Freelance Writing Adventures: Refunding a Client

Some clients are fantastic to work with.  But other clients are difficult or the things they assign cause major headaches.  I recently had a client that I knew I would eventually like to stop working with.  They paid well, but the assignments would get difficult due to miscommunication, so sometimes it was a hassle to finish a piece.  The last assignment I did for them was got so complicated, over a couple months, that the client ended up telling me that I either finish the piece or send them a refund for what they had already paid me.  So, I sent them a refund and ended our working relationship.  And I could not be happier about it!

Freelance Writing Adventures: Refunding a ClientRemember when I said that getting to a good point in your freelance writing is the ability to say ‘no’ to work?  Well, that is something that I am fully embracing and going full force on today.

So what can you learn from this freelance writing adventure of mine?

  1. Listen to your gut.  Seriously, listen to it, tune it to what you feel is right or wrong, and don’t ignore it if you feel like your body is screaming ‘DON’T DO IT!’  As soon as I read the initial email in my inbox for my assignment from this client, my heart sank into my stomach.  I knew, I just KNEW, that this article was going to be a pain, that it was going to be a massive headache.  And guess what?  My gut was right.  Probably should have listened to it in the very beginning and cut ties with this client long ago.
  2. Treasure your savings account.  Providing a refund to my client was not part of my budget, so I had to take a bit of hard hit to my monthly income.  That is why I recommend that you keep some sort of emergency fund and don’t be afraid to use it to cover sudden expenses like this.  It is hard to be able to tell a client ‘no’ or be able to send them a refund if the assignment gets too crazy if your bank account is hovering around zero.  So keep some extra money around just in case this kind of situation arises.
  3. Get back to the hustle!  You know what I felt as soon as I sent the refund to my client?  Energy and invigoration to get back to writing, kick some butt, and make some cash!  Losing one client certainly can make income worries mount, so I took it upon myself to make some things happen, make up a proposal for a new client and work on fresh assignments.

So if you hit bottom (firing a client is never fun, especially when refunds are in order), grab a ladder and start heading up.

You got this.  Now go make something happen today!

Have you ever given a refund to a client?  What did you learn from the experience?

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