… began work with a new client who handed me an initial deposit.
I know it can be awkward to require a deposit up front when you begin work with a new client.
After all, after they finally find you, agree on terms and say okay, you may be reluctant to break the spell of good feelings by asking for money.
You need to. They don’t let you drive a car off the lot, or walk out of the grocery store with food, or speak with the doctor until you pay something.
You’re a professional too and requiring some payment in exchange for getting going is perfectly reasonable.
And don’t worry – the people and companies who are for real will have no objection to paying you something to start. The ones who do are to be run away from!