A few days ago, I terminated a writing project for the second time.
It was the largest writing contract I’d negotiated to date. And while it hurt to turn down that much money, the project and professional relationship were no longer aligned with my values as a writer and human.
The day I sent that two-sentence email to my now ex-client, I woke up angry. I was angry about the boundaries that had been crossed; the lack of respect for my time and the agreements that we had both committed to.
I haven’t been that angry in while. It was the kind of anger that I experienced before I learned how to process my anger. It was the kind of anger that came up when I felt my dignity was being compromised.
This anger was a wake up call for me. As a result, I terminated the project indefinitely, fired my client, and resolved to seek out new professional relationships that are founded on mutual respect and the follow-through that’s necessary to do good work.
That experience is a sharp contrast to the professional, personal, and creative relationships I’m co-creating with members at Room Project. In that space, there is an ease with which people offer and receive support. The general response that members get when they talk about their work is, “How can I help?”
More than anything I can name, those relationships just feel right. Walking into that space is like coming home; everything I’m working to bring to life is bolstered by the support of a whole community of talented and hard-working creative folks.
So, after years writing for life coaches, I’ve decided to shift the focus of this facet of my professional practice to the finance sector and arts sector. I’m letting go of the narrative that for my writing to be impactful, I need to be writing for the personal development industry,
Instead, I’m focusing on creating aligned relationships with clients who respect me and my work enough to pay me on time, keep lines of communication open, and follow-through on commitments.
The signs of a healthy professional relationship is now one of the main things I’ll be checking for when vetting future clients. I know what I’m checking for and no amount of money is going to make me compromise those boundaries again.
So, what are you checking for to know if a relationship is right for you?