It’s been a challenging and rewarding first twelve months as a freelancer. My small, but robust little business is a whole year old, and with this milestone birthday has come a little bit of reflection.
You see my motto when I started a year ago was to be a “Yes Man”. I chose to say yes to every opportunity (that was legal, of course) and to see where it would take me. Saying yes, even to things I wasn’t sure I could do, enabled me to learn new skills, take on new challenges and ultimately meet some really cool and inspiring clients.
However, as I reflect on the past year, I must acknowledge some of the harder lessons I’ve learnt as well. The one that sticks out the most, is that not all clients are good ones, and there comes a time in every entrepreneur or freelancer’s life when it’s important to know when to quit a client. Here are my four main reasons to walk away;
When your values don’t match.
You need to believe in the work you are doing for a client. Yes, certain task can be mundane or tedious at times, but that’s par for the course. If at any point a client or company sprouts values or ideologies that are completely against yours, it’s time to say goodbye.
When they break promises or commitments.
Business is business and it’s not personal, agreed. But when a client doesn’t pay as promised or keep to a promise made which, in the end, ultimately ends up impacting your well being or quality of work, then it’s a clear sign that you should not be working with them.
When they make you cry more than smile.
It’s not all roses, I get that but a client or the work they ask you to do, should never ever make you cry. Believe me, I’ve been made to cry quite a few times by clients and each time they have turned out to be completely not worth it. If you dread the thought of a particular client calling, or cringe at the sight of their name popping up in your inbox, it might be time to rethink the relationship.
They don’t acknowledge your worth.
Whether it’s by not paying on time, paying you less than you’re worth, or by constantly changing the goal posts, a client that doesn’t acknowledge your worth is, in turn, not worth it themselves. Know your worth, know your limits, know your skills and never let anyone make you question that.
Work with clients that inspire you, challenge you, push your buttons and make you question what you know and find out what you don’t. Never settle for anything less.