Fuck you, Pay me – a discussion of adventures in contracts, negotiation, and payment


2011/03 Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me. from SanFrancisco/CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

“Starting work without a contract is like putting a condom on after taking a home pregnancy test” -Mike Monteiro of Mule Design in his talk, Fuck you, Pay Me

While the above video is aimed generally to designers, there’s a wealth of information that should apply to any freelancer. Mike Monteiro, Design Director and co-founder of Mule Design Studio and his attorney give some real talk about the value of contracts, how to spot bad clients, and how to prevent yourself from getting in a bind. It’s long, but well worth the time.

(via APhotoEditor)


  1. This sounds a lot like Sci-Fi screen writer Harlan Ellison’s recent & well founded rant.
    Most young designers and freelancers seem afraid to ask for their money. Many more don’t charge NEARLY enough and damage the hard earned value good designers have built.

    Don’t let clients bully you, you did the work, the balance is DUE. NOW. PERIOD.

    [Reply]

  2. [...] why your business and efforts might need some sort of lawyer, watch this incredible presentation (Fuck You, Pay Me) by Mike [...]

  3. [...] account for this in any kind of draconian fashion that the folks at Mule would recommend (see this, not safe for work but great [...]

  4. [...] Like Mike Monteiro, Chris said “Fuck you, Pay me” and I paid.  (Obviously, he didn’t really saying fuck you lol.)  He quoted a price and we negotiated, but I didn’t disrespect him by asking for a 60% discount.  I was realistic and told him what my budget was and he worked with me.  More importantly, I paid him 50% upfront to show that I was serious and the rest over the next month.  Nothing talks like cash money. [...]

  5. [...] Also, make sure to watch this: Fuck you, Pay me! [...]

  6. D Buford says:

    I love this,I’m going to pass this to every client I work with in the Future…

    [Reply]

  7. [...] Related required viewing: Fuck you, Pay me – a discussion of adventures in contracts, negotiation, and payment [...]

  8. Thank goodness I saw this video a few weeks ago. I just got handed a craptaculous contract by a client. When I made some changes based upon experience and what I learned from this video, they rejected them all.

    It wasn’t even a negotiation, just a “our contract stands as is, so sign it now”-deal.

    Too bad, so sad, I walked away.

    [Reply]

  9. Dave Goyard says:

    I never had a problem with clients so far. I always make a clear explanation and do legal contract that must be followed by me and my clients.
    That video shows a bad experience for those who ever have a bad client. I hope we never get this bad situation.

    [Reply]

  10. [...] Fuck you, Pay me – a discussion of adventures in contracts, negotiation, and payment [...]

  11. [...] events here. To any freelancers, it’s a common enough occurrence. If you haven’t seen Fuck You, Pay Me, start there. The Atlantic has issued an apology to Thayer, no doubt due to the attention given [...]

  12. [...] why your business and efforts might need some sort of lawyer, watch this incredible presentation (Fuck You, Pay Me) by Mike [...]

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