Five reasons bad clients are good for us

This article is also posted on and can also be read there.

I find people complain a lot about bad clients and how much they hate them (naturally). But instead of writing yet another one of those tired old posts that are so popular slating them and their inability to understand things that are ‘basic’ to us, I decided to flip the table and write about how good they are for us.

1. They make you work harder

Having problems with a client makes the day harder and it makes you work harder. If we all did easy work all the time there it wouldn’t make an interesting job, and it would be fairly boring after a while.

2. You learn from it personally

You make mistakes, you learn from them. You pick bad clients – you learn to spot bad clients. Things the clients say, things they do, how they approach you – all these things we can learn from and better ourselves in our chosen areas.

3. They keep your work interesting for others

People love gossip (especially in England) – so what better to gossip about than your work? What better to relate with your friends or partner with than a bad experience with a client?

Something that happened today, something they said, how they said it, how stupid that demand was – all of these things don’t involve technical aspects of the work that would confuse someone who isn’t in the area.

Gossip is how people in technical areas such as computing relate to others about their job whatever area they are in and don’t we all love it.

4. You are challenged in places you don’t want to be

Can you float that advertisement over the content and then make it invisible please? Can you make that list go alphabetically, then order by numbers, make it criss-crossed and make this picture over here flash colours when you click this link?

Bad clients can think of terrible things you could never dream of, but isn’t learning how to do them what makes our work interesting?

5. They test your character

Are you willing to float the banner over the content and make it invisible? Make that picture flash colours when the link is clicked? Or is it not ethical? Are you going to shout at a client because they make you do things you don’t want to do? How do you handle it?

All of these things test our characters as professionals and everyday people. How we deal with them tells us a lot about ourselves and it lets us learn from the experiences.

So can we all agree that at least sometimes bad clients are good for us? That they make our lifes a little more interesting?

If you know of anymore reasons bad clients may be good for us all, please add your comment below and I will post them in any future follow up articles :)

13 Responses

  1. Darius Aliabadi

    great find Jay :), so true off any freelance work.


  2. Nik

    Cool…now I have really BAD clients….I needed to read this article at leas a mounth before

  3. Jamie Huskisson

    Darius – find? I wrote it!

    Nik – I’m sure it’ll just make you better with your clients that aren’t bad :)

  4. Darius Aliabadi

    yea i meant article lol.

  5. Lorissa

    great article! it’s nice to see a positive spin on this topic for a change.

  6. Aleks

    yes! great article!

  7. Pingback on

  8. Tuan Nguyen

    Yes, even the bad ones can teach us something in business. Everyone is a teacher.

  9. Ash Haque

    Great article,

    PS. Love the pitch about subscribing to your rss feed at the top of your sidebar :-P

  10. Asim Izhar

    great thinking

  11. Asim Izhar

    i am ready for bad clients for my new upcoming web hosting company.

  12. Asim Izhar

    Now i Have make My Web hosting Company

  13. sarah khan

    Nice article i like it.

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