Breaking up is hard to do, as the old song says. That’s especially true when the person you’re breaking up with is someone who you appreciate and like. And that person is your ‘right’ arm and helps you run your business as your virtual assistant.
No one had to twist my arm to see the benefits of having a VA. I’ve worked with several online business consultants over the years and each one contributed hugely to my success as self-employed professional and growth as a good person. They brought their skills, suggestions, advice and expertise to me and I am better for it.
Trouble is, client relationship change over time. You can outgrow your clients as a VA, moving on to services or markets that don’t resonate your current tribe. And, your client can outgrow you, needing services that you don’t provide now and aren’t interested in learning. Then what?
I recently had this experience with my VA. Initially, we got on famously. But over time our styles and preferences drifted apart. I wanted to her to do more social media and podcasting stuff than she wanted. She was frustrated by my organization skills. (I tend to shoot first, then aim, so things can get off-schedule pretty quickly because I haven’t made half the decisions needed. I’m working on a fix for this which I’ll share later). We didn’t bicker, but there was tension. I saw the handwriting on the wall. We needed to break up.
I’m still noodling on the exact clues that lead me to the conclusion and I’ll share those in my next post. However, we did have an excellent conversation about our breakup that allowed up to part on good terms with respect and affection for each other.
Here’s the basic ingredients and an example of how to break up with your client. Feel free to use this as a model for your own difficult conversations.
Have you ever broken up with or fired a client? How did you do it?
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