How to Avoid Bad Clients… and fire them with tact when you do ;)
Being a freelancer in any field we are often very often we are faced with the conundrum of an incredibly difficult client. I have personally caught myself in the moment thinking more about my bills and letting myself become devalued for a simple pay check.
Whether or not clients are unclear, unresponsive but demand immediate results, ask for unrealistic goals and deadlines, or simply have taste, morals, or values that do not mesh, this undeniable time and heart consuming client is bad news for business. We always need to be clear on our client boundaries, but sometimes clients are just plan bad for us.
There are five main reasons that a bad client is bad for business:.
1. A bad client ends up eating your time.
When you have a client that is not clear or intentional about the value of your time, you will be forced to have moments that you are going to compromise your life. Sometimes it will be sleepless nights affecting your health to meet deadlines because of late goals and changing the product they want last minute.
2. A bad client ends up draining and exhausting you.
Sleepless nights become complaining mornings. They make waking up and going to work a treacherous experience. When you are a freelancer, part of the dream is that you no longer have to listen or work with people that you do not vibe with and people that are not lifting your spirits. Remember, when you are in a better place you do better work. Do not let the succubus in life steal your thunder.
3. A bad client makes you forget why you love what you do.
Do not let any client able you to lose the magic of your passions [this feels like an odd phrase to me]. Remembering what got you to quit that job and create a freelance lifestyle in the first place. Remember that part of living this life is having the happiness to create the beautiful work/services that you do so well when you are fully loving and expressing your truth. Your crappy clients destroy your authenticity and make you feel disconnected to your own amazing skills and resources.
4. A bad client takes away energy that can be better given towards a good client.
Creating space for goodness in life starts by removing what does not serve you. If you are constantly being swept away by some problem created by your least favorite client, finding room to grow in your business will highly diminish as you will have less energy to even think about having another client. When you have one bad client it is like having ten good clients that all need your attention tomorrow. It makes even the simplest tasks start feeling like a burden and chore and the good clients start to feel like work instead of passion projects.
5. A bad client keeps you in a space of a lack mentality and a negative mindset altogether about your business and your self-worth.
When you accept work from a client that does not resonate with you, you start questioning your own worth. You begin to go through a story in your mind about why you need their bullshit in your life. You know inherently what serves you and you know you are selling yourself short if you believe you deserve this type of client in your life. If you believed in the abundance mindset and the theory of one door opening when another closes then you would be able to walk away from this situation with far greater ease.
So the real question is … How do I get rid of my bad clients?!
Write an email, call them over the phone with as much tact as possible and as quickly as possible! Know it’s the last time you will have to truly communicate with them and with that relief bring the most love that you can to the conversation. A pleasant, “I am currently rebranding and revamping my business and in the process am resigning myself from my current clients.” If you have not finished work, refund them and be civil. Be smart with leaving the door closed and still making sure your client isn’t completely screwed by you leaving. Also, of course make sure that you are allowed to leave and no contracts are out for you to be forced to finish with the client.
Write a new RED FLAG list. Every part of this previous bad client, write down the traits that created the friction between the two of you. If you have more than one, write it down for all of them.
For example on my RED FLAG list I have…
- Not action takers/give up easily
- People blame other people
- Complaining ALL the Time
- Uses the word but, a lot and makes excuses
- People who need a lot of explaining from everything I say
- Extreme Scarcity Mindset
- Complete lack of faith in themselves
- Severe psychological or physical ailment *because I do coaching and holistic counselling
So, you see, this list has grown a bunch since I started coaching online and continues to grow as I learn new tactics.
Most Importantly… Make Space for the GOOD clients
Make space for new and better clients that will give you the support that you require while also being able to allow you to share your skills and gifts in the way you know that they can shine best.
Make a WHITE FLAG LIST of new and better clients that you are now going to attract. Use your belief in the abundance to will them to you by creating space and awareness of exactly who they are. That way when you hop on a new client call you will know exactly when you are talking to that perfect client.
For example some of my White Flag List looks like this…
- Action Takers
- Taking ownership over their setbacks in life
- Dust themselves off when they make mistakes
- Believe in themselves enough to take risks
- Open mind both logically and spiritually
- Grounded and seeking awareness in the esoteric
- At a transition in life/an awakening
- Has a magical unique quality
- Would call them a friend easily
As you can see, I truly believe in soulmate clients and that attracting them starts with believing that you don’t deserve the clients from hell. When you start bringing in the space for better clients they come along and they can come in waves. Clients - like water and the currency that comes with them - are meant to flow, such is part of the current of abundance. If we try to hold on too tight to all our clients, whether they are good or bad, we will constantly be drained and never have the space to dream big and build a new life of joy and passions.
As a holistic business and mindset coach, it is too often I see the changes that happen when my clients finally stop working their dead-end jobs. A bad client is no different than a dead-end job, it is going nowhere and it is not creating any gain in the wellbeing of your life.
I hope this post has inspired you to make some big changes in the way you look at your current client situation and you begin to make space for what you deserve.
Infinite love and gratitude … and better holistic business living ;)
The Snarky Spiritualist and Mindful Modern Nomad