Why Losing A Client is So Scary

Here's why freelancers panic when they lose a client. And here's the takeaway.

Losing a client could teach you a valuable lesson
If you lost a client, this may be a good time to crunch your numbers.

Now, it’s time to dig into why losing a client makes freelancers panic.

The answer is simple—Your money’s not right.

After I wrote the article about what not to do when you lose a client, a reader asked, “Isn’t it better to take what comes up and keep going?”

The issue isn’t whether you should or shouldn’t take a particular freelance job. It’s whether you need to take whatever comes along.

If the answer is yes, there’s a problem.

No business should go into distress because it losses one client.

If an A-list actress lost her role in a movie,  you wouldn’t expect her to start applying for gigs on YouTube channels. Most of us would think something was wrong with that picture.

Freelancers aren’t an exception. We know clients are going to come and go.

We need to operate and manage our money accordingly. Which means you need to charge enough and you need to have enough.

How We Self-Sabotage

A lot of you have gone through the panic scenario over clients several times.

I went through it several times. And the reason is because I wasn’t keeping the bank right.

I was thinking, okay I’m just going to buy this one more thing.

Someone would call and ask if I wanted to go here or there for the weekend or the holidays. And I decided to just take one more trip.

But after this, I’m going to start saving more, I’d tell myself.

The thing is, there’s always more stuff to buy and more places to go. And it’s so easy to say you’ll worry about the long-term money later.

That type of wreckless mindset is how you end up at the mercy of your clients.

Comfort spending will crush a freelancer—any entrepreneur really.


And so will entitlement spending.

When people believe they deserve to live in a certain neighborhood, to drive a certain car, to eat organic and specialty diets, and they’re spending every dime to do it, that’s entitlement. It’s also self-sabotage.

It’s not that you shouldn’t aim for nice things or do what you enjoy. But you need to be able to afford it.

And being able to pay for something, doesn’t mean you can afford it.

Going Forward

If losing a client has you worried about how you’re going to pay for essentials—housing, food, utilities–your panic, that anxiety you’re feeling, it should be a wake-up call.

It’s time to review your strategy.

You need to take a critical look at your rates and clients as well as your spending and saving.

You need to change your lifestyle. Cut back on day-to-day shit and stack up some money–asap.

You need to make moves to establish a financial safety net that allows you to operate rationally and strategically when business is bumpy. Because you know there’s no if in the matter.

Related: Should A Freelancer Work With One Client