Don’t lie to get the project

Mickey Mellen
2 min readJun 28, 2021

Seth Godin recently published a blog post that ended with two great mottos:

  1. “You’ll pay a lot, but you’ll get more than you paid for.”
  2. “Our secret is that we don’t lie to get the project.”

I agree wholeheartedly with both of those, though the second one is a little tricky.

Back in 2016, a local politician wanted help rebuilding their website. We talked to her about what she needed, which was fairly substantial, and told her it would take 12 weeks to complete. She said that was far too long, and needed it done in six. I talked with the team some more about how we could speed things up, and the fastest we could do it (and still do a great job) was 10 weeks. The politician went elsewhere because the six-week timeline was non-negotiable.

I kept an eye on her site over the subsequent weeks and months, and the new site went live 23 weeks later…

The problem, of course, is that the other company lied to her (perhaps unintentionally, but lied nonetheless), but they still got the job.

The solution is largely a matter of time and trust. As you make connections and do work, if you can grow your reputation and expertise, people will learn to trust you over the unknowns. Over the last 12 years, we at GreenMellen have done a great job (I think) in providing great results to our clients, which leads to great referrals to others.

Unfortunately, if you have a brand new business there is no shortcut here. Start today to provide amazing service and support, and make sure the value you provide exceeds what your clients are paying. Over time, it’ll pay off in major ways.

Originally published at on June 28, 2021.

Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.