I think that one of the worst things we can do as small business owners is to buy into the adage that the 'customer is always right'. Even though I believe that customer service is paramount in making your business successful, sometimes customers are jerks. I've been reading professionally for about ten years or so, and over the years, I've had to fire a few clients. There haven't been many, but I think that it's made me more confident as a business owner and as a reader. Every time I've made a decision to draw a line with my clients, it's made my boundaries clearer for myself AND for my clients. There is no gray area on my website about when payment is due and what my refund policy is. This makes my business relationships more reliable and less prone to interpretation.
I've compiled a list below of reasons that I've fired clients. However you decide to run your business, I assure you that the more clear boundaries you have, the happier you'll be. And I also promise that people will try to mess with your boundaries at every opportunity. Good luck!
Clients That I've Fired:
- The guy who wouldn't pay in advance. - I'm a trusting soul. I've been meeting people for readings for at least a decade, and I've completely lost track of how many times I've showed up for a reading only to sit there, alone. Because I only recently started getting payment in advance, I would sit there, alone, and not get paid. This is dumb. Don't do this. I had a client who refused to pay in advance. He was a first time client and I didn't know him at all. I restated my policy and he restated his resistance to it. So I still don't know him.
- The drunk guy. - I used to read in a bar called Mo and Waldo's in Jefferson City, MO. I loved this place. I loved the owner, the staff and most of the clients. I'd do readings for $10-20 on Friday nights and it was such a good time. The only time it was not a good time was when drunk people would weave their way to my table and demand a reading. There are several reasons to not read for drunk folks. They're messy, they're usually holding a drink and are being none too careful with it. I've had one deck ruined by a spilled glass of wine and that was all it took. They can also be irrational, over-reactionary and oftentimes they can be violent. The news that you give people can be upsetting. It could be your words that put a person smack into a Jerry Springer episode. You should be safe above all else. Now, this is my opinion, and I know other people are fine with reading for drunk people. That's fine. Do what you gotta do. Just be safe.
- That asshole over there. - "Hey, Psychic! Give me a reading, psychic! Give me some lottery numbers if you're so smart!" Quiet, you. I've got nothing to give this person, and I'm not going to dance for them. If you don't believe in readings, you really shouldn't oughta get one. If you're trying to embarrass or shame me into giving you a reading so I can prove myself to you, you got the wrong girl. Begone.
- That guy who rescheduled 6,000 times. - Come on, man. Honestly. When I get a reading request, I pull up several dates from my calendar that are available and send them to the clients to choose one. If it doesn't work out, I try to schedule a phone reading. It's not just because it's annoying to try and try and try to schedule. It has a lot to do with what we do. If you want a reading, there's a reason. If you keep kicking the date around, the reason is likely going to change dramatically or just go away and resolve itself. And I'm down with people figuring out their own stuff, but you called me for a reason. I don't like getting a payment for a reading and then not being able to deliver the reading for a month. That's not how it's supposed to work. The guy who rescheduled 6,000 times has actually never gotten his reading, still. It's been a year. I gave his money back after two months and if he calls again, I'm going to refer him on.
- I do not give readings if you don't listen to me. - This has only happened twice, but I feel it's noteworthy. I've had clients who have come for a reading for the second, third or fourth times, and didn't listen to a damn thing I said the LAST time. Jesus. First of all, I'm not your mom. Secondly, if you're not going to listen to me, we're both wasting our time. I get that life intervenes in life sometimes, but on the fourth reading, and the cards are saying the Exact Same Thing? Get up out of my chair and walk. No reading. You're grounded.
I'm sure that in any job, you need to have guidelines about what you will and won't allow. My job isn't really that different. It was difficult for me to say no when I was younger and just starting out, but I've gotten more confidence as I've gotten older, and a lot more respect for what I do and how flippin hard it can be. So, if you want a reading and don't fit in these five little categories, give me a call.