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 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 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 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

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!

*  *  *  *  *  *

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?

24 comments on “The Still Small Voice Was Right

  1. Carol says:

    Sara, you are so smart to listen to your intuition! Having been accused of copyright infringement for a design that I purchased, I am so glad that you listened to your intuition. And thanks for the update. I was wondering what happened!

    And yes, there have been many times where my I have used intuition. I just wish I could get myself out of the way, so I could hear ALL the time. What a gift!
    .-= Carol´s last blog ..Stress Eating and Hormones =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Carol — WOW. I didn’t realize that happened to you. I am so sorry!!! I AM glad I listened to my intuition! On the other hand, it’s not always an easy thing to do because sometimes I think that “something’s not right” voice is just worry or anxiety. Certainly, there have been times when I haven’t listened to it and regretted it. I think you said it very well, “I just wish I could get myself out of the way, so I could hear [my intuitive voice] ALL the time.” I AGREE:~)

  2. Great post Sara. I will say that one “bright spot” in using the 99designs process is at least another designer was able to help confirm that your “inner voice” was telling you the TRUTH.

    So often, we “ignore” that small voice -because we don’t LIKE what it has to say.

    In your case – you saved yourself a LOT of heartache and headache by stepping back and listening to your heart and the other designer who gave you a heads up.
    .-= Kathy | Virtual Impax´s last blog ..The Business Value in Being First =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Kathy — You are so right. AnneW, who left a comment on this post, did affirm my intuitive voice and I appreciate her very much for it:~)

  3. […] However, once you’ve chosen your business – you need practical advice as well – from those who have “been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.”   For exmaple, David Airey shares his words of wisdom about his own formula for design pricing.  However, if you’re a designer there’s also a wealth of information from those who are struggling with the process of finding the “right” designer…as Sara Healy does in her post The Still Small Voice Was Right. […]

  4. Caity says:

    I love this post. I am glad that you listened to your intuition. So many people do not and they get themselves into trouble that could have been avoided! I always try to listen to that little voice. I find that it never leads me astray!
    .-= Caity´s last blog ..New Blogs That Deserve More Visitors! =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Caity — We are lucky because we do hear our intuitive voices. I agree a lot of people don’t trust this voice in themselves and I feel that’s kind of sad. Our brains are so complex and able to give us information in ways we don’t fully understand. Intuition is one of these, but there are many more…if we just open ourselves up to receive them. I smile I write this because it sounds so NEW AGE, but I do believe it. Thanks for sharing and keep on listening to your little voice:~)

  5. Hi Sara,

    That little voice tells us a lot. I’ve listened to mine most of my life and when I didn’t, I was sorry. There’s a lot to be said for intuition. I’m happy to hear you not only listened to yours, but got yourself out of what could have been a sticky situation.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Bloggers – Defining What We Are =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Barbara — I agree this was a good time for me to pay attention to my small voice! It’s also nice to know that you listen to your own intuitive voice…although that doesn’t surprise me:~)

  6. Sara says:

    Greetings all,

    Sorry about not responding to comments yesterday. I took a fall due to my own stupidity of running through the rain to get my car. I ended up having to get stitches, which meant that I spent six hours in doctor’s offices.

    I am now well versed in the last six months of Good Housekeeping, People Magazine and even Highlights, a children magazine! Hey, you get desperate after awhile:~)

    Anyway, I’m fine…a bit sore, but things could have been worse:~)

  7. AnneW says:

    Hi Sara,

    here AnneW from 99designs!

    I’m so glad to read that you got proove the other designer was lying and that he is now banned. I also thought that ‘something was not right’ about his story 😉

    There’s still two things left I want to say about this which you might consider if you ever start another contest:

    First of all, if you don’t want any usage of stockphoto’s in your design, unless you can get the license for it (which I still think you can’t), than clearify this in the briefing. If I had known you wouldn’t use a stockphoto I wouldn’t have put so much effort in your contest.

    Second, I think you cannot expect a design with a 100% unique photo in it, for which you get a license, for a couple of hundred dollars. Cause someone should then take a picture himself and use it in your header. But nobody will do this for such an amount. Photo’s are very expensive.

    Besides this you might consider how important it really is that the photo is 100% unique. There’s nothing wrong with using stockphoto’s for a design (in most cases) in my opinion. They’re meant for that!

