As a freelance writer, I used to jump at any assignment offered. The word ‘no’ was not in my vocabulary because I was afraid that if I turned down an assignment, clients would never offer me other assignments and I’d never find new clients and I’d eventually go broke and starve. Obviously that chain of thought is illogical (not to mention a run-on sentence), but it prevailed for years, and I’d often find myself either worn down from having taken on too much work or bored out of my mind because the work I took on was not in alignment with my purpose and my passion.
Sound familiar? When you first start working for yourself, it’s easy for fear-based thinking to take root. It’s easy to think ‘I need to be grateful for any client that I can get’ and you may fill your days with work that’s not only unfulfilling, but that takes you away from the work you would rather be doing. Such thinking also perpetrates ‘lack,’ which lightworkers know only attracts more ‘lack.’ An entrepreneur who understands and believes that another wonderful client is always around the corner will find that reality reflected as well.
Eventually I got so bogged down with assignments that I didn’t want that I began to hate my business because it wasn’t bringing me the joy I had hoped for. But it wasn’t the business that was falling short of expectations. It was my handling of it and my inability at the time to turn down clients that were, in fact, sucking the energy out of my business.
How do you know a client isn’t the right fit?
—You compromise too much to accommodate the client. This could mean you charge too little for your services, the work takes up too much of your time, or the quality of your work somehow deceases when you work for this client.
—The work is not in the area that you want to focus on. While you may have to take on some jobs that aren’t ideal, if the majority of your work fits that description, you’re not making room for the more-fulfilling work in your life.
—You become filled with a sense of dread when working with this client. Maybe the client doesn’t respect your time or your talent, or maybe she is what I call a ‘pain-in-the-ass client.’ Perhaps you don’t know why you feel uncomfortable but you just do. This is your intuition screaming to you. Listen to it. Every. Time.
The first time I said ‘no’ to a potential client, it felt uncomfortable and in my mind I kept trying to rationalize why I did it. But later that day, another client contacted me with a better fit, and I realized that one of the beauties of working for myself was that I didn’t have to work for someone who wasn’t in alignment with me. As lightworkers and spiritual business owners, we have options. We empower ourselves and our businesses when we exercise them.