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How do you do it?
My least profitable client also demands the most of my patience and energy. I want to drop her.
I designed + setup her ecommerce art shop 8 years ago. She’s 65+, battling cancer, and relying on the site for income. She’s also rude, wildly disorganized in ways that get blamed on me, and she frequently asks for self-contradicting updates. For years, I’ve obliged out of laziness, and an unwillingness to put her out, knowing that I’d never refer her to a peer, and she’ll fail to pay the 3x cost of starting with someone new.
But continuing to work with her feels like disrespecting my precious time on Earth.
We’re under no contract. What’s the ethical way to end this?
You an be honest or you can lie. I say be honest. Tell her you can't work with her any further. The end.
It's a tough answer, but you need to say "It's not me, it's you."
You're under no obligation, and you have identified that you value your time more than whatever you get paid for providing services to her. Decision made.
Due to changes in my personal and professional circumstances I am regrettably no longer in a position to provide services to your business. Please find enclosed all documentation relating to your business which I have on file.
Thanks for your understanding and I wish you all the best.
8 years is long time.
Just be honest about it. If you are feeling guilty about her circumstances see if you know of anyone willing to take the client on but with the caveat of your experience.
Just tell her due to your business changing, you can’t work for any longer and recommend someone else to her. Wish her well and move on.
Either that or send the dogs round to her house.
Tell her you also have cancer
Send flowers with this note: "Fuck you candy"
say you need more % of the revenues of the shop, so it pays you for your time.
Tell her you are focussing on different type of clients to stay happy in what you are doing. Not blaming it on her.
Simple, tell her inflation means you need to increase your prices and you have to make up for the inflation you didn't price in over the past 2 years and so now your prices are 3x.
Damn, y’all shit on capitalism but when a dying person needs a little extra love from your business, you recommend tossing them aside as no longer a viable resource to your profit margin.
Profits over people, amiright?
(I’m kidding of course, but downvote away!)
Can you sub contract it out to someone?
You can be straight forward.
Next time she is rude, wildly disorganized in ways that get blamed on you, or asks for self-contradicting updates, call her out on it.
Don't waste your time on rude people.
Tell her you don't appreciate her being rude and you have other work to do.
IF she was nice and it just wasn't worth your time, that would be one thing. But it seems like she doesn't value you.
You're being taken for granted, this is unlikely to ever change.
The ethical way is simply to end it. No point in picking a fight or trying to get her to see your point of view, just a clean break.
Your last invoice probably won't be paid but that could be a handy pretext for not lifting a finger in future.
I struggle with letting old, unprofitable clients go too.
I'd go with something like this:
* I'm transitioning my business this year to focus on ____ and will no longer be serving clients in your industry.
* After _____ date I will not be available for any additional work. (Give her a full month's notice.)
* Unfortunately I don't have any personal recommendations for service providers, but I recommend checking on https://www.codeable.io/. (If it's a WordPress site, if not, find a similar marketplace.)
* I want to make sure you are all set for this transition, so let me know what I can do to help you get ready over this next month.
Will the client be happy with this? Probably not.
But would I be happy with how I handled things, knowing that I provided sufficient notice and made an extra effort to prioritize the project prior to transition? Yes.
My advice: Lead with empathy, but remember to be fair to yourself. (Easier said than done, I know.)
I sent the email. Gave her 5 weeks notice — July 1st — to wrap up any last requests.
I didn't refer anyone, as I have no one to refer and don't want to spend energy on that. She'll need to do that herself, especially as she's a tricky personality fit. I gave resources for experts on her platform.
I expect some alarm and anger in response, but I already feel 20lbs lighter just knowing the end is nigh. Thank you all for the perspective and solidarity.
- You have successfully ripped off the band-aid, congratulations.BuddhaHat
- Well done.CyBrainX
- Did what had to be done, and on reasonable terms.garbage
- Great stuff!Chimp
- keep the files for at least 1 more year...grafician
- congratulations on your new found freedommicrokorg
Please remember to update this thread with her response!
Her response is better than I could have expected
"I am a little bit in shock at the moment [...] I’ve been gone enjoyed tremendously working with you over the years, and you have been invaluable in helping me get my career to where it is at. The timing is really bad for me right now considering what I’m going through. But I understand we all need to move on."
Almost makes me want to help her longer. (Almost). But hearing her respond gracefully gives me hope that she'll be able to find someone more junior who has the energy for her.
- It's a trap!!OBBTKN
- Often confronting the thing we have been dreading shows our fears to have been overblown.comicsans
- Don't look back and run... NowOBBTKN
- But watch out for a barrage of last minute requests. If that final invoice gets paid buy some nice hooch with it.comicsans
- ^ all correcte-wo
- Fantastic outcome!BuddhaHat
- Great stuff. The first time you do it is always difficult.Chimp
Can we see the email you sent, identifying info omitted of course? :)