How to Survive a Break Up with a Freelance Writing Client

It happens to the best of us. The worst happens. Despite our good intentions and noble efforts, a client “cans” us. Or we decide, due to creative differences, that working with someone is not in our best interest.

Parting of ways is never pretty. But, at least with a personal relationship you can decide to “still be friends.” Or perhaps have “make-up text” afterward.

Client situations can be a bit trickier. Depending upon the reason for the separation, there can either be a great sense of loss or relief.  I’ve had both.

Thankfully, most of my clients have stayed with me for a good deal of time, and the arrangements have been mutually beneficial.  In fact, some have even become friends, resources, referral sources and cheerleaders for my business.

Nonetheless, pop singer Neil Sedaka wasn’t wrong: Breaking up is hard to do.
But you can recover and even reach greater heights if you heed the following timely tips.

1. Learn from your mistakes. Perform an autopsy of the death of your relationship. Here’s where a little self-reflection and honesty can go a long way. Were you meeting their needs?  Did you take the relationship for granted? Could you have communicated better?
There’s great truth to the expression, “Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.”

2. Seek proper closure. When possible try to find out/or give a reason that things didn’t work out. Most people appreciate having an opportunity to come to terms with things.

3. Talk to a trusted friend. Another freelancer who has been there can help you to keep proper perspective, share a laugh, and provide needed words of encouragement.

4. Resist the urge to become a stalker, or calling their phone just to hear their voice. You’re better than that.

5. Recognize that a break-up is not a reflection of your self-worth or creative ability. It could be that “they’re just not that into you.” To each his own. Move on.

6. See if it’s possible to perhaps be considered for future projects of a different nature. Sometimes dismissal can happen due to budget cuts or other factors that could change in the future. Try to stay open.

7. Avoid saying things that you’ll regret. Always exit with dignity, no matter who initiates the break-up.

8. Don’t be bitter be better! Anger can cloud judgment and cramp creativity. Keep a level head and keep learning so that you and your business can grow with fresh article writers!

9. Cherish the memories. Perhaps your client was “your first”, or maybe they helped to finance a beautiful vacation, or inspired you in creative ways. Whatever was the original “draw” be thankful for it and recognize that everything has a season.

10. Never accept shabby treatment. In the words of Dr. Phil, “We teach people how to treat us by the things we accept.”

11. Start seeing other people. Get out and network. Make phone calls. Keep yourself busy. Ask your friends to hook you up. Before you know it, you’ll be back into the swing of things again.

…All because you followed these tips and your heart.

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