Captain’s log, stardate 20211227

Success story from reader Lisa Barfield

Fellow list member Lisa Barfield replied to a recent message with a success story related to firing bad clients (shared with permission, lightly edited for clarity):

Hi Jonathan,

I’m an email stalker of yours and don’t often respond but am compelled to tell you I just loved your suggestions on how to find more time--firing your worst client being my favorite.

I did that this past year and I cannot believe how much of my perceived “business” was really catering to their whims. Shame on me!

Happy holidays and thanks for the regular gems!

Lisa

Here’s the thing...

You and I and everyone else on this mailing list are in the service business.

As such, we can have a tendency to bend over backwards to please a client, even when it is unreasonable.

If you do this for long enough for a particular client, you can find yourself in a dysfunctional relationship that is bad for both parties.

In a situation like this, the right thing to do is to end the relationship.

Break ups are never easy, but there is almost always a humane way to do it that doesn’t leave them high and dry.

BTW - Even if your “worst” client is actually not that bad, it still makes sense to let them go to free up time to get a “way-better-than-not-that-bad” client who will gladly pay your new (and higher) fees :-)

Yours,

—J

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