This week I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Who to do business with and who to turn away. Dollar Sign

It goes against the grain to turn any business away, especially when you’re in the startup phase like I am. So why on earth am I turning away business?

The truth is I don’t want to. I love writing and getting paid for it is like shitting gold. Seriously. Catch me on Fiverr and you’ll see there’s very little I won’t write about. Pay me and I’ll do it. Everything I write I take an effort to do as well as I can. I love all the stories people tell me and I love giving them life.

So, why am I turning away business?

Aside from those assignments that are likely to end me up in hot water (libel anyone?), it’s not the story’s fault. Rather, it’s the people. There are people out there who must feel that I have an endless array of resources and time at my beck and call to waste on them. Yes, I bathe in champagne and snort caviar. As a result of this hard lesson this week, I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom with my readers.

  1. Don’t be a hero. A client asked me for an extension on payment. It being close to Christmas and her being a single mom, I could hear the violin strings and said yes. I worked on her things and the day before my payment was due, I sent a nice text message reminding her. I waited with very little patience (patience not being my strong suit) in vain. Three days later I called her to see what was going on. Oh. She was busy. Could she have another extension? After having spent a large part of my month on her stuff already and still not having seen a dime, I put my foot down. No. Things got snarky after that. Business has a bottom line. Don’t give up that bottom line to be a nice guy.
  2. Sign it in blood. Legend has it that when Satan buys your soul, he makes you sign the contract in blood. There’s something to be said for that. Contracts are binding on both you and the client. If you hold up your end, so should they. If they stop holding up their end, then you stop as well. You can dance alone, but people tend to medicate you when you do.
  3. You are no one’s bitch. When the client becomes abusive, that’s when the contract ends. You are no one’s emotional punching bag. This goes for passive-aggressive behaviour as well. Respect goes two ways.
  4. Stop pandering. Some clients want to believe they have a monogamous relationship with you and your day begins and ends with them. I blame Disney and the fashion industry. We know we’ve got that sweet little number on the side and so do they. Yes, treat your clients well but don’t let them push you into neglecting that sweet honey, too. They all need love and attention.

Your business is important and how you run it makes a difference. There are just some clients, though, that would do well with someone else and that’s just fine. The time, effort and resources you spend on them could go to those clients you enjoy working with and who enjoy working with you.