Lessons Learned: A blackmail essentially...

Jan 17, 2023
Problematic Client Behavior

I want to share with you such a valuable lesson that I learned a while back, when I started this business. The lesson is how important it is to listen to your gut feeling.

I’ve had over 100s of clients and most, if not all have been an absolute pleasure to work with.

Except this one client of mine. She, frankly, was a nightmare.

She was demanding

She didn’t listen

She wasn’t coachable

All signs that this wouldn’t end well.

I felt drained and tired working with her.

I took her onboard because she was struggling (many of my clients come to me as they struggle with getting clients) and I wanted to help her overcome these struggles.

I'm still a bit of a people pleaser.

But my body screamed nooo!! Silja don’t do this...

After our first onboarding call, I could feel the pain in my shoulders.

I felt tired (I’m usually not tired) but I brushed it off.

I just had a launch and made an excuse of being drained and tired.

In our next session, she just kept on talking.

She went on and on…and I had difficulty controlling the conversation.

And then I got a message afterwards saying that she couldn’t get a word in...(talk about different perceptions of the meeting!).

I had to go back and look at the recording to see if I was losing it...

She started to privately message me, calling me, all despite clear guidelines in our contract how our communication takes place.

And I felt I had to overdeliver. She just wasn’t happy. Nothing seemed enough.

I kept on pleasing her. Giving her extra, a lot extra from what we agreed on (there is a big difference between when you WANT to and when you feel you NEED to. I love to over deliver and delight my clients).

But having the feeling you HAVE TO, is another red flag…that I ignored.

And she just wouldn’t take my advice.

She would constantly make excuses why this wouldn’t work and that she was going to do things differently…

And of course she didn’t get results. (my advice only works if you do it!). And blamed me for it (even though she took none of my advice!).

Then she got angry. Really angry.

I got disturbing messages from her, so I called her.

Where she screamed at me, cried and blamed me.

I listened, tried to deescalate the situation.

I left the conversation thinking that I had diffused the situation. She seemed calm at the end.

Nope. An hour later, I got a new threatening email. And then another one.

And that if I didn’t do what she demanded at noon tomorrow, then...

Emails I got at 6pm.

A blackmail essentially.

And for me this is a no go. Too many boundaries broken. Too many red flags now.

I refunded her and let her go.

Even though I have a bulletproof contract.

And did exactly what we agreed on.

Not worth it.

And learned a very valuable lesson here.

Probably one of the most valuable lessons in my business and that is to listen to my gut feeling.

Ignoring it causes trouble.


There were plenty of red flags...

My boundaries were broken again and again and I let it slide…

I wasn't true to me. I didn’t stand up for myself.

I let things slide for too long.

My body tried to warn me again and again. But I didn’t listen.

So what I do differently now:

- Always take note of my body after a sales call. Ask myself how I feel.
- Have clearer boundaries and communicate them more clearly with my clients.

- Be on top of things - if red flags happen, deal with it immediately.

The beauty being in business is you can choose who you want to work with.

What I know now (more than ever!) is that I will only onboard clients when my body says YAY! I just love that vibe.

That person just clicks with you.

Because then I can truly coach them so they get the results they deserve.

Have you ever NOT listened to your gut feeling? What lessons did you learn?

Are you clear on who you want to work with and who you don’t?



Silja Thor