When it is ok to say NO.
Ever worry that maybe you will never become the niche you always dreamed of? That you would always have to take on every client that calls simply because fear eats away at your financial mindset after starring at that “piggy bank”? After recently speaking at a convention on niche photography, I decided it was time to take my own advice towards a potential client who did not value not only me as an artist, but as a person as well.
Warning! As a writer who leans more towards the elegant side of writing, I do have to warn you
Sassy language ahead!
This word I see thrown around a lot in lieu of “asshole” these days. Both are choice words that most would not use in a professional setting, to or in front of colleague unless behind the scenes in a chaotic rant to purge some frustration about the person in question. So this new updated version of the term had me thinking today about how to deal with people and clients when the only way to describe them is by calling them a metaphorical “asshat”.
When dealing with difficult potential clients that may be disrespecting you as in individual, as a business owner or just bad practices in general, I implore you to think of this term subconsciously as you speak with them or write them a scathing email about their actions.
I did this today. About to dive into a diabolical comeback , I thought of them, as an “asshat”.
My fingers slowly stopped typing.
My heart lessened with intensity.
My brow came back from its other wise pronounced scowl.
And I started to laugh.
Laugh It Off!
I am quite the literal person, so this term could have only done one thing to me. It caused a mental image of their person wearing, none other than an ass hat. A garment in the shape of one’s bottom end, fitting fancy upon their head.
I laughed. Then I laughed even more. To the point I had to explain to my kids why I was almost in tears at such an idea. So it helped me to take a moment to stop and realize–I can just say NO.
Yes, we are all going to get our feathers ruffled by someone, at some point in our business. We are all going to have that one lead who calls upon us and we know we are not meant to be working with one another. So I say, that if you come down to the point that you feel the need to imagine someone with a side beret in the shape of a bum, please realize it is ok to say no.
Yes there is money on the line
Yes you have kids to feed
And yes, this is a business and you sometimes have to suck it up and just go with the flow
But no, you do not need to take every job that comes your way. You do not need to feel obligated to accept every call that makes its untimely moment just as you sit down to dinner. You especially do not need to accept every client into your bubble simply because of fear.
If it does not feel right from the start, chances are it may never feel that way. Evaluate if you have the time to deal with a client who will push every fiber of your soul into heartache. Determine if this client will ever put forth the respect that you have earned with your years in the business.
In the beginning of my business, I was at fault for doing this very thing. I would accept anyone because of fear. But those relationships were not suited for my business. As I have developed in my industry, I have realized that I lost a lot of time that I could have been pushing towards my current loyal clients. So in short, I gave back to them, those who respected me and that has become the success of my company.
And as a side note, if you ever get turned down as a client, evaluate how you are treating another business owner.
Chances are you might be wearing the birthday suit baret!