I just want to say that I am pumped about all the great companies and clients that I’m working with right now. It just feels good.
It hasn’t always been this way though. I’ve had my fair share of bad ones over years.
Graphic by: Kickin’ Up Pixels
Ever wonder what makes a bad client?
Here are my thoughts on this:
- They live to micromanage and control the process. This is especially frustrating when it’s the creative process
- They constantly delay approvals and have a hard time committing
- They steal your soul and stomp on it
- They won’t own anything and they blame the whole shebang on you
- They think that their high-touch participation is helping things
- They constantly derail the process de-motivating teams and leading to uninspired work
- They consistently make changes
- They regularly move backburner items into action steps causing the project to slug away
If you are experiencing any of the above with a client, I suggest that you revisit the contract and see what you can do to get out of it. Bad clients can run your business into the ground. They suck the life out of you and take time away that you could be working with stellar clients.
Anything to add?
What makes a bad client?
It’s not about having a Silicon Valley attitude—it’s about having an entrepreneurial attitude. It’s about partnering with other organizations in and around your area. It’s about thinking big with entrepreneurs that sit next to you in your coworking space. It’s about collaborating with tech gurus, social media wizards and community leaders at cool business events. It’s the people that make a community an entrepreneurial one—not the location—and it’s up to you to contribute.
Where are you investing all your time? Might be worth taking a hard look at because where you invest all your time could just be your destiny.
In fact, it is your destiny and you might not even know it. Time is the most valuable asset you got so you better be using it wisely and paying attention to where you spend it.
Here are a few truths to follow:
1. Whatever it is, if you work hard at it day in and day out you will eventually be good at it. It’s just how things work. Focus, work your tail off, and good things will happen.
2. If you suck at something it’s usually not all the fun, right? I mean, that is why I quit golfing…because I suck at it. I can ride a dirtbike, but Golf, yeah I suck. Now, if I played golf often, I would eventually get good and probably start to love it. It all comes down to where you spend your time.
3. Think of something you’re good at. Do you enjoy it? Well yeah, why wouldn’t you. The key is finding something you enjoy and overtime you will become more and more passionate about it.
4. So, if you are good at something, work hard at it. Invest time. Work harder than anyone else so that you can excel and be the best that you can be.
Do you have a big ass idea that scares the livin’ shit our of you? Good. That’s a start. If your idea doesn’t scare the shit out of you then it probably sucks or it’s not worth pursuing. The fear is normal.
Any entrepreneur that says he’s not afraid is a liar.
Now, if you have a passion for a big idea, it scares the shit out of you, and you’ve been impregnated with it, you should give yourself the permission to pursue it. That is, if you are ok with failure. If you’re not, then you should let someone else who’s ok with failure go after it. You, you should sit on the sideline and watch.
Pursuing big ideas is scary business. It’s terrifying. And it should be. That’s what makes it fun. Anything not terrifying is just a walk in the park. Anyone can walk in the park.
One of the keys to pursuing big ass ideas is balancing complete fear of jumping of a cliff with complete confidence that you will land safely. The fear allows you to be in touch with it, and the confidence allows you to take it on. You need both to succeed.
This was a big turning point for me as an entrepreneur. Once I found that balance – and I was able to admit my fear, it became much easier to go after big ideas over and over again.
How about you?
How are you doing with balancing fear and confidence?
The last few months of working on several startup projects with passionate entrepreneurs has caused me to think about this idea of work. And, how do you find work that you love to do so much that you would do it even if you didn’t get paid? Entrepreneurs, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.
This whole process began when I started working on an old project that I quickly became super passionate about again. I was able to answer the question why am I doing this? The why that sometimes gets clouded with the what and how was clearer than ever before – I love building stuff and things: products, teams, companies, and anything that inspires me to take action.
Are you trying to figure out what kind of work you love to do? Does it feel like a struggle? If so, it should. However, don’t lose hope because what you love to do just might be right around the corner.
Finding work that you love is a struggle for…everyone. I’ve struggled with this, my friends have struggled with this, and pretty much everyone I know struggles with this at some point in their life. In fact, most people fail miserably at this.
Nevertheless, if you at least have a destination in sight, you’re more likely to arrive at a place in which work feels more like something you love than work.
