My wife and I are in Peru, about to go up the hill to Machu Picchu (which is amazing btw).
We're staying in this cute little hotel thing in one of the many cramped buildings along this stone-paved winding uphill-both-ways street.
At this point we've been on our trip for a few days and seen some truly incredible stuff.
We both have altitude medication, lol, because we're puny Americans. We've both been on antibiotics from poor street-food choices.
Basically having the time of our lives. It's truly the best trip ever. No sarcasm. We love it.
So during this down time between the evening and tomorrow's early morning death trek hike up to the mountaintop, I decide to pop my phone on the world's oldest wifi and check my email.
Before I do that, you need to know something.
This was 2011. I had just "started" my business the year prior.
It was also November, which means I had also just quit my day job a couple months ago.
And one of the biggest, baddest mistakes (among so many) I made was not setting ANY client expectations. At all.
I let clients walk all over me, disrespect me, own my time, own my prices...basically I made my own life a nightmare because I didn't know any better.
One of my worst and most stressful clients, Jack, was the main character in this nightmare. He would call, text, email, and monopolize me for his own personal gain at the drop of a hat.
All while paying me WAY too little for my time.
Jack knows I'm in Peru.
So I turn on my phone which is the worst mistake in human history. Connect to the wifi. Wait.
And I quote "Mike this can wait, if it must, but (technical thing with a shopping cart script)."
This can wait. If it must.
I will never forget that sentence, because it flipped a switch in me.
It was like all of a sudden I knew I could run this business and respect myself at the same time.
Play by my rules.
Yeah, it can wait. Jackass.
When we got back from Peru I unceremoniously fired Jack - turns out there was a procession of about 5 other web guys that followed in my tracks who tried their hardest to make his stuff work, but he fired all of them.
His business shut down eventually, but mine is still here.
Don't get me wrong - he's a nice enough guy. Family. Kids. But had I respected my time and myself enough to put down some hard limits, I probably would have never ended up working with him in the first place.
Which is why that's one of the first and most important things I do with prospects and new clients, and one of the most important things I teach inside the Horse Course.
Qualify, qualify, qualify. Then if you let them into your business - set and manage expectations early.
It makes both your experiences better.
And in this stupid entrepreneur life, the happier and calmer you are, the better literally everything will be. Trust me on that.
PS. As we head into winter I've got some exciting new interviews lined up, including plans for some brand new course content. I've also tweaked the price a bit and added a 2-payment option that people requested.
Check it out! https://www.rapidleads.co/p/horsecourse