How To Fire A Client


When I first started working for myself, I said yes to every project that came my way. Needed a full website designed and developed? Sure! Looking for some small changes to your site? I can help. Want to talk about social media and website strategies? Let’s set up an appointment.

I not only was paid to grow as a developer, but saying yes gave me many opportunities to grow as a business owner.


Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned who my ideal client is. Some clients have been incredible joys to work with, while working with others has lead to nights I couldn’t sleep for all the worries and anxiety I had over their projects. I’ve always been a people pleaser, but always saying yes meant I was pleasing everyone but myself.


I’m still tempted to say yes to everything, but being able to say no to clients who you’re not a good fit with gives you street cred. We love honesty when we find it in people, and we respect them for it. So when a potential client just isn’t the right one, I’ve started to say no. (Especially because sometimes saying “no” to a client is saying “yes” to myself and my needs.)


In the early phases of your business (and some of the middle phases too), you’re going to say yes to clients that you will later wish you’d said no to. It can be difficult to recognize if a client is one of your ideal clients, especially when you don’t have much information in the beginning. Sometimes, a contract will be in place and you’ll need to get through the project. But if the relationship is longer-term, you may want to consider firing your client.


1. Be nice. You might be tempted to complain in your email or on the phone. Don’t. Gather yourself and do all you can to end the relationship in a professional and pleasant way.

2. Explain that the relationship is not ideal. You don’t need to go into great detail. Simply explain that you’re unable to serve this client in a way that is beneficial for both you and your client.

3. Give your client options. If you’re unable to continue working with them, provide a list of two or three others in a similar line of work whom they may want to contact.

It’s not easy, but firing non-ideal clients can free up space for those ideal clients to come your way.


Moving Forward

Every time I travel to a new city or country, I learn as much about myself as I do about the new place and culture I find myself in.

But even when I’m not off on an adventure, I find there are so many places to grow.

One of the things I love most about my business is that it has given me numerous opportunities to transform. I had to get to the bottom of money issues. I had to learn how to communicate my value to clients. I had to discover how I can set myself apart from others in this field.

It’s happened in relationships and in school…more and more chances to dig deeper, uncover what’s hidden, be the person you want to be.

We are always on an adventure.

Where are you adventuring most in your life right now?

I want to know. I’m looking for a few special people for a project I’ll be starting in 2015.

(And check out the comments on this post for a special question for all my readers. I would be immensely grateful if you would answer it for me. It’ll help me get to know you a little bit better — and that’s what this is all about for me.)


Looking For Your Singularity

There are many different theories about the origin of the universe, but the most popular among physicists is that the universe burst forth from a singularity.

I like to think we each contain such a singularity, the place where all of our genius and creativity bursts forth from. It’s always there, but discovering what unlocks it, what causes it to really open and swell can sometimes be a challenge.

I’m in the throes of looking for my key right now, of discovering what my big picture is and where I can help in a perfectly unique way.

I’ve been struggling and frustrated. I’m in the middle of a business e-course with over 200 other women who all seemingly have it figured out and I still don’t.

There may be some others out there who know this feeling, so I’ve put together this list of ways to cope. For me. For you.

1. Don’t push.

No matter how much you really freakin’ wish the Universe would finally send you a telegram and clue you in to what the BIG thing you’re supposed to do is, relax. Sit with it. Be where you are. This moment is your purpose and it will take you to your next moment and your next purpose. Over time, it will build.

2. Meditate.

Be in the space in between. Focus on your breath. Sometimes, when you relax your mind and stop searching, the answer comes.

3. Explore everything you love.

Include things you think you might love to do there too. You never know when a hobby may become a calling.

4. Write.

Write your story. We are so often meant to help people with the same challenges we have had in life.

Write in the mornings, when you’re still half asleep and not censoring yourself. Things emerge in those early hours.

5. Set out on an adventure.

Shaking yourself out of your normal routine can help remind you of all the other things you’re good at, besides what you may be doing for work at the moment. For me, traveling in particular has a way of peeling back the layers of who I am to show me all that’s hidden beneath.

6. Ask your friends what you’re good at.

Good friends always see things we don’t. Open up to them, share with them what you love most about them and discover what they love about you. Your genius may be shining incredibly brightly in their eyes.

7. Move.

Hike, run, bike, dance… Put your body in motion, put the intention in your mind, and see what rises up. Like meditation, moving frees the mind up and gets you out of the cobwebs you might feel stuck in.

I want to hear from you: If you’re still searching or if you know that familiar feeling from the past, what do you do? What have you done? When did the realization hit you?


Witching Water

Not far from where I live is a beautiful nature preserve. The trail follows the creek, leading you past small falls and incredibly serene pools where fishermen spend their time. Along the paths, you encounter great rocks that have been moved over time by the water. This is a landscape dominated by water and stone. Eventually, you reach the source, a great falls of incredibly cold, clear water. Beyond that, there is mystery.

I’ve hiked here several times in the past months, alone and with others. On my last trip, I tried my hand at witching water.

My first attempt at witching water last summer was entirely unsuccessful. I was told it was an innate talent — something that you either could do or couldn’t. I watched another do it with ease. The instructions were easy: find a Y-shaped branch from a tree, hold both ends, and walk up and down a path; when there is water, the branch will bend downwards. I took branch into my hands and waited to see if it would move for me as I passed over areas with water underground.

I felt nothing.

I was not one of the lucky ones gifted with this magic. It felt as if the universe had turned its back on me.

There, along the winding path towards the falls, I gave  it another try. There was part of me so desperate for the magic of witching water, and another part of me so sure I could do it, even though I had failed before. So I took another Y-shaped tree branch into my hands and began to walk.

There was nothing at first, not even passing over the tiny streams from rain runoff that made their way down to the creek.

Something then shifted: me.

As I walked, I connected to the water. I felt the water in my body, the water in all of my cells. I imagined a whirlpool of water circling down my right arm, through the branch I held, up my left arm, and across my chest, returning to its origin to repeat its path.

Suddenly, I was witching water.

The sensation was incredibly powerful. I held onto the branch tightly, wrists straight, and it kept bending, down, towards the earth, towards the unseen water underground.

It was then I understood the incredible power we have, and how easily a simple shift can unlock that potential.

And what amazing magic exists in this world.

All Rights Reserved © Brandi Bernoskie LLC