As business owners and entrepreneurs, we do what we do because we’re passionate about it and we feel we have something unique and special to offer. We dedicate hours on top of hours of day to our craft. Some of us have invested additional education, gone to workshops, seminars or events, and networked as far as our circles would allow us to be a good as we can be with providing the best service or product to our customers and clients. But what makes us great and stands out from our competitors is our passion for what we can do and do for others.
But what if we took on a client whose project or assignment isn’t something we’re passionate about? What do we do when we have a client who we do not believe in, no matter how great or progressive or innovative the skills we bring to the table are? Who are we hurting more, the client, ourselves, or is it simply the way business goes?
The short oversimplified answer we’d probably get from others: it’s just business. You may see all the signs that the client is going to fail, their project was doomed from the start, or that they’re going to face a number of setbacks. Get in, get out, right? Hmm, no. If you think a client is headed for trouble or that they’re already in rocky waters, let them know and let them know why. Maybe you’re able to save them, maybe you’re not. But if you don’t believe in a client’s project, chances are you won’t be able to save them. As passionate as we are about what we do, if we come across a client who doesn’t ignite that passion with what they present us, we fall short of our own standard of stellar.
But we can avoid all that. Just like clients screen us to see if we’re what they’re looking for, we too can screen them. After all, we’re going to be dedicating hours, days, weeks or even months with them, we might as well know what we’re getting ourselves into, right? Don’t be afraid to ask them:
- Who have they worked with before
- What kind of results were they seeing
- What kind of results would they like to see
- What are their expectations
- How much have they invested (money, time, energy) into what they’re currently working on
- How much more time are they willing to commit this project
- What are their short and long term goals
And whatever else we can find out to keep us excited or warn us away. Granted, we’re going to run into a host of people and projects we’re going to feel professionally conflicted about. We’re always looking for opportunities to showcase what we do. We’re always working towards the goal of letting our work speak for itself. But when our passion is absent, maybe it’s a sign to bow out.