Working long hours to get a job finished

I just read a message by another workshop that had work long hours to get their job done on time. I've also done the over nighters. A few years ago (I was doing more wholesale work for decorators), when I was silly enough to try to get work from the largest interior decorating shop in town, I agreed to do a drapery job for them (for which I didn't have the correct equipment, or the table space needed). Their other workshop hadn't gotten it done for them, and the decorating shop was in a pinch. So, I took in the job.

   I found that, by not having the right equipment or space, it took me a long time to do each step. In order to meet the deadline I worked straight through one day and night and through another night with, at most, a couple hours sleep. I think that I made the deadline, but it was also my deadline, meaning, I was dead (tired that is). When I did the math, I think I made something like $1 to $2 per hour. (if I had gotten paid, don't remember if I did or not.)

 Afterwards I found out that this decorating shop was having financial problems and ended up going broke, owing me about $700 and owing others a lot of money.

I think that was a good learning experience for me. I also have stopped doing "heroics" after that as well. I rarely promise any crushing deadlines on me. If they want it sooner than I can have it, I refer them to another shop (that I've seen the work of) At this point in life, I rarely give people exact dates. If I'm booked out a couple months, I usually say that I'll have it done in about 2 or 3 months. Although, right now work is slow. I find that at times I'm booked out 2-3 months, and other times work is slow. Feast or famine.