I am a judgment broker. It is not an easy job, however my job is fun and done entirely via the internet. My phone and fax are via the internet too. I deal with a lot of great people, and also more flakes (nationwide) than most people do.
Starting a business during tough economic times has taught me much more than starting a businesses during good economic times. One must work much harder now than ever before. It is more important now than ever before to recognize and prevent flakes from bothering your time, energy, and/or your business.
My definition of a flake is someone who says or writes that they will do something, and then does not do it. A valuable quality for human beings (or any entities) is to do what they say they will do. Perhaps because of a lifetime of being exposed to mostly media and TV, some are not aware they may be a flake, and never follow through anything to completion.
The secret to not letting flakes bother you is to lose attachment to anything happening in the world now. As much as possible, let whatever happens be ok. That is harder to do, than it is to write or say. However, it is always worth striving toward the goal of concentrating on what you do, not what the world does.
When someone tells me that they are going to do something, I simply add one year to when I count on them to do what they said. Then, I move onto doing something that either needs to be done, or I want to do, usually I combine them both, and so I usually end up doing whatever I want. This works because I am a positive nice person, and I never infringe on others.
Somebody or something will respond soon. Maybe someone was a flake, or maybe they were busy, or maybe their computer is broken, or maybe they are on vacation. It is not worth worrying about why anyone or anything is not responding, just move on to something else, and wait for the world to spin around some more.
If you are sent an email, and it is not spam, you have an obligation of some kind to the sender. Not ever replying to the email at your convenience is being a flake. If you say you will pick someone up at the airport and do not, you are a flake. Flakes do not return calls or respond to letters either.
The right way to deal with a flake is to ignore them. The wrong way to deal with a flake is to keep giving then opportunities to flake on you. When someone ignores your email, send them perhaps one more email, then forget about it – or give them a call, if the situation requires it.
Sometime people flake because they do not like you, or they have a problem, or they are busy. It is better to move on, then to dwell on why an entity that is flaking on you. Again – do something constructive, fun, or both.
When the world is flaking out, do something else – pull weeds, exercise, meditate, watch TV, go shopping, etc. Wait for the world to spin around until something comes up – it always does. (Especially if you do important work every day toward more success.) Success is the journey, not a destination.
By actively having a goal of not being a flake or waiting for one, you will find more success in all areas of your life and your business.