Why I Should Have Dumped That Rotten Client Sooner…


I fired a client last month.

It felt great. 

I should have done it several months ago, but I balked. 

This client didn’t return emails, voicemails or texts. Didn’t complete work they promised. Didn’t meet deadlines for work they delivered. 

Then, they would pop up out of the blue and bark some command at me, or ask me why I hadn’t delivered something that depended on the work they didn’t deliver in the first place. 

This had been going on for months when last November they called and asked for a meeting. 

I considered telling them we were finished, but I didn’t. Big contract. Lots of revenue. I figured I could suffer through it a bit longer. 

We had that meeting, outlined next steps, and agreed on who was responsible for what. 

Then the same old pattern repeated. Unanswered emails, calls, and texts. Missed deadlines. Work not delivered. 

Finally, I’d had it. I sent an email telling the client we were through. (Of course, they didn’t respond.)

And where does that leave me? 

FREE of a client who mistreated me and was a pain to deal with. 

FREE to focus time and energy on more productive activities. 

FREE to make more money than I’ve lost by canceling this contract. 

AND SLIGHTLY ASHAMED of myself that I didn’t act sooner.

Instead of taking that meeting in November, I should have told him to get lost then. But I was acting needy. I was more focused on the cost of losing that revenue than the benefit of dumping a rotten client. 

YOU, not your clients, run your business.

You get to decide how it works.

You set the rules.

You define the boundaries.

And you have to have the courage to say NO. You have to fire rotten clients – even if there’s short-term cost.

When you do that, you run your business. 

When you let neediness and fear govern your decisions, your business runs you.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.