I’m curious. Do you ever make exceptions regarding payment of your administrative services, your educational services or products sales, allowing for advanced payment by bank check or money order? Or do you always turn away potential customers if they do not accept your payment policies? I find it hard to believe that I’m the only one you’ve come across that will not use PayPal. I have many clients that would be leery and put off if that was all I offered them for a payment method. I must admit, though, I’m curious if you just turn people away or if you ever make exceptions to your rule? —CS
To be clear, this wasn’t an actual Dear Danielle question, but rather an email conversation I had recently with someone who didn’t want to make a purchase from me through PayPal, which is my payment processing vendor of choice and the service I use exclusively for that purpose. This person reported that she’d had a really horrific experience years ago with PayPal and she is reluctant to go through them for anything since. Perfectly understandable.
She asked if I would contact her if I ever decided to use a more “reliable” payment service and wanted to know my experience with it. While I am very much honored by and appreciative of her interest, and very sorry to hear of her terrible experience, my reply was that PayPal has been a very convenient, reliable service for me (I’ve been using it since around 2000 or so with no problems) and that I didn’t have any plans to move to or utilize any other service.
This prompted her question above and I thought it made for a very relevant business topic for you here on the blog today. As incomprehensible as it is to her that I would turn away money and clients (!), such lack or fear-based thinking is as incomprehensible to me. Because my answer is this:
Yes, I absolutely turn away clients and business that don’t fit with how I’ve set things up in my practice.
You will never have an ideal life or business if you work with unideal clients or accept situations that are less ideal than you’d prefer.
Life is simply too short. I learned that at the ripe “old” age of 30 when my late husband died and left me a widow and young single mother. That kind of experience really makes you reflect on life, what you want for yourself and your children, and how you want to live. It’s what fueled my fire to go into business for myself and have the self-determination, independence and lifestyle that self-employment brings. And it’s why I’m so passionate about sharing and helping others achieve what I have.
You’ve heard the saying, you’ve got to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. That is exactly the principle in play here.
One of the most basic tenets for having a successful business AND quality of life is running things in a way that suits your needs first and then working with only those who are the best fit for that.
This is how I run my business and it’s why I have a much more freedom-filled, stress-free life than most other people do in our industry. It’s nothing personal, but I’m not going to upend all my systems and processes for one person (or even a few) when the way things work in my business suits me fine.
I would expect and encourage you to do likewise in your business. When you put your focus on the ideal, you open space and invite more of the same into your life and business.
I consciously engineered my life like this long before I’d ever heard of Seth Godin, but this quote from his book Tribes sums up my life and business philosophy perfectly:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
By focusing on the ideal, I don’t have to spend my time and energy dealing with the extra work, headaches and rabbit holes that making exceptions brings. And that gives me more time for life!
If you want to learn how you can engineer your business for more money, more life and less stress, I’m doing a class on a topic that directly affects your ability to do this: pricing and packaging your retained support. The methods and principles I teach in this class can be implemented immediately for a simpler, easier business to run. I’d love to have you with us!