The Still Small Voice Was Right

Intuitive-Sara2Stop and listen

I imagine all of us have had times when we had a chance to do something, go someplace, be with someone…but we just couldn’t do it. Somewhere inside us, a small voice kept saying, “Something’s not right.” Our intuition is speaking.

Sometimes it can be hard to STOP and listen to that voice. Quite recently I almost didn’t, and would have been making a big mistake.

I had contacted 99designs.com to have a header designed for my blog. After a rather overwhelming process, I eventually found a design I liked and one that the majority of my mini-focus group also liked.

Things got a bit rough however, when the negotiation process began. There are certain things that 99designs.com recommends clients find out from the designers, specifically dealing with legal rights. Here’s what they say:

“We strongly recommend that you only award prizes to designs based solely on original work. Original designs should not include stock photography or clip art images, and the designers should not need to supply any fonts – text should be rasterized or saved as an outline. Check with your short-listed designers that:

  • The design is 100% original and therefore won’t attract any further license fees.
  • Rights to any non-original components of the design (such as clip art, stock imagery or fonts) are available to you. The specific costs and rights available vary greatly, so it’s important to check this with the rights holder.”

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, it wasn’t in my case.

The designer I liked told me his work was 100% original and that the photo was his own. However, another designer in the contest informed me that not only had this designer used a stock photo, he had also modified it; a very big NO-NO in the stock photo industry. So began my drama.

I wasn’t opposed to using a stock photo as long as I had the license. I had done this before in an earlier version of my site without problems. But still, I couldn’t press the YOU ARE THE WINNER button for this designer.

Truth revealed

The small voice inside my head continued to say… “Something’s not right.”

Let me tell you, I didn’t want to listen to this voice. I wanted everything to be okay. I wanted to award the prize and finally get my header design. I really did. But I couldn’t – because of that small voice.

I started wondering if this designer was indeed the copyright holder for the stock photo he was using. But his profile did not use his real name and I had no way of checking this.

I contacted the support services offered by 99designs.com to try to find out what the story was. They kept sending me to their FAQ section. After awhile I got frustrated and asked for a refund, which changed things.

I kept at it because that small voice was still telling me, “Something’s not right.”

I’m not sure when they finally realized that we BOTH had a problem. I had a designer claiming something I couldn’t prove or verify, and they had a slightly bigger problem – one of their designers could have blatantly lied.

I eventually got my refund. An investigation determined that the designer HAD lied and is now suspended from 99designs.com.

Hopefully, this company will review how they select designers in the future and how they respond to customers needing advice. I like to think they just hadn’t encountered this type of problem before.

So, my design contest is closed and I still don’t have a header for my blog. While I could complain about all the things that went wrong, instead I want to appreciate that small voice in my head that kept saying over and over again, “Something’s not right.”

My intuition did not lead me astray. Thank you for being there and for being persistent. I’m ever so grateful that I did hear you!

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What about you?

Have there been times when you’ve listened to your intuition?

Have there been times when you didn’t listen and wished you had?

How does the small voice in your head get you to listen?