This doesn’t mean that we take clients’ decisions and feedback personally. We know that criticism of our work is part of our passionate profession. Not taking it personally is what makes us a professional.
During a presentation at a design school, a student asked me how clients deal with me missing deadlines. My answer came out of the blue. I meant, “I’ve never missed a deadline .” My response surprised me as much as it did the students. As far back as I can remember, I have never had to call a client to say I can’t meet the deadline in twenty years. In a few cases, I had asked for a delay when the client delivered the final briefing or reference material later than was discussed. So whenever there were delays on the clients’ side.
Every collaboration is personal, human, and always has an intimate level regardless of the assignment or the fee
So why have I never missed a deadline? Let me try to put it this way: Every collaboration is personal, human, and always has an intimate level regardless of the assignment or the fee. Whether it’s a global conglomerate worth millions or a medium-sized advertising agency from our small hometown – we communicate with people. Usually even intensely with just one: the owner, the creative director, the designer, the intern. For some reason, life has brought us together. Be it only for a short period and only via email. We don’t want to disappoint that person.
We have been commissioned and appropriately compensated for delivering something, be it a beautiful illustration, a functioning website, or a logo the client can be proud of. Most of the time, the client only has an impression of us through our website. This means that, apart from his money, he puts his trust in us. This is enormous praise without us lifting a finger. He relies on us, and we know that our actions or inactions can have far-reaching consequences. We want to avoid that by all means.
In the end, however, it is primarily about ourselves
In the end, however, it is primarily about ourselves. Our attitude, our seriousness, and how much we love what we do. Personally, I don’t like the feeling when I show up late for an appointment. Be it an appointment with a tax accountant or with friends. That feeling can ruin my day. Knowing that a paying client is waiting with pawing feet for my email just because I couldn’t organize myself better is pure stress for me. And I just don’t feel like that feeling.