You have probably been there before when a client seems to think they are the only client in the world.
Where they expect you to give them all your attention, to be constantly on call, and will complain when you deliver anything they believe is less than 100 percent. Over time, you may find yourself dreading to pick up the phone when they call. You may feel overworked, underpaid, and frustrated.
All of this is enough to rip your hair out. And there are very few clients that are worth losing hair over.
But the great news is, you do not have to put up with them.
“You are in charge of whom you choose to take on as clients and when you say no more.”
There are many reasons why you should consider firing yourself from your client, here are five common ones to watch out for:
THEY MAKE UNETHICAL REQUESTS
- This should be a huge red flag for you if you’re working with a client and they start to ask you to do something unethical or outright illegal. Not only do you not want to get tied up with this kind of work, but you also should see this as a red flag about the person. Sacrificing your integrity to make money is not something that will be sustainable long-term. Instead, get rid of this bad apple as fast as you can and make room for a client who values good business practices.
THEY’RE LATE ON PAYMENTS
- You talked it over. You decided on a rate. They made it seem like everything was peachy and they may have even seemed reliable and trustworthy. But then it happens, a late payment. You think it’s okay, it happens. You accept the excuse and promises it won’t happen again. But it does. Again and again and again. Maybe the excuses continue or maybe they just give up. They aren’t giving 100 percent, but they’re still expecting you to. Somehow they believe they’re money is more valuable than other peoples and worth waiting for.
- One thing is for sure, they have no business being your client anymore. Prioritize your self-respect and basic needs before holding onto a relationship that degrades your sense of value. Find some potential leads to replace them if needed and let them know that if they’re unable to make payments on time then you can’t work with them any longer.
THEY CHALLENGE YOUR EXPERTISE
- It’s hard to get something done when a beginner keeps interjecting their half-formed opinions. You may then have to take the time to show them over and over why it won’t work that way. This can quickly become exhausting. A project timeline will start to drag on as huge chunks of time are eaten up by fighting with the client and trying to assure them that you know what you’re talking about.
- Save yourself now from the fatigue and just get rid of any client that is making your life harder. You want to work with people who uplift you or at least don’t make you worn out and exhausted in an hour’s conversation. Set a boundary by asking them to step back and trust you with the project. If they’re unable to respect the request, replace them with a client who will.
- Some interactions may leave you speechless. You think to yourself, “Are they serious?” You may wonder what just happened, and find yourself feeling from the whiplash of sudden changes in tone, attitude, and aggressiveness. Seemingly sweet clients lash out or make disparaging remarks that leave you feeling stunned and wondering whether you are good enough for the job.
- If they’re insulting you and your work regularly, it’s a huge sign it’s time to make a plan of escape before your self-esteem is affected. If they’re a big client, downscale the time spent on their projects and find work to replace theirs.
THEY PULL YOU FROM YOUR PATH
- An important thing to keep in mind when deciding on a client is whether they are helping you get closer to those goals. This may be harder because they could be good clients or decent individuals. But at some point, you’re going to want to be selective enough that you’re only taking on the clients that can also help you get further in your life plan. Look for clients who will give you the projects, experience, and networking needed to move towards your dream and fill your schedule with reaching out to them.
IN CLOSING: It’s critical to be willing to leave any bad relationship, including working relationships. Doing so can improve the quality of your life and help you move towards more fulfilling and satisfying work and in the end, you are worth it.
The Floor Is Yours: What other red flags should you watch out for?