Which Clients Are Coming With You?

Here’s something to ponder today.

Imagine that you own one of those fancy, top-of-the-line RVs. The kind that has all the bells and whistles.

You’re planning a road trip from New York to San Francisco, and you have room for up to six friends.

Wouldn’t you limit your invitations to people whose company you truly enjoy?

Of course you would.

Well, it’s no different when you’re a freelance writer. You have the capacity to take on three, four, maybe up to six clients at any given time. You’ll be working with them for a few weeks. Maybe even a year or more.

That’s a long time. Especially if they’re the wrong “guest.”

You know who I’m talking about. The guest who complains about the food. About your driving. About how frequently you stop to take a break. About the itinerary.

You and I are freelance writers and copywriters. We’re not Walmart. We’re not parked on the corner of 5th and Main, waiting for customers to come in, ready to serve everyone who happens to notice the “Open” sign on the front door.

It’s not about driving big volume. Or about making quarterly numbers. Or about keeping the shareholders happy (thank goodness!).

It’s about designing a business and a life that makes us come alive. And you can’t possibly do that if you take on anyone who’s willing to pay you.

Yes, when you’re new to this game you have to relax your criteria. We all do.

But after three or four years in business, we have to start setting standards and getting very clear about whom we’re going to work with … and whom we’re gong to say “No” to.

Remember, it’s a long drive from New York to San Francisco.

Be careful who you take along.