What’s the worst thing that could realistically happen if no more clients wanted to talk to you?

Note above I said realistically so we’re already throwing out all the invented scenarios around becoming destitute and living in a cardboard box for the rest of your life.

The worst thing that could happen if no more clients wanted to work with you is that you go get a job at a coffee shop, or maybe you’d go back to retail or construction.

Maybe you’d downsize in house and cut a car.

The worst thing that could happen is that I’d have to close up my freelance business and go work for an agency.

My family would still love me.

I’d still get to be a good dad.

My bills would still get paid.


So really the big thing that would be bad is something internal. If your business folded then you’d feel like you failed.

That’s a real feeling but it’s not really that bad. It feels bad because you poor so much of yourself in to your business. So much that it feels like your business and you are the same thing.

It’s not kids living on the sidewalk or in slavery.

It’s simply you being smart and when your business work doesn’t you to change course to provide for your family.

Bad things

You’re going to have weeks that are bad, I have them and any freelancer that says everything is great every day is lying to you.

When that happens, put it in perspective by truly addressing the worst case scenario.

You still have skills that are likely in demand, so go work for someone else.

Really, that’s not all that bad. So don’t let a bad day or two get you down. If days stretch in to weeks then go talk to someone and get some help.

While I don’t love the idea of working for an agency again, my primary goal is to provide for my family.

As long as I can do that, life is pretty awesome.

photo credit: nukamari cc

4 responses to “This is the worst thing that could happen”

  1. yankeerudy Avatar

    I have a friend who once owned a trucking company that hauled missiles for the Army. He would ask “If things don’t go right, does somebody get killed?” It helps put things in perspective.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      I actually think of things in a similar vein and think back to my days guiding whitewater trips where my mistake could really send someone down a chunk of river that would kill them.

      The consequences simply aren’t that high.

  2. Glenn Dixon Avatar

    When we quit our jobs and ran away from home, we had to address that question often. What if it all doesn’t work out? What if we can’t find a way to stay out on the road? What if we run out of money?

    The answer we always came back to was “Well, we’d just have to move back home and pick up where we left off. We’d have to get jobs again. And that’s ok, because we’ve had jobs our whole lives. We know how to do that.”

    That was always our ‘worst case’ scenario. But we had lots of Plan B’s and C’s ahead of that. As it turned out, our Plan A failed miserably (content/internet marketing). But a Plan B surfaced out of nowhere, and now I’m so busy with WordPress clients I can hardly see straight. And although I’m not employed by an agency, I might as well be since I’m one of their few developers. Still technically freelance though, so I do get to work from anywhere in the world.

    But it’s a great question, isn’t it? What’s the worst? Most of the time, it’s doing what you are already doing. You know the old saying — I’d rather try and fail than never try at all.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Really writing down the realistic scenario puts it in perspective for people and like you said a B scenario came out of the blue just because you tried something new.