Pollyanna’s Take

There are defeats more triumphant than victories. ~Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance Philosopher

Typically, I’m the one doing the firing.

I’ve had to sever ties with clients over the years for one reason or another, and I’ve never regretted doing so.

But somehow it feels different on the receiving end.

Being fired.

Let go.

For those who don’t know, I run a web design business and have for the past seventeen years.

Sometimes, especially lately, it’s been a challenge:

  • There are a plethora of companies now doing web design and development, many with far bigger budgets and staffs than I have, who can offer more services.
  • There are a host of free or nearly free programs that let the tech-savvy put together their own website and update it as they see fit.
  • And the field has become increasingly complicated with the explosion of cellphones, tablets, and user expectations, turning it into a “young person’s game.”

But on the whole, I enjoy my work, and it pays the bills.

Imagine my surprise last week when a long-time client called and said they’d “decided to go in a different direction.”

What?

“Oh, you’ve done nothing wrong,” they told me. “In fact, we’ve been happy to work with you, and your work has been outstanding.”

Okay, who fires somebody for good work?

They hemmed and hawed about wanting a site they could manage themselves. Instant updates. A different feel.

Rather than argue, I put on my professional face, thanked them for letting me know, and went over “tidy-up” matters like final invoices.

And I hung up with a heavy heart. Feeling more like slamming a door, breaking a glass, or yelling out loud.

None of which I did.

Sure, I’ll miss them as a client, but the Pollyanna in me says this could become a blessing.

Since my debut novel was published last fall, I’ve often wished I had more time to write.

To finish the second book in my series and move on to the third.

Even if I can’t transition to writing entirely, this will free up time for me to write more.

So, Happy Dance after all!

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. ~William Feather, American publisher and author

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18 thoughts on “Pollyanna’s Take

  1. “turning it into a “young person’s game.”

    Yes Debbie, even in the business I’m in, it’s the same. Not so much that younger people are getting the jobs, but more so that the industry I’m in is placing all their focus and energy on catering to the young customer. Which I find hysterical because it’s not the younger customer that has the money, it’s the more mature customer that does. And it’s the more mature customer who has much more loyalty, which in turn, brings our industry a “consistent” flow of money. The younger customer is only interested in the “next newest thing.” They have no loyalty.

    I am sorry to hear about your client choosing to “go in a different direction” because I know how that hurts, it would hurt me too. Also, having known you for so many years, I know how dedicated, responsible, talented, and professional you are, so it will be THEM who have lost.

    Like you said, this will free up more time to focus on your writing; your third novel.

    Remember, everything happens for a good reason, my friend. As one door closes, another opens.

    Have a fantastic Sunday!

    X

    • Thanks so much, Ron — yes, I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and as one door closes, another opens. I appreciate your reminding me of that!
      There are lots of industries that cater to a young crowd these days. Web design doesn’t so much cater to the young, as it seems to attract young people to its ranks. Perhaps that’s because today’s youth have grown up with computers, and their brains seem wired to technology. Those of us who grew up with typewriters (gasp!!) have a bit more challenge staying current with changing technology. Some of these “kids” actually want to spend all their time on a computer or phone; I like having a Life, ha!
      Enjoy your week, my friend! xo

  2. Occasionally I’ll have someone come to camp for a meet and greet–I think everything went well and then they never make the reservation or they cancel. It’s probably not personal but it sure feels that way. And I hate how long I allow the “yuck” feeling to rent space in my head. I’m sure it is a blessing but first, you have to get past the disappointment and move on —perhaps you could hit the driving range? Buy yourself something fun while reminding yourself in a tangible way that you are worth every penny, take the day you would have been stuck meeting with them to write….to spa…to shop….to read…to meet a good friend for lunch. And most important every time you want to play it again in your head firmly change the channel–you have better things to listen to. Better things to come for sure!

    • Katybeth, it’s the “yuck” feeling that’s left over, as well as the regular replaying of the disappointment that makes me an unhappy camper. Generally, I’m able to put the bad stuff out of mind, but I confess, the poorhouse isn’t in my game plan! This client wasn’t exactly a source of a LOT of income, but they were something I could count on regularly, and I’ll miss that. I suppose it means I’ll need to find another client to take their place, and that’s not easy. Everybody knows it’s easier to keep clients than it is to find new ones. Sigh. Thank you for your words of wisdom; I take comfort in knowing other small businesspeople are facing similar challenges … and thriving!

