We have all experienced less-than-stellar clients who have the highest expectations but feel we can do nothing right. They make demand after demand but don’t listen when we try to reinforce our business boundaries. Or they aren’t happy with the results, even when we completed the task based on their exacting demands.
Toxic clients like these suck the joy out of business and that translates into sucking the joy out of life in general because you’re spending your free time stressing about them. Regain your business sanity and your life’s joy by taming these toxic clients or dropping them altogether.
What?! How Can I Drop a Client?
Alexander Graham Bell is credited with the famous quote, “When one door closes, another one opens.” Quite simply, if you drop a toxic client, another client will find their way to you. It may not happen the next day or by magic but you’ll have more time to market yourself and show your audience that you have an immediate opening to fill. If you have worked consistently in providing value to your audience, they will jump at the chance to work with you.
Alternately, you can drop the toxic client and spend that newfound time creating your signature course; or focus on writing emails to your list with valuable offers; or look for media opportunities to share your expertise, either on podcasts or as a guest blogger. You deserve respect, not to be run over by rude clients.
Can a Toxic Client be Tamed?
If you prefer to maintain a relationship with a toxic client, you’ll need to grow some thick skin and reinforce your boundaries. And if you don’t have any business boundaries, now is the time to set them!
For example, do you answer emails or text messages at all hours of the day? Stop it! Set business hours and tell your clients when they can expect a response. I recommend responding within 24 hours but if you do not work weekends, tell your clients that you’ll respond only on business days. Enforce this rule and avoid your work phone/work email until Monday morning. Otherwise, you will just go ahead and stress anyway.
What other crazy demands does this client expect of you? Create a solution you can work with and inform all your clients about these changes. As fellow business owners, they will likely respect and understand your need for boundaries. If they don’t, maybe it’s time to cut them loose.
Make Changes to Better Set Expectations and Boundaries
You know yourself and you have witnessed the pattern many times previously. You have probably thought, “… I wish I hadn’t said that” or “done that”. Mindfully determine not to repeat that pattern in the future and hold yourself accountable for the expectations and boundaries you set. If you find you tend to be a “people pleaser” this is a separate battle but one in which you can achieve change and a better place.
Having Trouble Letting Go of Toxic People?
I know personally how hard it is to let toxic people out of your life. Brainstorm your own solution. Create your Action Plan as you brainstorm ideas. Use these Action Plans to work through existing relationships and slowly make positive changes to reclaim your happiness and your business joy. Jim Rohn said many times that we become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Mindfully reduce the time spent with toxic people on every level and add more time with positive and encouraging people that live out the character of the person you want to be. Sometimes these toxic people are tricky to remove but find ways to cut time spent with them even if it is your mom or another close relative.
I just know you’ll start to feel differently about life and business once you start removing the toxic people in your life!