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When a Client Relationship Goes South

Today’s question is:

“I have a client that works really well with me. Mainly because they waffle and dream a lot. And I have the patience and focus to help wrangle them back into the bigger picture.

They have a lot of big ideas and we spend most of our calls focusing back in. In the end, we always end up with a good solution that we’re all excited about. I think what they’re building is really important and critical, not only for their business growth, but for the community they serve at large. But I recommended them to a fellow creative professional and friend to do some graphic design work. I’m a copywriter and should definitely never be hired to do visual work. Hello, stick figures.

And it went all kinds of sideways. They ended up firing her in a way that neither of us, neither of us being my friend and I, can really figure out why. I had a call with them and it all seems very wishy-washy and they won’t be paying for the rest of her contract, which enrages me.

Should I be concerned about my own future with them as a client? If they’ve treated me awesomely, never late on payments, very focused, et cetera, is this a sign of what could happen? And do I continue to work with a client that treats other contractors so poorly? This situation seems to fly in the face of everything they hold true in terms of values and keeping promises.

Sincerely, a Midwesterner with fears of being flown over.”

Listen now:

In this episode, we dive into an elephant in the room type situation with a client, a copywriter, and a graphic designer. We talk about the importance of context, working with the client when the relationship has changed, something called the “what-if-ometer” and what to do when knowledge and skill alone can’t lead you to a decision.

In this episode:

  • How to approach a difficult conversation with a client. 4:45
  • Trusting your gut in business. 9:15
  • A practical step you could take to help you make a tough decision. 12:10

Click here to download a transcript of this episode.

Where to find Amy:

Where to find Kirsty:

Where to submit your questions (anonymous or not!)

About Business Badassery

Amy’s a conversion copywriter, business coach and serial business owner who’s been reading advice columns since she was nine. With decades of business experience, she’s gotten very good at quickly reading situations and coming up with solutions – especially on the fly. You can find her at

Kirsty’s a launch copywriter and ex-psychotherapist, who’s smack bang in the middle of scaling her business with online courses. She’s good at making sense of human tendencies, selling things with words, and only following the work that feels good. You can find her at

“Amy and Kirsty are wonderful, wise and witty!

I already push myself hard enough so I'm not interested in working with coaches that are going to "crack the whip" and "kick my arse".

Kirsty and Amy both have a gently challenging coaching style. I always left sessions feeling validated, smart and capable but with a clear idea of how to make things even betterer.”

Anna Rogan
Creative Copywriter

“Kirsty seems to have this ability to see things that aren't being said. And then she brings them to light in such a nurturing way. 

Amy is direct AND caring all at the same time. It makes it easier for me to get to the point cause I know you'll get to the point when you ask about the things you need more info on.

Together — I love that neither of them hold back when their opinion/suggestion/perspective differs from the other's. It just makes it all so much more valuable. 

Also, they’re both so genuine, warm, smart and hilarious. Those 'good' traits just compound when you put the two of them together, ya know?

Miish Grixti
Conversion Copywriter

“All I'd ever heard about Amy was that she's a great coach. Welp, she's a great coach. Knows the right questions to ask to get through the bullshit and get to the root issue.

And my sweet, sweet Kirsty. Using all of her best therapy tricks to keep us moving forward. And making us feel loved :)

Together? Stop. So good. I have never felt so supported. 

I think the value in coaching is having someone hold a bigger vision for you than you can see yourself. So having TWO of you hold that for me was extremely motivating.”

Megan Baird
Email Copywriter