3 min read

What's up with all the flakey people?

At the desk, 6:39 p.m.

No really, what's up with all the flakey people?

I can't tell you how many times this scenario plays out:

1. I'm speaking/tweeting/emailing with someone who has a product or service they would like me to purchase or I purchase a service from someone.

2. We make an agreement that they will (fill in the blank).

3. Days go by with no response.

4. I email or call or contact them by carrier pigeon.

5. They respond that they've had computer problems, email problems, problem problems. I nod understandingly and we agree they will fulfill the service.

6. Nothing.

And I check my spam box every other day to make sure I didn't miss anything.

For the sake of clarity, this has happened to me with people pitching services that will cost thousands of dollars and take many month to people I've hired to get things done. As for people I've hired, it doesn't seem to matter if I pay the person $25 -$65 dollars an hour. They still flake out.

Even people that everyone loves and says is fabulous. You'd be surprised how the super talented, totally fabulous graphic artist flaked out, slapped something together at the last minute, then demanded payment. When I checked back with all the people who referred her, turns out they were social media 'friends' who had never worked with her.

Or the time  I hired the 'incredible' virtual assistant for $65 an hour who a) never told me when or what she was doing and b) never told me how much time she used. When I asked, pursued, begged, she told me she was busy with an 'important' client. I wish I had known how unimportant I was before I pre-paid for her shoddy services.

I think the thing that makes me crazy is that the more flakey people are, the more they want to be paid! They are the first people with their invoices in my email box. Where as the nice, diligent, hard working folks tend to have a little delay in generating an invoice and always thank me upon payment.

I honestly never gave it any thought until I watched App Sumo's Noah Kagan talk about his fabulous proven hiring practices <--this is not an affiliate link - just an great class.  I've seriously just been running too fast to even notice. I've mostly ran around trying to pick up the good help and ignore what's bad or flakey.

Anyway, Noah Kagan says that he always asks people to put in their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts on the email. More than 90% of respondents to his advertisements fail this one challenge. (If you're looking to hire someone,  you need to take this class.) 90%! Which absolutely matches my experience hiring contractors.

I don't know why it should be any  different for service providers. It just seems to me that if you decide you're going to provide a service and charge people money for it, then you should provide the service.

What am I missing here?

All of that said, I have to tell you that, in the last year, I've been super  lucky to find great people to help me. It seriously doesn't seem to matter how much I spend, the fabulous are simply fabulous. One of these days, I'll tell you about Super Steve, Fabulous Kathleen, Amazing Divya and her team, and Miracle Rob. I could not have pulled off this year without their amazing and incredible assistance. They deserve of a post of their own.

In the meantime, if you have any tips on hiring, I'd love to hear them. While the AppSumo class was fabulous, I wonder if there are other proven tricks or tips.

Why? Because I'm moving (very very slowly) into possibly, maybe setting up a serial fiction conglomerate site. (Please, please, please don't email me and tell me you want to work for us. We're not there yet.) I haven't jumped in with both feet because I don't want to deal with all the flakes. So if you have any tips, I'm all ears.