Marathon clients who give you a black toe

Nov 6, 2023

Happy Monday!

Though, it wasn’t a happy Saturday for my friend Alex. Well, it was a mixed bag I suppose.

He ran his first marathon, ever. Major props. The first half went well. He was making a good pace and his numbers were right where they needed to be.

But the second half… not so much.

The way he describes it:

Whoooo it was crazy!! First 16 miles I killed it with my target 8:45/min pace. Then at mile 16 body ran out of entry (sic), brain told my legs to go to sleep, and they shut down. So last ten miles was excruciating. Shuffling my feet then stopping to rest over and over. Still managed to finish though averaging 10 minute mile despite this and finished first marathon!

Then came the picture forever etched in my mind. A black toe. Yuck. Looks like it hurts.

And I got to thinking… ya know, there are “marathon clients” who sometimes give you a black toe.

At first, things go well.

You like them. They like you.

All of the numbers seem to line up, you’re hitting a stride, and you think “man, if all my clients were like Sally Sue!”

And then — BOOM.

It’s like a switch flips.

Sometimes you don’t even know why. It’s like they just woke up one day and decided they have “ran out of energy for being easy to work with.”

Suddenly, you find the project dragging on.

Make the logo bigger. Make that text smaller. Make that RIDICULOUSLY slim border a little less opaque.

Can you relate at all?

So, how do you find that balance of working with your client, being accommodating, helping them make good decisions, etc… but not allowing them to give you a black toe?

One of the ways you can do this is with a repeatable process that you obey like it’s the gosh darn 10 Commandments.

You need to have a process.

Or else the scope creeps and creeps until it turns into a monster. The goalposts keep moving. Clients become unsatisfied. You start getting upset.

Real bad news; the good news is, this is totally avoidable.

If you want to learn how to create this process, I teach exactly how to do that as part of the subscription web design Success Path.

And since I’ve made it so flexible, you can skip right ahead to that section if you want.

Here’s where you can get it today: