Ok, story time…
Fairly early on in my web development career, I was referred a potential client who wanted to build an online course all about baking.
Now, when I do my client onboarding I like to dig DEEP. Not only to I ask questions about the functionality of the websites and products they want to create, but I also dig into the WHY behind the new build.
There’s a few reasons why I do this:
1. It shows I’m invested in their success
2. It shows that I have the ability to look at the big picture, problem solve, and offer alternative solutions depending on their high-level goals
3. It allows me to see their dedication to the project, as well as their excitement. This has shown to be a direct correlation of their success, because when they are excited and looking forward to putting in the work to make it succeed, they are committed.
During my meeting with this particular client, when I asked her what she loved about baking, I was taken aback be her answer.
It was “Nothing… I can’t stand baking, I’m just good at it so I want to make money with it.”
It was that moment in time, my instincts said RUN. There’s one thing I refuse to do with a client, and it’s care about their business and their customers more than they do.
I love people, and I love helping people. But… I also love people who help people, and this client was completely out of alignment. Being of service is one of my core values, and this was directly opposed to that.
I knew what I needed to do, and that was to be honest with her, and tell her the project was out of alignment (we’ll get into “How to break up with a client” in a couple weeks).
There will always be more projects, don’t ever ignore your core values.
If you are not in alignment with a project, it’s your responsibility to decline it for the good of yourself as well as your client.
When you decline a project that isn’t a good fit, that opens it up for someone who is.
Integrity always wins.