Success as a contractor starts with the ability to recognize a great client when one crosses your path. For me, the great client looks a lot like Joe Hage. Joe’s one of those rare MarCom directors who knows what he needs done (the project requirements). He’s up front about negotiating with you about what you will need to do, and what he will need to provide, to result in high-quality deliverables. When project parameters change (and they always do!) Joe is matter-of-fact about it, and re-opens negotiations to get the new work underway. Joe’s feedback is clear and concise, and his praise is generous. In turn, he rewards feedback and suggestions from you — he recognizes that, if he’s hired a professional for her expertise, he should use it! Most importantly, working in a partnership with Joe is fun. He loves what he does, and wants you to love your involvement in it. If you have a chance to be on Joe’s team, go for it!