What losing my first retainer client taught me

And how I learned to become my own biggest supporter


7/26/20233 min read

Solopreneur work desk that's empty
Solopreneur work desk that's empty

Not many people write about their failures as a biz owner. I plan to be the exception to that. Especially for solopreneurs.

I jumped for joy (literally!) when my first retainer client said YES to my proposal.

This was like 6-months into biz (so a good 20 months ago😝). It's a dream come true for many copywriters to get clients on retainers.

It's like a magic word among the copywriting community - RETAINERS.

And that's because it gives us the very thing most solopreneurs crave - sustainable income.

And when she said yes, you know what it's like...

In that moment you feel so confident that you got what it takes to finally kick imposters syndromes' b*tt 🔥

You're finally able to do good work and show the client how kick-ass you can truly be.

So I got to work💪🏽

I went about starting those emails and blogs, research, write, edit, add images....

more edits, read through, edits again, work on topics, reword them, more edits.

Passed it all over to the client, super proud of being ahead of the agreed timeline.

And she wasn't happy 😭

She felt I wasn't representing her voice as I should.

It truly was a punch to the gut (I truly understood for the first time, what that would actually feel like)

And of course, she requested to terminate our agreement.

I went through all the motions, disappointment, guilt, anger at myself. Not to mention feeling like imposter syndrome was laughing in my face 🙄

After spending a LONG time processing I reached a point of peace and thought to myself:

What's the lesson here? (Something I learned to do in a mental fitness bootcamp)

The answer was an equal gut punch:

My onboarding processes sucked 🥴

I didn't have a strong enough onboarding form/ brand voice guide to get the voice of the client right + prevent any issues about them wanting to sound a certain way.

You see I tend to write to make you sound like YOU.

And some clients, wanting to sound relatable - prefer to sound playful or much more humorous.

This also taught me something about my ideal clients

I'm now 100% sure that if you want to sound like someone OTHER than yourself - we got a LOT more talking to do🤣

You see, things can be painful AND still have great lessons behind them. It's one of the beautiful things about life.

I've also learnt so much about self compassion from this experience: I AM meant to be my biggest supporter.

And I also understood what biggest supporter meant.

-It meant I can feel all the emotions of disappointment, but I don't choose to stay there.

-It meant I would then take a step back and analyze what could be done better and make an action plan for that.

-It meant I would speak to myself kindly throughout the process so I come out on the other side feeling stronger.

Being a solopreneur means everything is ON YOU. You don't make sales, that's on you.

You screw up a sales call, that's on you. You don't have clients in the pipeline, that's on you.

You deliver poor work, that's of course, on you.

And while we could find support in community, the reality remains the success of the business, is very much ON YOU.

Though on the bright side, the growth on a personal level and on a mindset level - is INSANE for solopreneurs.

And that I wouldn't trade for anything else, and is reason enough for me to continue to see this till I'm a 5-figure business owner.

Here's to becoming our own biggest supporters🥂🥂 and if you're a solopreneur who needs a

little encouragement send me an email OR find me on IG - it's where I hang out the most ;)