Choose Your Clients With Care – and Fire Them If You Have to

The guy was big – really, really big.

I think his belly measured close to two metres.

That was not a problem: I was a tailor, and one who liked challenges.

The problem was his ego, which was far bigger than his belly – big enough to encircle a small planet.

Director of a company, two secretaries, and used to people springing to attention the moment he snapped his fingers.

Which made for a complication, because Martin has this thing about authority.

But much worse than that was the fact that cutting and making a coat for a corpulent figure is incredibly difficult, and not something that can be rushed.

Which I tried to explain, but “I need that coat next week – I’m going to a conference in Madrid!”

So I did my best, tried as hard as I could to get it right, but it meant taking shortcuts, and the job got botched.

I saw the final result on him, and said: “You can’t have it. I don’t like it, it’s not right.

“I’m starting over and I’ll make you a new one.”.

On that second trial, the same thing happened: stress, pressure, orders given – legal threats issued, even.

Until I had enough.

I called him up and told him: “I don’t work like this. I can’t work like this. This is not an easy job, and this way coat #2 isn’t going to turn out right either.

“I’m going to give you back your money”.

The line went quiet. I don’t think he’d ever been fired before.

And I really didn’t want to – professional pride, and all that.

But it simply was impossible to work with him, and so it was the only choice I had.

You can’t believe how liberated I felt after I’d pressed the bills in his hand.

Weeks of stress, fitting after fitting, worry and sweat – gone.

Sure I’d lost all that time and the money too.

But it was worth it, because instantly I was able to work 100% for my other customers, the ones who did appreciate the hard work and care for detail.

Sometimes, you need to make tough choices.

Some people, well they just ain’t right for you – no matter how much you like them, or how much money they have.

There are people that should be fired, or not even taken on to begin with.

If you get commissioned to create custom pieces, and your buyer just keeps asking for changes, new versions, keeps trying to micro-manage you – should you force yourself to work with those people?

What would you prefer: Money – or peace of mind and enjoyment of work?

I’ll choose the latter any day of the week.

Life is a matter of choices.

And each choice brings its own choice consequence.

The consequence of signing up for the LEAP newsletter is that you get smarter about marketing your art.

Up to you.

Here’s where you choose –>



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