I am a judge broker. It's not an easy job, but 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 than most people do.
Starting a business during a tough economic time has taught me much more than starting businesses during good economic times. One must work much harder now than ever before. It is more important now than the previous decade to recognize and prevent flakes from bothering your day 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. There is a valued quality for human animals (or any entities) 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 are known as being a flake.
The secret to not letting flakes bother you is to lose attachment to anything happening in the world. As much as possible, let whatever happens be OK. That is harder to do, than it is to write or say. However, it's always worth pursuing towards 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 I usually end up doing whatever I want.
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's 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's not spam, you have an obligation of some kind to the sender. Not ever answering 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.
Sometimes 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 is flaking on you. Again – do something constructive, fun, or both.
When the world is flaking out, do something else – pull weeds, meditate, watch TV, go shopping, etc. Wait for the world to spin around until something comes up – it always does. Success is a journey, not a destination.
By actively having a goal of not being a flake, you will find more success in all areas of your life and your business.