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What’s the best way to miss a deadline?

Posted by Deidre Rienzo on

Hi, I'm Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a copywriting partner to designers, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide).

Last week reminded me of the time I crashed a Vespa in Greece. I was speeding down a hill, hit some pebbles in the road, and the bike charged one way while I flew the other—my hands still gripping imaginary handlebars.

Last week, I had to extend a deadline—twice. I hate saying it! As Thursday afternoon (the deadline) neared—I knew the project wasn’t going to be finished in time. It was taking longer than I’d expected, and I had put myself on a tight schedule to begin with.

I emailed and called the client to say, “I’m sorry, but the draft isn’t ready to show you yet. I’m going to need until tomorrow.”

On Friday, I worked on the project all day—and as Friday afternoon neared, I realized it still wasn’t going to be ready. Was the project bigger than I’d thought? Was my brain just moving slowly? I wasn’t sure. But I knew I’d need a few more hours with fresh eyes. It wouldn’t be ready until Monday.

Filled with dread, I notified the client again. I said, “This is taking longer than I thought it would, and I don’t want to send it to you until it’s just right. Can I have the weekend?”

The client responded, “Sure, that’s fine.”

I heard: Sure, that’s fine, but you actually really suck and we hate you.

Then I remembered that beating myself up doesn’t change the situation. I had discovered yet another situation where feelings don’t help in business.

I asked a fellow creative business owner about the situation. She told me, “We’re human. Things happen. And clients do it to us all the time—they push back dates on their end. A client relationship is two sided and requires give and take. You just have to communicate.”

Does this ever happen to you? How do you handle it?

The post What’s the best way to miss a deadline? appeared first on The Marketing Mix.

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