    Unfortunately I’m not a photographer so I’m afraid I can’t help you further with the header. If you ever change your mind, I keep my design recommended!

    Good luck with your site. I hope you find a nice header!

    Kind regards,

    .-= AnneW´s last blog ..SEO methoden en technieken op de proef gesteld =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ AnneW — I am so pleased you wrote because I haven’t been able to tell you the whole story. I owe a great thanks to you for letting me know that the designer was using a stock photo. While I wanted an original, I wasn’t actually opposed to a stock photo. In the end, I just caught up that feeling that something wasn’t right and lost my trust in I just wanted out. By the time everything washed out, I had my refund, but the contest was locked and I couldn’t reach you. I even tried LinkedIN. So, I’m glad you found me!

      I’m not going back to I am currently working with a designer who was recommended to me. By the way, your designs were very professional and I wish you good luck, as well:~)

  8. Davina says:

    Hi Sara. I’m sorry to hear about your accident, but glad to hear you are mending. Lol, re the reading material 🙂

    Listening to intuition is something I struggle with constantly. Is it fear that is motivating me… or intuition? It’s hard to know the answer quite honestly.

    I wonder though in this case because you weren’t able to head straight through the process without doubt… you know, make a quick gut decision, that something was trying to tell you something.

    They say to go with our immediate gut reaction and your’s was obviously not clear. Something for me to think about. Thanks.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Laziness is Like What? =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Davina — Yeah, I’m really sore right now and I have stitches right above my eyebrow, but I was lucky. I have a few bruises and some road rash. I fell in a parking lot outside the library. I was amazed at how people stopped to check and see if I was okay. One lady stayed with me until I was calm enough to go inside the library and get cleaned up. Not be to gross, but it really is true about head wounds bleeding a lot:~) By my clothes, I looked like I had been in a massive fight!

      Now back to intuition, you’re right there are times when intuition feels like doubt and this can fool you. I think your advice is well worth thinking about, but hard to do. I’ve been taught all my life that my intuitive voice was basically without merit. It’s makes it challenging to fly with it at times:~)

  9. Evita says:

    Fantastic Sara! I totally follow my intuition as much as I can. Of course if we were always 100% living consciously it would be a perfect system that would never let us down, but seeing as most of us lead the busy lives we lead, a lot of times intuition has been silenced within us.

    So good for you!!!
    .-= Evita´s last blog ..SkyWatch Friday – Blissfully High =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Evita — I bet you do go with your intuitive voice! It seems to me intuition is about TRUST. The more you learn to trust yourself, the easier it is to hear your intuitive voice. Thanks Evita for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments:~)

  10. Thanks for this. I loved the picture — I’m imagining that if it showed the rest of you, you’d be wearing a superhero costume to go with your comic book thinking bubble. Too bad I can’t win a photo contest for saying that!

    • Sara says:

      @ Chris — Hey, I worked hard on that thinking bubble!!! I had to remember lots of stuff I had forgotten about Photoshop. And by the way, this is my blog. So, you DID win a contest. I’m awarding you my bubble box for being the first person to imagine me in a superhero costume:~) I always love your comments, Chris!

  11. Gerri says:

    I have listened and acted on the small voice which I believe is the Lord. When I don’t listen I get into really BIG messes. The blessing is that I learn from the mistake and listen that much better next time. 🙂
    .-= Gerri´s last blog ..Stages =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Gerri — I am glad that you listen to your “small voice” and I agree that not listening usually comes with a cost. On the other hand, I think our “small voices” are very forgiving and always willing to give us a second chance:~)

  12. Talon says:

    I’ve always listened to my intuition and it’s never let me down. The only time I’ve been let down is when I went ahead with something against that niggling, nagging little sense that something was off. After a few cases of “Darn! I KNEW something wasn’t right” I followed that little niggling sensation no matter how awkward or hard to explain the situation was.

    I’m glad you listened, Sara.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Our summer project =-.

  13. Liara Covert says:

    Intuition is your direct line to higher self and realignment of soul energy. Choosing to notice it, listen to it and trust it, has the power to transform your life forever.
    .-= Liara Covert´s last blog ..Attend night school in another dimension =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Liara — I am trying to get better at listening and acting on my intuition. You hit the nail on the head, when you said you must choose to notice it, listen to it and TRUST it….that is sometimes my challenge:~)

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