The Reminder From Losing A Major Freelance Client

If we spend more time pursuing opportunity, we may spend less time dealing with misfortune.

 

When one door of happiness closes, another opens. But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

~Helen Keller~
This quote makes me think of opportunity. It makes me think of the glimmer that comes from misfortune, and how it’s a shame that so often we can’t see that glimmer without a negative event.

Last year around this time, I abruptly lost one of my biggest clients.

It was a few days before the end of the month, which is when they do payouts. I received a mass email with a list of states and a note that said starting on the 1st, the company would only be working with freelancers who lived in them.

To everyone else, the company offered a group thank you, an assurance that the decision was not a reflection of our work, and an added hope that we could complete all assigned work before the change took effect.

That “change” swept over 50% of my monthly income off my plate. Mind you, this is holiday season. This is winter heating season.

It felt like I took a dive from some Olympic-height diving board knowing I can’t swim. Fear filled me up. But only for a moment.

When I received the message I was en route to the mountains, and I was determined to enjoy my trip. I was also determined to look at the situation as a door that closed before another opened.

This was not the first time I lost a client. It’s not the first time the loss was abrupt. This was just one of the realities of freelancing.

Each time I’ve ever lost a major client, I have that uh-oh wtf-am-I-gonna-do fear moment. I feel like I don’t know how I’m going to make it. And each time I end up just fine because other opportunities always seem to come along.

But the fact is, opportunities didn’t “come along”. They are always there.

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Opportunity is an extremely valuable thing. It’s all some people ask for. And it’s the thing many others have in abundant supply but don’t take advantage of.

A lot of us don’t don’t value opportunity as highly as we should because we’re too programmed towards stability and security. If the income we’re making covers a lifestyle that makes us comfortable enough, a lot of us have no drive to venture out and see what more we can get from other opportunities.

Yet, it’s opportunity that saves us every time something goes wrong. Through lost jobs, lost deals, failed attempts, break-ups, and so on.

It’s unfortunate that it takes misfortune in many cases to make us realize that what we had or what we have is not all we can have.

Few of us have ever reached the top of the mountain. Most of us just chose a cozy or convenient stopping point, but there are vast opportunities out there.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, my message to everyone is that opportunity is one of the things you should be thankful for. Not just for the holiday, but every day.

And in addition to be thankful for opportunities, I hope we all choose to continually pursue them, not in response to crisis but for the sake of striving to do better and be better.


 

 

 

3 Comments

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  1. 1
    Vladimir

    You’re not a freelancer if you didn’t have an experience like this. I always make sure to have enough clients so that losing one, even a major one, is not so big of a deal. Also, putting all your eggs in one basket is bad for business.

  2. 2
    LeTara

    Great post! I’ve definitely felt the sting of losing a major client and it had taken me a while to recover, but I’m so grateful to even have the opportunity to do so. The good almost always outweigh the bad, but it seems the bad makes the most memorable impressions. Still, you keep going and use your talents to improve. Thanks for sharing!

    • 3
      Miche

      You are so right. The good does usually outweigh the bad. And yes, it’s true that sometimes it takes a while to recover. That’s why I hope we learn to pursue opportunities so we can lessen the sting of unexpected events.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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