A VA pal and I were talking and she shared that in a recent conversation with a new client, the client was insisting that my pal have a backup plan in place to cover the client’s work for when my pal would take vacations, sick days, personal days and the like. My friend was feeling resistant to that, and wondered why. I let her know it was because the client had bumped up against her standards for her business and that never feels good.

The client was trying to “make her” run her business the way she (the client) wanted it run. And as the client, she had no right.

The only person with the right to tell you how your business should run is you.

We talked about it for a few minutes, but the upshot was this: the only person who has the right to tell YOU how to run YOUR business is you. Another person can ask your permission to make suggestions, and once that’s given, share what’s worked for him/her, even say what s/he would like to see you do. But at the end of the day, it’s your business, and your decision. Sure, the client can leave your practice, but you know, that’s probably preferable than having to constantly run your business by someone else’s standards.

And because my friend thought it would be helpful to her in the future, we came up with some great language to use with a client like this:

Thanks so much for your suggestions, (name of client goes here). I appreciate the time you’ve taken to let me know what you think. And while I agree that doing things your way makes sense for your business, please remember that I run my business according to what makes sense to me.

That’s it. As much as it might be enticing to say more, don’t. You’ve said it all (or everything that you need to say), said it graciously, and have strongly made your point that she doesn’t run your business.