The value of letting go

Recently I stopped working with a client that I had been serving for almost exactly 10 years. While, the work I did for them included voiceovers, most of what I did for them was production and writing. 10 years ago, production and writing were a part of the mix of services I provided for my clients. Today, my focus is voiceover work.

Now, I loved working with these folks. I mean I really loved everything about working with them. They were not only nice people, they had very high standards, which helped to keep me sharp. They were always searching for ways to do things better. They valued my suggestions. I even traveled every quarter so we could plan our next steps in a face-to-face setting, paying for that travel out of my own pocket.

Then, a few months ago, they were presented with an opportunity to tremendously expand what they are doing. That expansion was best served by working with someone else so we’ve parted ways. Very amicably, but we’re not working together any more. I do miss seeing and talking with the people there. And I do miss the income. But, here’s the really interesting part. Now that I’m not working with them, I’m able to be even more focused on my core business of voiceovers. I loved working with those folks, but I really love telling stories for people. And what I did for them didn’t involve telling stories all that often. It was much more the nuts and bolts of editing, writing and producing.

So, in a strange way, we’ve both gained from this parting of the ways. They’ve been able to expand rapidly and effectively. And I’ve sharpened the focus of my work. I’ve also gained a bunch of time that I’ve needed in order to serve the significant number of new voiceover clients I have. In fact I might well have missed a couple of really significant opportunities in the first quarter of this year if I was still working with them because I wouldn’t have had the time I needed to meet some very tight deadlines. And as a result of being able to take on those opportunities, my income hasn’t fallen since our parting, it’s grown.

Not every story has one, but I do love happy endings.

(edited to fix typo)

4 Comments

  1. Well said, Bob. In business, it’s important to let these relationships evolve and to find new ones. Isn’t it amazing how new business rushes in to fill the space created? This has happened to me recently.

    Comment by Donna Papacosta — April 17, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Love it! I remember being so afraid of ‘losing’ my steady clientele when I first started in voice work and production, but for each that either found a different system of doing things that no longer required me, or who just trickled off in what they were producing, I’ve found more that I love even more. My grandparents used to say, “When one door shuts, another one opens”. It keeps me from jumping out the window with fear. 😉

    Comment by Dana Detrick-Clark — April 17, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  3. sounds like the timing couldn’t have happened better. and, unlike so many others, you still have an un-burned bridge to use if the need should ever arise.

    good for you.

    Comment by rowell gormon — April 17, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  4. Great thoughts there, Bob. We can all remember the lean times so it’s all the harder to let something go.

    Corrie Ten Boom said: “I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands.”

    Comment by Dave Spiker — April 17, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

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