3 Signs That You Should Break Up With a Client

This one is for all of my fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers and consultants!

Creating your own career, starting your dream business, following your passion in pursuit of a profit is not for the faint of heart. But I’m gonna spare you the Girl Boss bullshit and hustle rhetoric. I want to talk about the everyday courage that is required to meet yourself in every single decision you make as a business owner.

Actually, it’s so much more than mustering up the courage to parlay your vision and values into a business opportunity — it’s ultimately about the deep relationship you build with yourself as you navigate the circuitous path of self-employment.


As someone who has been an entrepreneur for my entire adult professional life (that’s going on 27 years, kids!) I eat what I kill — so I’m hunting all the time. Meaning that when you are in a services based business, offering your IP, your time, your expertise, your artistry for compensation, you have to develop a balance between the Dominant Stories that will race through your mind 24/7.

Dominant Stories are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. When you are an entrepreneur, a freelancer or a consultant these stories might sound like:

  • I NEED this client or else I won’t survive.

  • I’m not inspired by this client (or this work) but I just can’t say no.

  • I don’t like how I feel in the relationship with this client but the money is good (or consistent).

Sound familiar?

I get it. I’ve been there. These Dominant Stories are hard ones to break. Why?

Because ultimately relationships are the currency of business.

And when you are in business for yourself, pitching your work, creating your own company structure and culture and trying to navigate sustainability and profit — sometimes the last thing we really think about are relationship dynamics. But we need to. And after decades in this game, I want to share three signs that indicate it may be time to break up with a client.

1. You don’t like how you feel when you work with them.