Have you ever had one of those experiences where you meetup with a potential client and everything about them and that meeting, made your entire mind and body scream….RUNNNN!!! because it just didn’t feel right?  But then you look at the $$$ potential of the project and all of a sudden that 3-headed monster starts to look as hot and cute as actress Kerry Washington? Yeah we’ve all as entrepreneurs and freelancers been there and done that.

Let me get even more specific for you. Have you ever said yes to an asshole client who wanted 10x their retainer’s worth of work out of you; said yes to that client who comes to you in a rush, expects you to drop everything, deal with their project, yet doesn’t want to match up by paying you a deposit in a rush also, because, of course, you can wait, they are the busy ones and their work comes first… then when you push back and say no, they say all kind of things that only abusive men/woman say to their other halves? Have you ever said yes to that kind of client who wants your product or service for free because that other professional or company did just that? Ever just closed your eyes, said yes to a disrespectful client who you kinda heard about from the industry grapevine, but their potential cheque was standing between you and you paying some bills or getting groceries that week?

LOL. Well, now that I have you nodding your head off, here are the top 5 reasons you said yes even once to any of that shit.

   1. You doubt that potential clients would value your product or service, because you are unclear and unsure in selling and demonstrating that value.

2. You have unclear or non-existent criteria, procedures and prices for deciding on which clients to say yes or no to. Yes, you can actually choose who you want to do business from the get go, no matter how young your business is. And yes you should always do your due diligence on a potential client.

3. You believe that as a business just starting up, in the middle of a highly competitive or what you perceive as a small marketplace – you have to say yes to anyone and everyone with a pulse and the cash. You probably said to yourself that, you don’t have enough of a reputation as yet or someone told you that you must take anything you get, until you can get what you want.

4. You have no standards on how you want to be perceived and treated by anyone including your clients.

5. You may be operating from a belief in lack instead of abundance, so you may be thinking,  that if you don’t get a particular client then you are screwed, as you don’t know where the next one is going to come from.

I know that may have hit you hard, but I only serve up truths lived, learnt and seen. And yeah I know it’s a marathon of a journey being an entrepreneur (I’ve been one for 15 years) and we all make mistakes, but please know this- your happiness, peace of mind and integrity must never come at the expense of what someone else has defined as harmony.

Add to that, you have to have some standards about how you want to make your money in this world. All I’m saying here, just get clear about who you are as an entrepreneur, what you stand for and what standards you have for yourself in life and business. When someone is an asshole in business you can guarantee that they are an asshole in their other relationships too, our they as fake as hell.

And I know that still, some of you, having  even read this far in the blog post, you are still stuck on -So You Can Really Fire a Client? Hang in there, let’s see if I can help you grow back your backbone by the end of this post.

Ok so true story.

In my years in the Digital Industry, I’ve only fired 3 clients. I call that a stellar record. LOL. The first client I fired was a retainer client, who having signed off a clear scope of work plus extras, decided that scope creep was the order of the day. Then pretty much said, that my company should be grateful to have them, so we must chill and fall in line. In other words, we were to become their bitch, be quiet and enjoy it.

It was a much respected company in Jamaica with a new Marketing Manager who had to prove themselves and while that’s fine and dandy, they chose to get that done, at my company’s expense vs seeking to build a win-win type of relationship. Needless to say after a very short and tense good-bye meeting, we landed two bigger and better Jamaican/Caribbean clients that we had fun working with and making a truckloads of money from.

Which brings me to this.

Do you remember that exercise your mentor, or that workshop facilitator usually ask you to do ? The one where they ask you to create a profile of your ideal client? Well, it’s now, not just about  profiling a client based on the type of industry, size of the company and how much money they make. It’s now also, about their values (mission statement vs internal culture), how do they treat their staff, their other service providers, what kinda of reputation do they have in the marketplace. The answer to those questions are really, really important.

It reminded me of this video I saw a while back that changed me as an entrepreneur- It was by writer and thought leader Simon Sinek who wrote this book called “Start with the Why.

I am a big believer in that what he said in that video and also what he said here

– The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
– The goal is not to hire just anybody who wants to work with you for money. The goal is to do hire people who believe what you believe.
– If you talk about what you believe, you will attract to you others who believe what you believe.

– Simon Sinek, Start With the Why

The point behind this blog post is this. What you believe about yourself will show up in the way you do business and the kind of clients you attract, say yes to and make money with.  And while we all have temporary lapses in judgement and self-belief especially when parts of the marathon gets rough, you have to at be sure about what your natural default and standards are.

Self-awareness about what kind of entrepreneur you are and want to be is so damn crucial, as it will define the kind of journey you have.  So please take the time to figure that shit out, or, you can wait until you take on one of those asshole clients and have one of those painful experiences, that makes you get clarity real quick.

Entrepreneurship From The Inside Out.

Cool beans.