We have a special guest for today’s episode. Kevin Griffin is the owner of Swift Kick – a software training and consulting company in Southeast Virginia.
Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? It’s an interesting phenomenon that sometimes occurs to kidnapping victims. After weeks and months in captivity a victim may begin to form psychological alliances with the person who’s holding them hostage. They will sometimes start to sympathize and become protective of their kidnapper, even if they’re causing them harm.
If you’re a freelancer or running a small agency it can be easy to fall into the trap of the “Stockholm Client”. What Kevin means by this is it can be easy in the beginning to want to jump on every opportunity. You may find yourself bending over backwards for clients, responding to issues within minutes, or trying to get as many clients as possible, whether they’re a good fit or not. You do this because in your mind the worst possible scenario is losing that client.
Kevin recently went through something like this with an old client. They had been a dream client for over six years but they were slowly becoming a very needy client. Kevin found himself working 10 to 12 hour days just to keep up with them. Nothing he did was good enough for them. Everyone he told about this asked him why he hadn’t fired this client. He didn’t have a good answer.
Then one day he realized he needed to cut ties. It was no longer working out. He was afraid of the fallback but he did it anyway and it’s been a huge weight off his shoulders ever since.
Kevin’s advice if you’re dealing with Stockholm Clients is it’s okay to part ways. There will always be other clients. Drop the bad ones and seek out the good ones.