Do you let your codependency and people-pleasing issues get in the way of taking care of yourself and doing what it right for you or just right in general? Yeah, that would be me. I still catch myself getting stuck in these ruts. However, today, I know how to get out of them. Sometimes I can do it immediately and other times it takes me some time to work through the process. This one took me some time…too much time.
I’ve been wrestling with my codependency for about two months now in dealing with a client. This client launched her business in October and contracted with me to create her website and then all her documents and forms. We agreed on an hourly rate and that payments would be monthly. Now I know how difficult it is to start-up a small business with no money and I also know when I don’t have the money to use a service, I figure out a different way. But hey, that’s just me.
So I did the work and continued with the unrelenting changes to images, logos, forms, documents, the website and postings. Each time I scheduled events on the website calendar she would change the dates or times, or cancel them or need a different flyer. When I would send my invoice she would tell me that she would be making a payment “next week”. It got to a point that every month, I had to ask her when she is going to make a payment. She would eventually make a partial payment of one of the invoices and the balance just kept growing.
When she would ask me to do more changes or create new documents I would tell her that this was going to take time and I would let her know on occasion how much time I had already spent on her tasks for the month. She understood but wanted me to proceed anyway.
The little bit of money I make from this business is what I live off of. I can’t keep working and not getting paid in full for the services I have provided. Now here’s where my codependency bites me in the ass… I should have stuck to my guns and stopped work until the first invoice was completely paid and continued with that process. But I didn’t. I knew she would pay me as she is not a bad or shady person. She is a sweet woman and I wanted to help her get her business going but, after 9 months, I have to stop. Well, guess what that means folks. Yep, I have to step-up and do what is right for me. UGH
I needed to let her know that I could no longer do anymore work for her until her past due balance was cleared up. It was not like the time I had to fire a client but still, it was difficult. My brain was having a battle with my codependency. I didn’t want to hurt her or make her feel bad but… not getting paid is hurting me. I didn’t want to make her mad but… I was getting resentful. I did not want to completely lose her as a client but… if she chooses not to use me any longer, I’ll find another client.
So I put on my big-girl-panties and sent her the email. I did it because I needed to respect the boundaries I set for my business and myself. I did it because I needed to value myself and my skills. I did it because it is what is right for me and the way I want to be treated. And I did it because it is just bad business practice and I love my business. It took me awhile to do it; longer than it should have, but I did it all the same. I took care of me and my needs and my boundaries today!