Why Bother?

Exclamation mark or question mark?






Article by Wendy McCance

People can really stump me.  It’s amazing how many times people don’t follow through on the very things they initiate.  Since I began blogging, I have been stunned by the sheer number of people who will reach out, and then never follow through.

At times I have thought of putting a chart together showing the offers I have received, but that never went anywhere.  I didn’t do it, but the idea would have been like a little interesting science experiment.  Was there keywords these people tended to use that would tip me off to forget about the offer?  Was there a certain time of month where the moon was full and people got a little crazy?

Have you had experiences like the ones I’m mentioning below?


People contact me on a regular basis because they have seen my website and would like to connect somehow with this blog.  Here are some examples:

  • Inquiries about advertising their product.  I will get emails asking about showcasing a product, we will go over fees and what to expect (they never seem to know, even though there are is a page on advertising at the top of the blog).  Everything seems set until I bill them.  They are aware that I won’t put their product on the site until payment has been made. Once the bill goes out…crickets.
  • Some people have reached out because they were interested in combining efforts to put a class or informational book together. Once I reply showing interest, I never hear from them again.
  • Guest posts are the same.  People will ask to do a post, but then I never get a post from them.

People will contact me interested in hiring me to handle their social media platforms or to do an assignment for them.

  • I have set up meetings where they don’t call, or if I call and leave a message, I don’t hear back.
  • I have had interested parties contact me a few times to tell me they will schedule an appointment soon.  In the mean time, I will get endorsements from them on LinkedIn, comments from them on posts I wrote and text messages saying they will be calling soon.  Why bother?
  • I have had many situations where there is an initial conversation and clips of my work and a resume have been submitted.  I will get a message back stating they like what they saw and they think we would work well together.  I am told of the job they have in mind and that they just need to check with someone else who is also in on the decision making.  I’ll check back after a week or two and will either have trouble getting a hold of the person or am told that they have been swamped, but still want to use me for the project.  I never hear from them again.

I should mention in all of these cases, I have been proactive about keeping in touch.  I will email or call when some time has elapsed.  If a meeting is set up, I am there for it. If an email is sent to me, I always reply right away.

I should also mention that there are times unlike the examples above when I am the one who backs off.  The situations above that I mentioned are in regards to people I would have liked to work with.  There are times though when I will be contacted and either feel a bit creeped out by the offer or the person, or I just know we aren’t a good fit.  In those cases, I just let the person know immediately that it’s not going to work out.  I won’t leave a person hanging and wondering if we will be working together.

So, my question is this, why bother going to the trouble of connecting if you aren’t interested in following through?  I would be so much happier to get a call or email saying that a company decided to go in a different direction than not hearing a thing. If you are interested in working with me, why put in a ton of time showing you are present by answering comments and endorsing me instead of just having a 10 minute phone conversation so I can get to work and help you out?

If you have your own business, or are blogging as a professional blogger, do you have many of these type of experiences?  I’d love to know what your thoughts are on this subject.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

15 thoughts on “Why Bother?

  1. Hi Wendy -

    I think it’s hard for writers like us who always deliver what they promise, to deal with folks who don’t share that level of commitment. The cyber world makes everyone more ‘anonymous’, so there is less of a repercussion when people ignore business contacts.

    Great clients make writing fun, and painful, indecisive, wishy-washy ones make it frustrating. I always love the quick, on-the-same-page decision makers. I find the procrastinators can’t be trusted: if they procrastinate and double-talk you before they work with you, what does that say about how prompt they’ll be when payment is due?

    I think it’s a sign of the times. We ‘connect’ without really communicating sometimes. And I think for many folks, slovenly business practices are the norm. I find some clients are actually shocked when I email them when I’ve promised I will, or am early on a deadline, or do something better/faster/more creatively than they’re used to. Modern people have got used to inefficiency and broken promises, because there’s so much of it now.

    I always go out of my way to thank great clients - and tell them exactly why it’s awesome to work with them (then, of course, I ask for a testimonial!).

    • Kevin, I can’t tell you how good it is to hear that you have that same feeling of wishy-washy equaling questioning if they will pay. I have backed off from potential clients who were difficult to reach or who had trouble committing to an idea for fear that the whole relationship would become to stressful. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

  2. Some people are decisive and I admire them for it. If I were ever put in charge of an important job in a company, I shudder to think how it would turn out. Even a raised eyebrow or a questioning tone can make me stop and rethink the plan I had. Consequently I have made several decisions this past year that I have seriously regretted a few days later — then decided a few weeks later that I’d taken the best course — and later regretted again. Sigh.

