I wanted to share a funny story with you. A few years ago I’d a pretty annoying client. He didn’t even pay me half the money at the end of the project, kept harassing me and his partner was arrogant and kept emailing me with very annoying questions.
I was working while travelling, it was summer in Oaxaca, Mexico, and any of you who’ve been there at this time of year know that it’s so hot you can fry an omelette on a bonnet. I tried to get my work done, but the heat, the mosquitoes and the little sleep I’d because I was sleeping in a tree house made it incredibly difficult for me.
Don’t get me wrong, the place was fantastic and I’d a great time, but I’d to balance it all out with really arrogant customers who didn’t pay me well.
The owner of the hostel I was staying in had hired a guy to sell the bread they made in town. He’d just come from a town three hours away to sell bread. The only problem was that he decided to take a tab of LSD on his first day of work. A bad idea, a really bad idea. After a few drinks, the guy went crazy while selling his bread on the street. The police eventually took away his sales permit and the whole town knew that he worked for the hostel where I was staying.
The owner of the hostel was a pretty tough guy. He told me some crazy stories about how he’d fought with rebels in Guatemala and seen it all. He wasn’t very happy with his new employee.
I was in the middle of a video call with my troublesome client when the bread man entered the hostel. I heard someone shouting behind me. Then I saw on the video a man running for his life and behind him an angry beast chasing him with a huge log. In the midst of the chaos, I forgot to turn off the camera and the microphone.
The owner of the hostel chased his new employee and hit him so hard on the leg that the log exploded. Then he limped to his newly erected tent (his house), grabbed what he could and skipped to the bus stop. We never saw him again.
Now I see it as a funny story, another crazy adventure in the life of a digital nomad. What I can’t see with humour are the many unpleasant situations I got myself into because I couldn’t afford to stay in a place where I couldn’t work comfortably. The problem is that it’s a vicious circle: you’ve bad clients, they pay you poorly or not at all, and you can’t afford to to get a good working setup. Some of these clients made my life hell and caused me a lot of unnecessary stress, sometimes they wouldn’t even pay me after this.
This was before I decided to change things in my business. For a long time I’d convinced myself that because of the perks of my lifestyle as a traveller, I’d to put up with arrogant clients. These clients were draining me and I was on the verge of burning out.
I worked tirelessly to find a balance between travel, freedom and a decent income with great clients.
My previous freelancing lifecycle looked something like this:
- Fail to find a niche
- Undervalue service
- Panic over lack of work
- Despise clients
- Struggle to finish jobs
- Make uninspiring work
- Hassle to optimize
I’ve developed a system that’s helped me create an optimal freelance life cycle:
- Design your offer
- Increase your value
- Market effectively
- Win dream clients
- Maximise productivity
- Create amazing work
- Optimise your business
If you feel it’s time to get better clients and give yourself more freedom at the same time, book a FREE 1-1 30-minute session for creative freelancers.
I’ll take a personal look at your work and recommend quick changes that will help you get better clients, increase your value and maximise your productivity.
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30-Minute Growth Strategy Session for Creative Freelancers
P.S. These sessions take tons of time and energy, so I can only take a few bookings.