During my years running a brand and marketing business and consulting in Japan I had my share of challenges. One that I remember, and in particular found quite tough at the time, also provided a great lesson I’d like to share with you.
It all started when we just landed a big contract from a large advertising agency. They hired us for our expertise and to help their Japanese client communicate their advertising messages more effectively to their global customer base.
The project started off well. In fact, I was told that our contract may double in size as a result of the initial work we did.
But the good vibe didn’t last too long.
Not long after, the agency took a sharp turn and decided they wanted to completely control the direction of our work.
In effect, they wanted us to implement and execute ideas that we disagreed with. Not only because we had pretty strong egos, but because they made no business sense and would harm their client’s reputation in the international market.
That didn’t jive well with us.
It caused a lot of stress. I dreaded every call from this agency – as the result was always unpleasant. But we were making good money. We had to make a choice.
The Final Decision…
In the end we decided to end the contract. Even though the money was great, the stress and discomfort the project was causing us just wasn’t worth it.
Do I regret that decision now? Not one bit, in fact, looking back I should have ended that project earlier.
While I’ve always valued my clients, both at that past company and my current ones, sometimes you have to draw the line. Life’s too short to let people trample on. You gotta do what you can to make sure you’re enjoying the work you do and that you’re doing what you believe is right.
So what do you think? Ever had a similar situation? Or another kind of client challenge that you’ve learned from?