    I can imagine why some folks just drop you, kind of like the boyfriend that walks out without saying why or goodbye. As was said, not wanting to face someone’s hurt feelings or even say ‘NO.” And if a person hasn’t made a real commitment to do something, then they aren’t as obligated to call and say, “I’ve decided to cancel that.”

    At times I weigh my options, approaching several companies with the same proposal (say, printing a booklet.) I ask for quotes to see who can do exactly what I want and who’s going to do it cheapest? Then I go choose one. Occasionally I pick one but then rather work with another. But I try to never give a definite “Yes” to anyone until I’ve made up my mind, because I believe a commitment is sacred.

    I feel once you say yes, you should never go back on it, even though you find a better deal later. (Unless the other party reneges on their part.) I know one lady who bought an almost new kettle from a friend for $15, but then found it on sale at a discount store for $12. So she returned it to her friend and wanted her money back, then bought the one at the store. (Needless to say, she lost a friend — to save $2.)

    And then there are folks who may be in competition to you and pricing you out. When my husband was thinking of starting a business he asked me to phone others in the business and see what they would charge to do a job. And you don’t start out saying, “Hi, I’m your competitor.”

    I didn’t like doing this myself and there’s a limit to how far a person should go. The company is there to answer questions about their rates, but you should never string them along. I don’t get into fine details unless I’m serious about having them do the job. Maybe someone else wouldn’t have that scruple?

    • Christine, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I now see it from a different perspective and truly appreciate it. Sometimes someone handles a situation so differently than I would that I am just clueless as to why it went down the way it did. Your comment gave me a lot of insightful information. Thanks again.

  3. ‘Why Bother?’ jumps out when our ‘Life Spirit’ feels unfairly compromised.
    I wrote about it in a blog post months ago; and I followed with this: http://bit.ly/be1Heard

    Still, it also happened to me again yesterday — just AFTER I read a welcome timely supportive suggestion from someone else (Seth Godin).
    Just this morning a supportive passage by James Altucher supportively reminded me to turn to something else -*- & ‘Be gentle with yourself in the gap’.

    With shrinking attention spans … and fewer commitments kept these days, we simply must do more for ourselves to individually preserve and nurture our Life Spirit.
    Others’ Spirits have already faded — leaving them less affected -*- and less passionate & alive.

    As Altucher wrote this morning, ‘Pain is mandatory in life but extra suffering is not’.
    Turn/Notice/Attend 2/Care 4 -*- something else.
    Perhaps something in this will supportively connect with you -*- as ‘WELL’.

    Thanks again for your positive, life-engaging example -*-

  4. Wendy,
    Great post! Yes, this happens a lot. I think that people like to avoid conflict, they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or deliver bad news in the form of a rejections so they just hide from the situation. That seems to be pretty common. But I also think that priorities change, people get busy, financial situations ebb and flow. There are so many pieces in the puzzle when connecting with new clients. I suggest you just keep trying. You only need a few good clients to build a business. Prospecting is part of being a freelancer. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your comment Stacie. I feel pretty lucky in that I have a good group of clients. The question I posed has always made me wonder what other people are experiencing and how they see the situation. The best part of blogging is to be able to express these thoughts and hear what other people think.

  5. I can say, Wendy, that I can relate on both sides. Though, I don’t solicit writing jobs, I can understand how you feel, when you’re approached and everything looks like it’s going to fly and you don’t hear back from them. I guess it’s common courtesy, and the secretary in me, to always follow up and ensure everyone is on the same page..

    With that being said, I have to admit I haven’t been as forth coming and punctual on a project I’ve been working on in SkillPages. I have kept in contact but it has taken me 6 months and still counting to get this skills project over to her for the blog. I’ve felt a lot of resistance in the writing of it and I’m not sure why. I’ve got some rethinking to do on this.

    As always, you give me food for thought. It helps me stretch and explore new territory. I so appreciate you, my friend. :-)

    • Hi Pat, I have had those times where I feel like I am dragging my feet on a project. I have found that this happens most when I have an article to write on a subject that truly bores me.

      • Yeah, I can see that, Wendy. That may be what it is partly but how many times can you list what you’ve done in your life, like a resume, and make it sound interesting? I still want to give them something of value that may help someone else without it sounding boring. I’ll keep plugging at it and it will eventually turn out right. :-)

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