What Happens When You Mess Up With Your Clients?
One of my clients emailed me last week. She told me a story about how she’d had an anxiety attack when on a project for one of her clients.
She’s a photographer who was doing a wedding. The location of the wedding was highly unique, and she’d never experienced those specific lighting conditions before. She was struggling to get the lighting just right, and the photos were blurry and she began to panic.
We can all imagine the pressure of capturing a wedding on film – hopefully the one very special day in the couple’s life. Immense. And I know some of you are putting that kind of pressure on your results with your clients as well.
Fortunately she asked for help and got herself calmed down and was able to continue (huge victory), and in reviewing the photos after the fact she saw that she had plenty of good shots (she’s her own worst critic of course).
Louise Hay says that anxiety is a result of “not trusting the flow and process of life.”
Here is an excerpt from the email I sent my client:
- What if making mistakes is the only way to learn what you need to learn to do better next time?
- What if that particular couple is destined to deal with blurry wedding pictures as part of their journey as a couple together and you were just a vehicle for that learning?
- What if how you are able to deal with this is going to inspire dozens of other people to face their own fears?
So how does this relate to you?
Have you ever felt as if you were totally messing up with a client? That every one of your fears and inadequacies is showing up with this person and you just want it to end? To quit? To disappear?
What if you could see that client relationship in a new way? What if you KNEW that the project was actually “perfectly messed up” for the greater good?
What if that client was sent into your life to heal something about you, put it back into alignment, so that you could grow to an even bigger place?
What if YOU were sent into that client’s life to be a big enough person to mess up completely and teach them about grace, love, acceptance and forgiveness?
What if some combination of that were true?
If you come from the right level of consciousness (Connection Connie for those of you who have been learning about my Profit Styles™), you have the perspective that we are all always winning, no matter how “bad” something may appear. You stop trying to be in control and you allow yourself to be a conduit for the growth and learning of the collective “us” that is humanity.
I’ll bring it back to a practical level.
I’ve got a client who is not paying me her monthly payment in full. Sometimes she makes partial payments, and sometimes none at all. Sometimes she is in communication and sometimes she disappears for a while. We’ve had to stop our coaching because the agreement is out of integrity enough that I cannot actively support her. At some point I may need to send it to collections unless she has a breakthrough.
This breaks my heart. I want to fix it. I want to go sell her stuff for her so she can see how it feels to move past this. I SEE how easy it would be. For me. But it’s not yet easy for her. And I haven’t yet been able to help her see how easy it is. And I so don’t want her to suffer.
And I can slip into feeling responsibility for her, and feeling as if I messed up.
But here’s what I know for certain.
All is unfolding exactly as it needs to in order for her to get the lesson. And that lesson might include being broke. It might include being sent to collections by someone who cares deeply about her. It might include her being absolutely upset and furious with me.
And my lesson might be tough love, and self-confidence, and clarity of purpose, and modeling the way.
“The purpose of a relationship is to remember more
of who we are in “relation” to another.”
~ Bruce D. Schneider
We are in a relationship with our clients. When you are an Aligned Entrepreneur, you are always learning and growing, and the client relationship is a vehicle for that growth. If you can practice shifting your perspective to consistently see it that way, you will never panic.
When a client who has spent much of their life in victim energy gets angry with me, I celebrate. Because anger is a higher energy state that they may have never allowed themselves to express before. And I pray that it is just one stage of their journey with me and they will move to the higher stages of joy, freedom, and profit. And they usually do.
But every great while someone gets angry and quits.
And even then I send them love for their journey, and I trust that I played my part in their path to alignment. And I look forward to the communication down the road that says, “thank you for what you did for me.” And when it never comes, that’s OK too. Because I know it will all be OK.