During the month of April, I did a bit of travel. That travel included heading home to see my family for the first time in nearly two years! That trip home was a week of adventuring in my hometown and catching up with old friends. Lots of trips down memory lane...and one particular trip that (might) cost me a chunk of change.
Saturday night, of the week I was home, I was driving to pick up my sister's fiancee and take her into town to meet my sister. There's a section of the road that goes from 35MPH to 45MPH to 60MPH in about 100 yards' time. I turned onto this road, minding my own business, and headed the five miles down the road to their house. Shortly before arriving, a state trooper pulled me over.
As he walked up to my car and I rolled down my window, he said "ma'am, are you aware of why I pulled you over?" I indicated that I wasn't and he went on to explain that five miles prior, at the intersection, he clocked me going 78MPH in the 35MPH zone.
In typical (very respectful) Dannie fashion, I asked if he could tell me what the radar flagged me traveling at. He simply restated that five miles prior, at the intersection, he clocked me going 78MPH in the 35MPH zone. He went back to his car with my license and registration and came back a short time later with a ticket for 65 in a 55 (a zone not even available on that stretch of road) with a note that said he clocked me going 78 (no indication of which zone).
I thanked him for the ticket and continued about my day (though obviously very frustrated by the situation). You know me, there's always a lesson in the crazy. This week's lesson? Your metrics and others' metrics often don't match up - and others might be in a position to challenge the validity of your metrics without you having room to do the same.
If you're working with clients, business partners, or other entrepreneurial folks, know that the metrics by which they measure success may be different from your own. However, in many cases (such as client work), they are in the "paying money" position and you are in the "receiving money" position. You're the service provider, but they have expectations for what will come out of the project.
Are you level-setting expectations appropriately? I have a few things I say to clients as we're in the onboarding process, such as:
Turbulence is expected. (I explain this as follows: "There might be a moment where you’re not happy with what’s going on. Maybe you’re unsure of where we’re at, you don’t feel good about a marketing tactic I’ve selected, or you have some other concern. The best way to make sure we’re maximizing our time together is notify me immediately if you have a concern. You wouldn’t want the flight crew on a plane to hide upcoming turbulence from you, right?")
Tattoos look best when you sit still. (I explain this as follows: "Ask questions throughout the process, but also trust that I have your best interests at heart. It’s hard to give you a tattoo if you’re always fidgeting!")
Whiskey tastes good neat or on the rocks. (I explain this as follows: "There are different ways to implement the same thing. If you want to go through the steps I provide in a different order (assuming they’ll produce the same end result), go for it! Just because I like my whiskey on the rocks doesn’t mean you can’t drink it neat.")
Try crafting your own ways to explain things to clients. It'll help levelset expectations for everybody.