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Everyone who has been in business for himself or herself knows the dangers of the profession. After working to gain the trust of someone in need of your services, that individual sometimes refuses to pay a bill.
You are left unpaid for your services and if you have placed advertising or secured the services of another specialist counting on payment, you’re stuck with embarrassment and liability when the payment you expected isn’t received.
You and everyone else you lined up for particular jobs have provided the services but you haven’t received payment for services rendered. All of the handshakes and sometimes even a contract you had signed are worthless.
In short you have been stiffed and so has anyone involved in the assignment. The fact that people took your word especially makes being independently employed embarrassing.
No, you didn’t get paid but more importantly, neither did any of the people you brought into the endeavor. Considering that you assembled the team to help the client, there is obviously big-time egg on your face.
It’s pride – and your pride and your credibility have both been tarnished.
However, with every unpaid bill there is some kind of payment at the end of the rainbow. Veteran Las Vegas ad guy Rich Newman and I talked about a solution several years ago.
The more I think about it, the more I think an Emmy Awards-type of ceremony is perfect for those of us who have been stiffed.
Call it the Stiff Awards in what could be not only interesting but fun, too.
Much like the Country Music Awards and every other ceremony like it in Las Vegas, this one would not only draw a huge crowd but it would also attract incredible attention and public relations. We will have a live orchestra and one of those awesome stages.
However, this ceremony will also generate badly-needed funds for a charity of choice.
Here’s how it would work:
Anyone who has been stiffed would have the opportunity to nominate the stiffee, or the person who refused to pay up for services rendered. For a fee, a business or independent businessperson could nominate an individual or a company that failed to pay a bill.
At least a portion of the fee charged for the nomination would go to the charity named before the event. The rest of the money generated would be utilized to pay for the venue and those responsible for its work.
For instance, if such-and-such was nominated by such-and-such, the nominated individual or business would be in line for not only an “honor” but also the chance to be named the overall winner of the awards ceremony.
In other words, the eventual winner would have to survive so-called preliminary-round cuts before earning the ultimate honor of “Grand Stiff.”
This would be genuine competition. Preliminary round winners would receive their time on stage along with a small plaque for their efforts and in fact, we’d even allow them a 30-second time frame to speak about their reasons for their success.
When the grand poo-bah of stiffs was named, the three-foot trophy would include a figure of an Italian salute along with the winner’s name on the trophy. Photographers would gather en-massed on stage to capture the climax of such a prestigious event.
And just in case the nominee fails to show up (you can just imagine the countless company owners or executives who will miss the ceremony), the individual who made the nomination and put up the money for the charity will accept the honor on behalf of the company or individual who was nominate.
Just the other day, I saw a major executive in the media business who told me that it was absolutely stunning how many people simply walk away from bills in Southern Nevada, so we’re going to bring some attention to the situation while raising money for a charity at the same time.
No doubt, the idea of the Stiff Awards is rather extreme, but so is Mixed Martial Arts. People love this sort of thing.
We’re not sure where the Stiff Awards will be presented although we do know a few folks that will probably be nominated. In fact, we might have to limit the amount of nominations.
Two things are for sure:
We’ll have some fun and a local charity will make a lot of money at the same time.
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