What are your values? And how do you avoid temptation?

People talk a lot about how important values are to your business. But do you actually stick to them? Or do they (inadvertently) go out of the window when someone offers you a big contract?

I was struggling a bit last year so I did a little exercise with myself, and came up with five questions that I need to ask before I take on a new client.

Those questions are:

  • Do we connect?
  • Can I see your purpose in life?
  • Do you like other people?
  • Will I improve your life?
  • Will you improve my life?

If you don't get 3 out of 5, I will try to help but I won't take you on. Ideally you should get 4 out of 5 and then I know we're a good fit.

Looking back at my previous clients, it was a perfect match - the projects that had gone badly also had clients that scored 2 or less.

It's not a perfect system; I took on a client the other month that was only a 2.5 and I regret it already. But that's my fault for breaking the rules.

If you'd like help in coming up with your own set of questions, the exercise I used for this is part of my Five Day Challenge. Registration is free and we start on Monday (the 2nd of March), so this is your last chance to get involved.

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England