I got fired by a client yesterday. To be honest, I need the money, but it was a relief.
Why was it a relief?
Because I always felt like I was trying to close myself as an adequate writer (this customer had found me on another site and liked my writing there, but still needed convincing every time we talked).
It showed in my writing.
I also work different hours than this client seemed to need me to be available. As a father of two young children, I jealously guard my home time. If I can reply to your email at 6 PM eastern time in two minutes or less, I will. Otherwise, I put the tablet down and don’t look at it again until the morning. Because, no matter how much you pay me, you don’t own my time. Ever.
So, with the understanding that I am totally OK with the end result, here are the things I did wrong.
The Fine Art of Being Fired
- Didn’t Communicate When Something Was Outside My Comfort Zone – My first task was to repurpose a survey by a different company as a WhitePaper. Whitepapers are a unique brand of product, one that I have much more limited experience in than I do blogging and more informal content. Next time I have a client ask me to do a Whitepaper, I will be upfront: “Although I have published over 700 blogs on a variety of platforms, I have done less than 20 Whitepapers. It is quite possible I will have to do a complete rewrite. I’m OK with that; are you?”
- Wasn’t Available To Communicate In-Depth – As already discussed, our schedules did not line up.
- Did Not Print Out The Document For Editing – And really, of all the reasons here, this is my biggest FUBAR mistake. If someone is going to pay me $.10 a word for writing a document. I better darn well print the miserable thing off for editing. I cannot edit my own work if it is still in the electronic medium I wrote it in. I bet you can’t, either.
So, now I am back at the office, writing my F-Up to you (and getting a rather quippy and valuable post from the loss of a client. A good trade).
If you want to get fired: miscommunicate, don’t communicate, and forget to edit your writing. I don’t suggest you do this on purpose (I know I didn’t, I was just in a hurry and a poor fit for this client).
So dear client, I salute you and wish you the best of luck.