Why I Walked Away From My Biggest Client

#35: Why I Walked Away From My Biggest Client

I’ve been working with a company since 2018. When we started working together, I had just left my full time job, and this company was on the smaller side. Both of our businesses were newer. Fast forward to 2020, their business absolutely exploded, and we went from doing shoots every couple of months to at least once a month.

I will admit I’ve been nervous to record this episode! My achilles heel is that I care so much about what other people think, and in this case I’ve been thinking about that all a lot – Will my client be upset? Will my other clients be confused? Will models be disappointed? Will friends and family not understand? The list goes on. But that’s all the more reason to have this conversation because what I’ve learned through this transition is that sometimes the right thing looks and feels absolutely insane.

Let me back up, and let’s talk about why I recently walked away from my biggest photography client.

I’ve been working with a children’s pajama company since 2018. When we started working together, I had just left my full time job, and this company was on the smaller side. Both of our businesses were newer. Fast forward to 2020, their business absolutely exploded, and we went from doing shoots every couple of months to at least once a month.

Now, really, this is a photographer’s dream. Consistent income, an ongoing relationship with a really fantastic client; on paper it was totally perfect. But in the same amount of time, my business had changed a lot too, which led me to walk away from this partnership.

I’m diving into all the details in this episode, and here are some of the things I talk about:

  • How getting back to the foundations of my business made me realize the work I was doing for this long-time client didn’t reflect where I wanted my business to go
  • How my website redesign made me evaluate my dream clients and business passions
  • How I thought adding in more team members to assist with these shoots would help me be able to keep this client (but it didn’t work)
  • How the problem wasn’t the client or the dream job; it just wasn’t my dream anymore
  • Pricing reflections, and when raising prices isn’t the answer
  • How to handle dealing with wondering what would people think with this decision
  • How the conversation with the client went
  • Reactions from people regarding the “break up”
  • Walking away from the consistent income and the transition forward

A few highlights from this episode:

[6:30] – Things had changed. This thing that began as a dream job, it shifted. And the thing that I had to come to terms with was that it was still a dream job. But it wasn’t my dream job.

[7:53] – In my case, I wanted to “break up” in a way that made it very clear that while it was time for me to do something else, it really had nothing to do with them. 

[11:55] – I think the further that you go in business, the more that you realize that there are maybe a lot of things that you are pretty good at. But that doesn’t mean that that’s the thing you should be doing. It doesn’t mean that’s the thing that lights you up and makes you feel fulfilled.

[17:54] – I have to believe that this is making space for something bigger and better.

[22:07] – You know what the next right thing is, you know what’s best for you, now you just have to go out there and do it.

I hope that if you are facing decisions in business or in life right now where you feel like people think you’re a little crazy, but you know it’s the right thing, I hope you listen to that inner voice (faster than I did) and intuition and follow where you feel you should go. Learn from my mistakes as I wish I would have listened to it sooner! Drown out those voices; you know what the next right thing is.

I’m so thankful though how everything played out with this “break up”, and I’m so thankful that I am now able to go forward and do what I love even more and dedicate more time to personal branding photography and helping women grow their businesses.


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