Doing business listening the alarm bells and your gut feeling

I am pretty new when it comes to business, Pixel and ink is just about to have its third birthday in December. It has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, but I won’t lie: what a roller coaster!

One of the difficulties I often find is to listen to my gut feeling and the alarm bells. I have recently started a project with a client that from minute one gave me all sort of signs that made me feel uneasy and that I wanted not to take the project. Despite these warnings, I took it because I thought I would be able to make a massive impact on this person’s business. My will and ambition ignored my gut, and all ended up in a lost cause. I put these lost onto what I call the university of life, aka to live and learn.

What are the signs when I client isn’t right for you?

Aking for a discount

I often say I don’t offer a discount. Whether I stuck with it is usually a proof of how important is to do not discount. People that ask for reductions are people that don’t value your efforts. They don’t think your work is worth what they are paying for and most likely they will try to add on few extras for the same price.

Not knowing what they want

If the client isn’t clear on the brief, do not start working. Often people start projects thinking they know what they want. It’s important to identify quickly if they have no clue because you will end up doing the job twice. And as an extra, you will be doing their job to determine what they want with a trial-error.

It’s a quick job

When someone says it’s a quick job, means they don’t know the amount of effort that goes behind each task. As an example, a spelling mistake in a PDF = 3 minutes to read the request + 3 minutes for the computer to turn on + 4 minutes to find the type(s) and amend + 3 minutes to create the PDF + 4 minutes + 4 minutes to email back. Now add up 15 minutes isn’t a quick job.

Vague feedback

If someone says things like ‘It doesn’t quite work’ or ‘I can’t point my finger, but there’s something not right’, you need to ask what is exactly what it is that doesn’t work. Sometimes is a matter of asking whether is the colour, the shape,… Pinpoint what is it that doesn’t work.

I know what I want

When someone comes to you saying they know what they want means that you won’t have any ground to add value. Even if what they want is wrong, quite likely they won’t listen to your suggestions or feedback. Humans fall in love with their solutions, and we don’t like to be brokenhearted.

Just say no

My advice is that if you see any of the signs above just say no. My experience in the past three years has shown me that I must learn to say no rather than take jobs for fear of missing out an opportunity. Clients that value will bring you clients that will value. Clients that don’t appreciate your work are not worth to fight for.

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