March 29, 2018

Cautionary tale from Tricia

Longtime list member Tricia wrote in with the following cautionary tale (shared with permission, last name withheld by request):

Hi Jonathan, You always share excellent advice through your newsletters and podcasts. Here are a few tidbits that stand out: * don’t build your business around a platform * don’t rely on a “whale client” * don’t be a generalist In the last two months I’ve been dealt a few hard-hitting blows to my business because I’ve ignored your advice. My “whale client” who LOVED me abruptly left the company. I still have a relationship with the company but requests for work diminished significantly. My “whale client” diverted all my attention and I learned skills to suit their needs but don’t mean anything for me, or my other clients. My “whale client” kept me so happy I lost interest in attracting new clients and didn’t notice important changes in my industry, like how websites can be built with drag and drop nowadays. The platform Adobe Business Catalyst that I built my business on announced yesterday that Business Catalyst is closing. I have to transfer all websites to a new platform which isn’t simple because my websites are integrated into the platform. Even though I’m getting hit hard financially, and to my ego, I’m excited about what kind of future I can build with the right help. My first task is to research and choose a platform to move my client websites to. Perhaps the smartest choice is to choose Wordpress. If you have an opinion, I’d be grateful. Next, I need help to reinvent myself through specialization. I do read a lot of books and take a lot of courses so I’m confident about this working out once I decide on a path forward. I know you won’t be happy to hear you were right in this situation. However, it could be a good lesson for others. All the best to you and the fantastic work you do for others. Sincerely, Tricia PS “whale client” sounds disrespectful because I respect my client very much but it seems like a word people understand.

Oof. I was so sorry to hear this story. It does sound like Tricia has the right perspective on the situation and has retained some optimism. Kudos to her for that 🙂👍

What about you? Are you exposed to any risks like these? Food for thought.



P.S. Friends don’t let friends sell their lives away in one hour increments. Gift options available at checkout ->