Growing up as an every-sport-playing type of kid, I’ve always been told that quitting is never an option. No matter what the circumstance, giving up – taking your ball and going home isn’t something that should be done.
But as a business owner, I’m starting to learn that sometimes – quitting is the only option.
I’ve been painted into a corner for many different reasons. Poor planning, unclear guidelines and unreasonable expectations have forced my hand several times. Occasionally, the ultimatum has to been made. The proverbial ‘line in the sand’ has to be drawn. It’s either my way, or the highway (and by my way, I mean a reasonable compromise).
I’m not being stubborn or hard to work with, but doing business with someone has to be about communication. And if you aren’t going to clearly communicate your expectations with me, and understand what my expectations are; there is going to be a problem. Whether that problem can be solved or not – is the question. When it can’t, a decision has to be made.
It’s not about who is going to budge or fold – it’s about working together as two professionals. And if you aren’t going to be a professional, I don’t want to work with you. There are too many companies out there that I can have an ongoing, mutually enjoyable relationship with.
When dealing with a client, you have to meet their needs, of course, but there has to be a level of professionalism. The old adage “the customer is always right” is only partially true. The customer is always right within the guidelines that you’ve agreed upon. All of the power cannot lie on the side of the client – you have to be able to stick up for yourself and your standards. If not, you’ll be run over and taken advantage of until you’ve pulled all of your hair out.
Doing business shouldn’t be about how to squeeze the most pain out of someone before they scream. It should be about working together for a greater purpose. And if you are going to be difficult beyond reason – I’m going to take my ball and go play with someone else who knows how to be a professional.
Share your experiences with this sort of problem below. Please make me feel like I’m not the only one who has had to draw the line in the sand with someone!