That time I told a million-dollar client to shove it

At some point in every freelancer’s career, you find your… ahem… cajones. For me, it was the project I worked on for Michael Hyatt. I’m not blameless. I was very new to freelancing, so I was naive.

And, I didn’t get that it was MY job to set and manage expectations…

No matter how “famous” or experienced the client is.

But, however we got there, I had to draw the line. It was 9pm on a Sunday night (I bet you can guess where this is going). Unbeknownst to me, Michael and his team had been working a relaunch of their membership site…

And a new sales letter.

And, they were planning to launch Monday morning.


So, 9pm on Sunday evening I get an email… “Hey, here’s the re-design for the sales letter. Can you have this ready to by 8am tomorrow morning as we’re planning to open registration, again?”

Double yeah.

I think I wrote about 1,000 angry emails in my head… in the 5 minutes before I responded. All I could muster without going into an angry rant was:

“No. I’ll work on it first thing in the morning”

I hit send and went to bed.

Well, that went over like a fart in church. And I, of course, got the “talking to”. But, I held my ground. And, we didn’t part ways right then, but it was the beginning of the end. They were paying me a ton of muney…

But, no amount of muney is worth my self-respect.

I learned that… that day.

In any case, I find a lot of freelancers get nervous thinking about working with these kinds of clients — the “10K clients” as I call them. The truth is… most are just as disorganized and “winging it” as you and I.

Matter of fact…

My little brother has consulted with companies like Nike, Google, Amazon, CVS, Office Depot and about every other brand name you could think of. And, the stories he could tell. I think I’ll get him on the podcast to do just that, at some point.

But, MANY of those companies are a train-wreck internally.

The idea that these are super-organized companies and you’ll look like some kind of incompetent noob is mostly in your head. They’re often worse because of all the bureaucracy and “red tape”.

In any case… if you’ve been thinking about grabbing a copy of my 5-Figure Formula course, but been feeling nervous about whether “you can do it”… all I can say is “trust me”. These clients aren’t the geniuses you’ve imagined in your head.

Matter of fact…

They NEED your help.

Some of them desperately.

Anyhoo, maybe that gives you the shot of confidence you need to go for it… and maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. But, if you want to give it a shot, I’ll show you what to do to create the kind of services these clients want.

And, either way, you’re gonna learn a ton about increasing the perceived value of your services — which you can never go wrong with.

Anyway, up to you.

Link is here if you’re up for it:



Idea Engine LLC

P.O. Box 245

Winona, MO 65588

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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Sukh Plaha

John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.