When To Say No to an X-Deal When Doing Business as a Creative

The culture of the start-up community has lead to a number of opportunities. Right now people can just go on social media and find the creatives who will work for them- but when should someone say enough is enough when it comes to X-deal Partnerships? And is the X-deal market in the Philippines one of the ways people manipulate others to get what they want out of a business transaction?

I am already in the digital marketing market 8 years ago and know too well how entrepreneurs and businesses- lure in young creatives to work for them, in exchange for a possible position at work, or worse a Shoutout just to get noticed. Aren’t we all a victim of the big company trying to approach us to do something for free- just because they are a big and established company? How many writers are approached by big magazines for a free write up content? The logic is simple- because some are gullible, the old will prey on this over and over again. For as long as you are willing to get duped and you are not using your mind- many would take advantage of you. If you have not planned a good reason why you will do a job for free- don’t do it.  Negotiate if the terms will also be beneficial to you- that is the rule of life- otherwise, you will be a rabbit in the grasslands that are occupied by lions. Use your Mind.

When should we say No to an X-Deal and when should it be considered beneficial. If you are a 20-year-old fresh graduate who has yet to learn the tricks of the trade, receiving one or three free gigs just to understand and create a network of your own is not at all bad. But if you are already a 25-year-old, expert on your craft – with a legitimate network base and portfolio, accepting a vague x-deal even from a friend is something you need to think many times over.

I was once like this, I thought that if I gave my services cheap that I would get the respect that I deserve. But as the years progressed, the workload just keeps piling up. The stress and the lack of time to live my life began to disturb me, why was I doing all this hard work for something that is not even mine. Why was I invested in it so much to the point of imbalance? Why did I work for a cheap price just to get noticed- don’t I know myself and my worth? Did I not have any self-respect and belief that I deserve better?

The sad thing here is that once they start seeing your craft as cheap, they will continue treating you so. For as long as they can get you for free, for as long as they can extract the idea from you- without paying for anything- they will continue to do so- No Dear, its not your hard work and or willingness to belong-  once a person starts seeing you cheap- the treatment will go on. Work is much like a Romantic Relationship- once they are able to extract something from you for cheap- they will begin to devalue you.

For many Business Will Come First and in Business There is no Real Friendship. For if you are real friends and they value you- they will give you what you are worth.

My advice is to hang in there until you find the right company and right partner for you. While the world is heavily laden with opportunists- there are those who know how to strike a fair deal- you just need to improve your craft daily and learn to negotiate. The time you spend improving yourself and living your life is much more important- you always compute the number of hours taken away from you- the time to breathe-

If they are not willing to give a proper exchange, a fair one- drop the client. You don’t need the negativity in your life- you will find an employer or a client who has respect for what you do- and believes in you- and although it may take a while once you find them- it will be deserving of your time and attention. Be careful with any shady dealings or partnerships, do not get lured with false promises- if they have no respect for the work that you do- drop them.

Always remember that your life is more valuable. Your time with family, friends and your health is number one. Do not sacrifice your life for a few pesos- and know your worth. Cliche as it may seem but a lot of us have forgotten this- Respect your ability- that others may respect you too.

If a business owner, entrepreneur or startup approaches you- make sure to be clear on your terms-  Ask for paperwork or proof that you are a real partner. Have a lawyer certify it before you invest in anything and know what is expected of you and what they expect from you- so you can avoid wasting each others time.

Be wise.




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