yourself and the world around you by making the wrong choices. As much as everybody worries about fing up… it can actually be pretty damn good for you.
I’m sharing all of these with you because I know some of you are at your beginning stage to start your own thing — be it a passion project, a side hustle, or start a new business, you will definitely go through problems as I did.
Mistake 1 - No written Agreement
Always have a written agreement with clear predefined Objectives of the Project. Initially, in excitement, I never bothered about the legal things involved when working with a multi-billion dollar company which has Legal team ready to sue anyone anytime if needed.
I did ask this individual about to give me a copy of the agreement signed but he always had an excuse to avoid showing me the document, For reasons unknown, till today He has not shown the document. But still I never said no to any work and honestly did all the work assigned.
Mistake 2 - Financial Aspects
Be clear with Financial Aspects Hey, It’s okay to ask the money for work done. It’s your right. If you don’t people will always be happy not to give your fair share.
So a little bit of background about Individual - He’s not from my Field and doesn’t understand and never cared about the project he was in it for the Money and Credits.
When I was in a meeting with this Individual and asked about the compensation, he asked, “Show the work done”. I did try to explain to him the software is in the cloud working and showed him the real-time data. But still, he wasn’t satisfied. Probably he wanted the 50,000+ lines of codes printed and given to him. At the end of the Argument, I was quiet and just listened and never spoke back to him.
Mistake 3 - Never share the Documentation
The document I shared and Project I worked on was used to publish a Paper with the First author as this individual. This was the most frustrating. Hard work was done by me yet someone else published it. I wanted to react with arrogance but chose Humility instead
Humility- We tend to react with arrogance to difficult people. But humility’s better. Admit that you’re a flawed person. Maybe you are wrong, mistaken, and so on. Therefore, they might be, too. That’s OK, natural, normal. Now you have humanized the situation and provided an alternative to their perfectionism, narcissism, anxiety.
But remember what I said about bad choices? Sometimes they’re pretty damn good for you, and this one was
For the longest time, I believed that being honest, sincere and hardworking is the best way to go. But this individual for a brief time, made me question my own beliefs.
Should I be Honest? Should I be Sincere? Should I always run away from work?
I am just not capable of not following my principles. It’s very difficult for me to take an extra rupee from a shopkeeper even by mistake. I make sure I return it. I don’t charge customers if I have not done any work even if I had a contract of regular payment. I don’t feel right deceiving people but for few people, it’s their day job.
When I started to draft a resignation letter. I started introspecting and then I realized People Like this individual always exist and one or the other day you have to deal with such people. People who to try to rob you, people who take advantage of you, People who get work done from you for free, People who are just Idiots. Will I change my core principles for the sake of just one person? No way!
I wasn’t angry with this individual — I was embarrassed that I’d believed him, ashamed of how I’d handled the situation , and, honestly, afraid. I was not in control.
I will always be honest even if it means to take up losses. When I go to bed every night I sleep with peace that I have done the right thing.
My Experiment with honesty was not pleasant as one would expect, but I am happy that I tried and will continue being honest also remember Positive coping strategies may not only save your sanity, but they can also improve your well-being more than complaining ever will. In fact, learning to deal with difficult people can be a powerful way to develop your leadership skills.
Learn to thrive in difficult situations by mastering your feelings, thoughts, and behavior. So much of what’s important in life depends on coping with difficult situations effectively. Once you become the expert on how you feel, think and act in such situations, you can develop a strategy to get the outcomes you want.