  3. Just remember: you didn’t get fired from your job. You just lost a customer. There’s a difference. I go through that all the time. It’s the lot of the independent contractor. Sometimes a customer will move, or sell their boat. Soemtimes, they just move on and have someone else do the work, and I never know why. But in more than twenty-five years, I’ve never been without work. I’m as close now as I’ve ever been, but that’s because I’ve stopped taking on new jobs until I finally get caught up. Being caught up would be great!

    Just think of it as a chance to rearrange your priorities, or to find a new customer who’ll be even more fun and challenging to work with. If things get tight, let me know, and I’ll send along a care package. :-)

    • Linda, thank you for empathizing. Yes, a bit of insecurity regarding work and income is par for the course for independent workers. My late dad used to call it a “meat to feathers” existence. The wise ones will save and invest the money from big jobs to tide them over when work and clients are scarcer.
      I’m fortunate that I have plenty to keep me busy. Besides my writing, I have several potential web projects that might come to fruition in the future. I can only hope they don’t all become reality at the same time!
      Thanks, too, for the offer of a care package, but I’m far from bringing out a tin can and panhandling on a street corner, ha!!

  4. Glad you’re finding a way to look at it positively! I always think technology must be such a difficult business since it changes so dramatically all the time. And, as you say, there’s no doubt it’s got easier for non-technical people to handle on their own – so long as nothing goes wrong! I hope this does allow you more time to get to your writing though – the silver lining… :D

    • I like a business to be somewhat unpredictable, but these lightning-fast changes are ridiculous! Just when I think I’ve learned one thing, another half-dozen pop up that must be mastered. While it’s good that it’s no longer an elitist profession, it’s sad that the Web is forced to endure all sorts of nasty-looking sites just because everybody thinks they can do design (then they call a professional when they get in too deep and expect us to bail them out … cheaply!)

  5. Oh Deb!!! No… I know having some time will help you write…but it is still hard to deal with no job and applying for a new one. But Deb you know what I’m about to do….

    Father God, my blog friend needs new employment and I’m asking for a new job that pays really good, has great benefits and is a great place to work and is close to her home. Please also give her your peace during this time. I ask in Jesus name Amen.

    I hope after you have your morning coffee or tea that your creative juices start flowing as you get going on your writing. I know your dog will enjoy your company!!!

    • Tanya, thank you for interceding in prayer — you know I never turn down somebody offering to pray for me!
      I hope my post didn’t mislead you. It’s not that I lost my job. I work for myself, so all I lost was one client. It’s okay, really. They were a good client, but they’re certainly free to move on. I’d like to find a suitable replacement for them, but in the meantime, I’ll have more time to write, a definite win-win situation!
      Hope all’s right in your world, my friend!

      • OOOOOOOH! You lost a client…got it! Well you’ll get another one. Like you said, more time to write. Should I start a go fund me LOL!

        I’m good. Busy taking care of my 92 year old dad. He’s been in and out of the hospital with kidney stone stuff. He’s home and comfortable but needs follow up care. I have 2 big concerts at the end of the month so I’ve been trying to practice. Good news…I’ve been praying for a better job for my husband for 5 years and he just got one. I’m so happy! Well that’s about it Deb.

        • Thanks for the update, Tanya. So pleased about your husband’s new job, and I KNOW you’ll nail your performance! Sorry about your dad — as my older-than-me friends keep saying, Aging isn’t for sissies. Isn’t it wonderful what modern medicine can do to help ailing folks?!

  6. Glad you can end up feeling somewhat OK about it. I think a lot of things in the world are turning into a ‘young person’s world.” I know that underwriting mortgages is cut throat and definitely not for the faint of heart and I was glad to turn it over to the next generation when I left. Even librarian work…when I was trying to find work as a librarian was going to people in their 20s..v.s. me in my 50s with a world more experience and the exact same degree the youngsters had. Ah well…you’ll write your book and enjoy yourself and everything will be as it should be.

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