I was fired by a client
Alright, you might be thinking why is she writing about a time she failed. Well, sassy pants it's because everyone fails and sometimes the best way to recover is to know that other people fail too.
Guess What?! Life isn't the perfect tidy pictures we show on our social accounts. It is dirty and messy and often times it just stinks. However, there are true light blinding times in life when it is good. We all have to deal with the two extremes and we all have a choice to make on how we let circumstances define us.
Here's the whole truth about the first time a client fired me.
I'd been working with this client for about 6 months. They were great six months. Every time I completed a project the owners of the company praised my skills, quickness, and eye for detail. From my point of view we had a great relationship. They told me they were happy so I was happy. That was until I realized that I was losing money by working with them. Now don't get me wrong, my life is not all about money, but I believe that you should be paid for the value you are providing. In this instance, I was not being paid for my value only what they had decided they would pay me.
When the time came for me to talk to them about a new contract, things got messy. I sent a new contract, had several conversations answering all of their questions, and even changed how my pricing is set up to try and accommodate. They went back and forth a couple of times and after about a month sent me a 30 day notice that our contact was coming to an end.
WOW. I sat at my computer reading and re-reading this email that felt cold and literally thought "what's the date, is it April 1st?" This email in no way represented how my relationship with this company had gone. In fact, it was the complete opposite. To my knowledge, I excelled at everything they threw my way with flying colors. But there I sat, stunned that instead of a new contract that made me feel like I had value, I was out a client. I'll admit, I was angry and frustrated. I felt little and insignificant. It hurt. I felt like I was owed more of an explanation but I never got it. Instead I picked myself up from the doubt and fear pool I was swimming in and set my sights on landing a new client to replace that one.
Here are my thoughts on how you should handle a situation like this. First off, don't change your pricing. If a client isn't on board with your pricing, then they shouldn't be your client. This is something that I still struggle with but if you want to run a profitable business you've gotta be willing to let go of certain types of clients. Second, present your services in a way that gives all the information, without revealing too much of your secret sauce. I believe this is where things went completely wrong for me. I shared too much early on about my pricing and what I think happened is they took my contract, presented it to another creative and said "can you do all this cheaper?" Third, always know who your ideal client is and have confidence in yourself to get those types of clients. There are a ton of design jobs I could take if I wanted to change my ideal client but instead I've decided who my ideal client is and I don't chase after ones that aren't.
The silver lining of this story is that two days later, I got a signed contract from a prospect I had been nurturing for about 3 months. The best part is that that client was worth 10x more than the one I lost. I can't take all the credit though, I know God has his hand on me and is guiding me in this business venture.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes and grow your business to become exactly what you want it to be. And remember, be confident in who you are and don't doubt that you aren't worth what you are worth.