I am a creative consultant. On some projects, the company I work with implements directly. On others, we serve as project managers, overseeing independent contractors.

One day, my boss said something, “Many times your clients are fine with you until the day they see you in the same first class cabin. Then, envy comes. They assume it is the money they paid you that made you prosperous and resent the fact that you’re on the same level as them. Some will even cancel your contracts just to take you down a notch and put you in your place.”

Perhaps it is an African thing, but sometimes the successful assume there is a hierarchy of affluence. They are at the top, you are at the bottom. This is amusing, especially for those who didn’t start out rich.

The truth is, as a client, you are not doing your contractor a favour. They worked for their money, rendered a legitimate service and got paid. If the contractor is good at what they do, chances are they are working for many others. It is therefore possible, that they are in fact richer than you. Deal with it and stop envying your contractor’s success. Stop spending their money in your head.

On the flip side, for a contractor, your first job is so important. Do it well and it can lead to referrals, repeat business and case studies, particularly if you’re working for an established brand. Go beyond the call of duty. Even if you’re not making too much money on the deal, milk it for experience and reputation building. Then, put what you’ve done on your website and social media platforms as a case study. But, inform your client that you plan to do so.

As a client, be wary of any contractor you need to chase with money. You have a job to give, but you’re the one following up on invoices and delivery dates or managing product quality. When that happens, one or more of the following is true: The contractor is too busy, in which case they do not need your money. The contractor has administrative and capacity issues in which case, your project will suffer from neglect. The contractor does not understand the value of money and so is not worthy of your contract.

For years, I’ve been building a list of contractors that I trust and that do good work. They have earned my repeat business and I will gladly continue to refer them to others. This year, I’m also determined to replace contractors that do shoddy work. Enough is enough.

Stop envying your contractor's success. They worked for it. Click To Tweet