Perfect is not the same thing as ideal.
There is no such thing as the perfect client. These are people we’re talking about here, and people are nothing if not imperfect.
Still, it’s vital that you choose clients wisely and with intention from your ever-increasing knowledge about the kind of person you enjoy working with most, who gets the most from working with you, who makes working together easy, and who values and appreciates what you do for them and allows you to do your best work, and to never ignore any red flags that set off your spidey senses.
Because clients who are not a good fit — or un-ideal — will cost you dearly in time, money, energy, morale, confidence, and joy — far more than they are paying you to ever be worthwhile and far more than you can afford, I can tell you that.
Have you ever had clients who weren’t ideal? What kind of negative impacts did working with them have on your business? What measures did you take to create to improve/change this situation?
That’s so true. And as you have said, it’s often difficult or even recognize when to break-free of a toxic situation especially when you’re starting out. Then too, even for those of us who’ve been around the block, it’s hard to let go. I’m starting to see and understand so much more, taking my power back, I’m not their employee. I’d forgotten that I am a business owner! It’s so easy to forget that. It is critical to set boundaries and manage expectations…even when it’s an existing client.
Yes, yes! To taking back ownership of your business. You have to in order to stay healthy, sane, profitable, and sustainable. You can’t take good care of clients without it.
And I’ll add this… at a certain point, once you’ve recognized you have a problem client who wants to run your business the way THEY want instead of how you do things and this is creating difficulty for you in your business, that’s when you have to step back and have a very pointed conversation with that client. This conversation doesn’t need elaborate explanation or rationalizing or “convincing.” It can be as simple as stating, “This is how I run my business and work with clients. If you aren’t able to work with those policies/protocols/procedures/parameters, it may be time for us to re-evaluate our relationship and decide whether we are still a fit for each other.”
It would be scary if there was.