Earlier this month, I wrote a post about how you could Marie Kondo your to-do list.
Later that day, I met with a client of mine, and he was skeptical.
“I can’t knock things off my to-do list just because I don’t want to do them. I have clients that need me to get stuff done. It doesn’t matter if it brings me joy, they gave me money, and I have to do it.”
His voice had a bit of an edge when he said this to me – like I was trying to take food off of his family’s table or something.
Sure, you have agreed to get work done for a client, and you took their money, and now it needs to get done. Do YOU have to do it?
If you have to do it because there’s no one else who knows how, or because you don’t have enough margin in the assignment to pay someone else to do it, do you have to do it ever again?
If you sell that again, could you raise your price so that you could hire someone to do it? Or could you tell clients, “We’re not doing that kind of work anymore, here’s someone who could do it for you…”
You are the boss.
Here’s the funny thing about that conversation.
My client is working for himself (in part) because he wanted more freedom. He didn’t want to work for “The Man.” But now he’s The Man.
If a particular assignment is a struggle, don’t sell it! Tell the client you’ll find someone else to do it if it doesn’t bring you joy.
I know it seems like I’m oversimplifying it. Clients expect things, some stuff gets bundled together… I can hear your excuses from here.
You are the boss. Create the work you want to do or stop complaining about it.