She questioned. A lot.
She trusted. Seemingly little.
I was constantly explaining (Aka: defending.) our fees, my credentials, our processes, our contact…
(None of which is inherently anything—but my gut said otherwise: ‘This isn’t the ’typical’ client who is merely collecting information to make decisions they are proud of.’)
Yet—when she decided to hire my studio for photographic services: I provided a contract and assured myself ‘clients are created—not found.’ And set off to blow her mind with an amazing experience.
Welcome gifts were sent. (with no acknowledgement or receipt , I may add)
Photography sessions booked. (with barrages of emails on everything from location selection, to attire, to timing…and not in the usual way of simple, excited planning and collaboration to achieve the desired result. But in anxiety-filled, second-guessing ‘you are not the expert whom I trust’ kind of way. We were met with long ’shot list’ and specific ways they would like to be photographed—including ‘never from the right side.’
I pushed it aside.
We would thrill her! We would get to know her, what she holds dear, how to translate this to photographs meant. for. her.
Instead, she despised her photographs: how her chin looked, how her hands seemed large (?) How these photographs did not resemble the rest of our photographs…and on and on.
(OF COURSE She she did. SHE WAS NEVER YOUR CLIENT!!)
It was devastating.
Like all of you who put your heart and soul and every-freaking-nickle-under-the-couch-cushion into your business: I wanted to have her leave thrilled and dazzled and more in love with her self/life/us..and instead, I was back to explaining and defending, and ‘fixing,’ and trying to ‘make good’ and ‘do right by her.’
Months of emails, and phone calls and consolations later—we had done we could for her and alas: she walked away from the experience less-than-thrilled. (And we walked away TIRED. And a little more jaded. And upside down based on hours I mean—you guys..our time really is money and we were thousands in the weeds not to mention reconciliatory products given that had little effect on outcome)
But in the ‘low’ that is the process to follow called rehashing—we LEARNED.
We should have NEVER said yes to this client.
Our clients are passion-filled, vibrant. With high exceptions but in laid back kinda way. They do not get caught up in the minutia and they trust us QUICKLY. They celebrate life and we are team. And…it is fifty-shades-of-glorious.
So, why in the actual f@ck did we ever say yes?
Ill tell you why: we were not yet (3 years into to building business) confident enough to say one of the most magical words in entrepreneurship:
Practice this hard-earned and truly delicious phrase with me: ‘ We are not the best fit to give you everything you desire.”
Being unabashedly YOU in your business and protecting your particular brand of magic is not only a necessity—but the one of the biggest-gosh-damned—J-O-Y-S of being a business owner. So why, for the love of fluffy puppies would you steal your own joy?
Ill tell you why.
You haven’t built up the confidence in your business, your offerings or, the most likely beastly culprit?
…You haven’t built it in yourself.
One of the bravest bits you can achieve in this not-for-the faint-of-heart-but-truly-badass world of entrepreneurship is the absolute-brass-ovaries to TRUST in both yourself and your abilities to just say : NO.