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a wonderful story of trickery

  • # March 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    so I have a sly relative who is a business man who will jump on any opportunity he can.
    He discovered that I can make him a website for free!
    Especially cause I’m just starting out and I have barely finished my own website.
    It takes me like 4 weeks just to make one.

    So I began making one. He then had the audacity to tell me it must be done by the end of the week for his meeting!
    I ignored that and moved at my own pace but he was very annoying and cajoled me to work faster, telling me this is how it is in the real world and I need to crank out 10 of them a month….

    I have not finished his website, but he came to me last week and said he has found someone who is willing to pay me for a website.
    It sounded great but i felt i was just not ready yet to make paying sites.
    He didn’t care. he told me the next day that he spoke with this client and I was to make another website in 4 weeks. Obviously I yelled at him, but i felt bad and didn’t want him to look like an idiot because he already said I would do it. and i don’t want to cause problems in the family.
    (i think he knows i feel bad and is using me completely)

    to make matters worse, I said I needed info from the client and he was very sly with the information. Basically I realized he is making money off of it and is acting like a middle man. And he plans on hosting the website and making a monthly fee. how lovely of him.

    so what do you do when a relative is taking advantage of you before your career can even launch?

    # March 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Avoid him.

    # March 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Delete everything you have done and walk.

    (Disclaimer: I was disowned by my uncle – but he was a dick too.)

    # March 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I am sorry to say your relative is a fool. Unfortunately you were also fool to let him abuse the relationship as far as he did. Luckily you have some great people here to give you advice :)

    Part of this gig is developing an air of professionalism, and a lot of that has to do with just getting the experience to combat someone else who clearly has no clue what they are talking about even if they they think they do.

    The very first problem here is that he should have never discovered you can make him something for free because that shouldn’t happen. I know some people say you should give away your services for free to build your portfolio, but I highly recommend against that for a number of reasons (a couple include it makes it very difficult to establish boundaries and you end up with a grossly low level of perceived value for your work).

    One thing you will probably want to start getting figured out is a process. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but there needs to be some kind of structure. For example, let’s say your uncle comes to you and says he has a client. You say, “Great, here is a basic outline of the information I’ll need, and once I have that back I’ll provide a proposal, or if you’d like you can schedule a meeting with all of us and we can talk it through and I can develop the proposal based on that meeting”.

    If they get to the proposal and accept it, then you outline the next phase that includes client expectations as well as your own.

    You don’t need to be experienced to develop good processes that make sense and frame a project properly. What you’ll do with that experience down the road is develop better processes that fit your work flow more closely.

    Anyway, I kinda rambled there but hopefully it helps :P

    # March 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm


    I just feel terrible dropping him. I like the family and I wish this never had happened

    # March 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Shamai you need to teach your relative how to treat you, as at the moment he is walking all over you. It may be uncomfortable to do, but you will be thankful once you have corrected the situation.

    Also, how about you say to him that you will do it for him this one last time, but only if you do all the dealings with the customer directly, cutting him out of the equation. That way, when he says no (as he won’t make money) it won’t be you ending it.

    # March 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Bypass your uncle and work with the clients directly
    Explain that you would need some time to do it if they are stilling willing
    That way you stay happy, the third party stays happy and your uncle will be p*ssed

    # March 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    so how many websites am I suppose to be making a month? if they were all basic static pages.

    And I am also nervous to start taking money because I am afraid, what if the website doesn’t work properly or I fall into an issue?
    I know html5 and css really well but I fiddle with query and sometimes I have to come here to get things working.
    it makes me feel a bit unstable.

    # March 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    There’s no number you’re suppose to be making
    Do it at your own pace when you feel comfortable

    # March 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    what do i tell a client if I am making too many at once?
    sorry come back again or do I refer him to someone else?

    # March 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

    You could refer someone, or even better, work with that someone

    # March 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    wow what a horrible person your uncle is. you should call him out on trying to take advantage of you and use this as a life lesson on exactly who NOT to do business with in the future. red flags etc. having someone you obviously cant trust middlemanning for you is not going to work out.

    as for how many sites you should be doing per month, that should be entirely up to you.

    good luck.

    # March 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I have been developing/maintaining and designing websites since 2002…

    Learn your skills at your own pace.
    Take as much work as you can manage.
    Work directly with the client, as stated above.

    If you must give a family member a freeby, then they have no right to call shots on how fast the site can be put together. It is free after all.

    Hope everything pans out OK…

    # March 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I agree with SMac, if you need to have if finished by a certain time, then he needs to pony up the dough so you can afford to clear your schedule from all the other paying customers you will be taking on (or your day job). Then design it with a template in mind so that you can reuse that work and save yourself time on the next project he brings you.

    # March 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    so I have decided to make the website because it is the first paying website for me since college and i will test myself and see how long it takes and if I can do it -which I think I will.
    If I can’t, my relative will take the wrap, not me.

    i graduated in may. I took a small job working for a freelance designer and then quit when the hours became so random.

    if I can do it then I’ll feel more confident and I will try the freelance world and make sure to get my own clients.

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