In our 14th take at Client Horror Stories, we have Will Rico, CEO of CommonMind, along with a parade of mentors, telling us probably the weirdest yet most gripping and surprising story so far. Today’s tale is the compilation of horror, random, and sometimes positively surprising situations that went along in Will’s 9-year long relationship with his then mentor.
Will takes us back to 2001, when he was just a 27-year-old starting a company and renting an office from his high-school boss, who couldn’t help but try to get involved in the young startup’s business. Little did we know that he would not actually end up being the trouble-maker, but actually the guy that he introduced Will to in order to create (what he thought would be) a fantastic deal.
The narrative that Will walks us through has everything from drama, sweet-angel wives, sketchy guys with a lot of stories to tell, and even unexpected (and later on canceled) inheritances, to end up with very wise advice: Choose your mentors wisely, don’t take advice from just anyone, and learn how to say “no”.
Take 13th at Client Horror Stories is starred by Anthony Highman, along with an exclusive selection of what he considered his top-notch horror stories of many years in the industry. In a quick and easy short story method, Anthony walks us through the perks and quirks of what it takes to engage in a committed and beneficial for both parts working relationship.
Anthony’s tales have everything that a captivative story needs: plot twists, cross-state driving, lawyers, conflictive exes (even the marketing world has them!), and the perfect amount of fishing metaphors. All the drama and random turns that today’s episode has are nothing compared to everything we can learn from them.
Reaching the end, Morgan and Anthony agree that working with clients has three big and essential keys: Being able to explain your strategies and the decisions you make, understanding what your client’s real objectives are (even if they include firing the person who hired you), and building a trust-based relationship from the very beginning.
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
In our eleventh take at Client Horror Stories, we have Jess McCarter sharing with us a story that started with a way longer meeting than necessary. One of those meetings where they discussed the solution to all the world's problems. And that was the start of many, many meetings like that.
Jess' tale takes us back 15 years when he was still a young start-up founder trying to climb his way in the custom software industry. He landed a massive client on the East Coast with a very ambitious idea that was way ahead of its time idea. Jess' team was blinded by the lights of this huge contract with an ambitious client. Previously they had worked only on small contracts with a fixed scope. But, of course, the team wanted a client with a vast open-ended project. It was an incredibly bright future, or so it seemed. Unfortunately, because due diligence ended up a very low priority, disaster lurked just around the corner.
With today's story, we learn a couple of lessons on managing clients, especially when we don't have so much experience yet, and when we actually believe in our client's project. And with that comes along one of our highlighted quotes of the day: "The only thing worse than no contract is a bad contract." And with that line, Jess pretty much summarizes everything there is to know about encountering the client version of the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none."
Reaching the very end of this tale, we learn that not every lousy client is a bad person and that working hard and being honest really pays off. Even if it's a couple of years later.