Work has to start with a mindset of knowing that you can love work. If you’re able to do this, you are in the homestretch. And, if you can figure out what work you love, you’re more or less there.
Every startup, project, party, meeting, they all involve pigs and chickens – people fully committed and willing to do whatever it takes, and people who just want to be involved.
Here’s a great fable that I read this week:
A pig and a chicken are walking down the road. The chicken turns to the pig and says, “We should open a restaurant.”
“Good idea. What should we call it?” the pig replies.
“Ham and Eggs!” says the chicken.
The pig thinks for a second and replies, “In that case, never mind. It sounds like I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”
Here’s the deal, if you’re having a hard time distinguishing the pigs from the chickens, then you have no pigs. And, without any pigs, you’re done for.
Never get involved in anything without at least one pig. For me, I go for all pigs and until everyone is fully committed and on board, we don’t move forward.
A project needs everyone to be all in or it’s just not worth pursing.
When the going gets tough, the pigs keep on going. And, the chickens, they turn around like “chickens” and run the other way.
What are you? A pig or a chicken?
Here’s the deal. If you’re smart, you realize that “the right investors” can offer you way more value than just the green stuff they are putting into your deal. I think entrepreneurs – because they are desperate, jump way to soon and end up in bed with someone who might have money, but beyond the money, they are pretty much useless.
Instead of looking at the investor as, holly shit this guy has a ton of money, look at him like, who does this guy know? What can he teach me? Who are his contacts? How well does he know the industry I am in? Try this next time and I promise you will be thanking me later.
I share this because I think all entrepreneurs F this up at some point in their entrepreneurial career. I have, you will, everyone does. Why? Because we are normal people who get excited and end up pulling the trigger to soon. Take my advice and the thousand other entrepreneurs that have pulled the trigger to soon. Be smart.
The other thing that I’ve learned, when your dealing with venture capitalists, they know their shit and they have been around the block a few times. And, when you get the right VC involved in your deal, it is the difference between achieving minimal vs. maximum success.
Here is where VC’s tend to offer the most value:
1. Their networks: They’ve spent their entire life building their network. This includes: investors, partners, talent, vendors, distributors, etc.
2. Experience, knowledge, and wisdom: They can help you understand what it is going to take to make your deal a huge success. They have been there and done that. Listen to them. If you think you no more, you need to be bitch slapped.
3. Sources to other green: When you spend your entire life building and growing companies you end up having several investor and VC relationships. Tap into this, It’s the fastest route. I promise.
I know that I’ve talked allot about failure lately, but it is just so real and awesome! People who are afraid to fail don’t end up doing much with their lives. God built us to fail. And God built is to fall. We just have to keep getting back up and thriving everyday to win.
If you think failure isn’t part of winning in life then you are more than a failure, you are an idiot.
Wait a minute, who is this guy saying that failure is awesome. How can failure be seen as awesome? If you honestly have to ask that question, you are not fit for what it takes to win. Winning requires failure.
If I offended you, I’m not sorry. You need to keep your job, play it safe, and do what you do best…working for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is built to push the envelope to the point of literally breaking bones – back in my racing days, if you hadn’t broken a bone you got weird looks like, “You are a racer, no way, shut up!”.
If you’ve decided to keep reading this and you’re not totally pissed off, let’s be honest about something. Failure is brutal and more often than not, it hurts like hell. Some of the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Sometimes it’s even so bad that it takes you to your knees crying and weeping like a little baby – I’ve been there. Not because of physical pain, but more because of mental and emotional pain. It’s cool to man up and cry….I won’t judge you.
In my racing days we used to have a saying, “If you’re not falling down, you’re not going fast”. It’s true. This meant that if you were playing it safe and not pushing the envelope then you probably weren’t winning races. You were losing races. See, the guys and girls who gave it all they had and took changes won the races. And, the races they didn’t win, they went down hard, got back up, and kept riding.
Winning is hard, failing is hard, but it’s just what has to happen if you want to win. You can’t be afraid to push the envelope and get a little nuts. Yeah, you will fail and it will hurt like hell. Just get back up, learn from it, and move on.
In my racing days, I took some bad crashes where I broke bones, messed up organs, and busted up my face. But, it never stopped me from getting right back on the bike and having a good time.
Take some chances, push the envelope, get nuts, and do it now before you end up living some boring ass life.
Have a great week friends!