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World’s #1 chess player teaches you how to deal with problem clients

All clients ain’t made equal. Some pay you seconds after you send an invoice. Others pay you two, three, or four months later. Or ghost you entirely and never pay you.

Not to mention, there are the time vampire clients too. These bloodsuckers wanna book a meeting with you every week to talk about nothing. Or they hit you up with a new slack message every 5 minutes throughout the entire week.

As a service provider of any kind, you must respect your time. Otherwise, these opportunistic clients will bleed your time dry.

Such is the way of a freelancer.

And it reminds me of an eyebrow raising story that took the chess world by storm recently.


One of the best chess players—not only in the world, but perhaps the best chess player in history to ever pick up a pawn—is one Magnus Carlson.

Dude’s 31 years old.

And he’s been crowned the World Chess Champion five times already. He’s a three-time World Rapid Chess Champion and five-time World Blitz Chess Champion.


Magnus was recently involved in some kind of online chess tournament when he did something that shocked chess fans around the globe.

Magnus played black, his opponent played white. And Magnus resigned from the match after only making one move.

Huh? Why?

Why did the world’s best chess player quit after making one move?

Because he was playing against a known cheater.

Cheating in the chess world is like bringing a phone to a comedy show:

Nothing is more frowned upon by folks in the “know.”

And Magnus’s opponent convinced Magnus that he was cheating after making two moves.

I won’t get into all the chess game theory, but basically, Magnus’s opponent responded to Magnus’s first move with the single best move based on the computer’s algorithm.

In other words, his opponent somehow had the computer feeding him moves. And Magnus resigned immediately because not only was his opponent a known cheater, but he recently beat Magnus in another tournament (and Magnus had a feeling he cheated in that too).

The lesson?

Know your battles.

Sometimes it’s better to cut ties with a client as soon as possible rather than bend over backwards for them while they treat you like shit.

This recently happened with one of my clients:

He paid me two months after I sent his invoice.

My response?


I ghosted him.

Now, I don’t ghost every client who’s a day or two behind paying my outrageous fees. But this client in particular didn’t reach out to me, apologize, or even let me know that he couldn’t send the invoice on time.

So I decided to stop working with him. And I have a vendetta against the niche he works in as a whole.

Did I lose some money from this? Yes, probably. But my sanity, freedom, and respect is more important.

Same goes with Magnus.

Did he “lose” a chess match because he quit after one move? Yes, technically. But his sanity, respect for himself and the game, and the game’s prestige is more important.

Know your battles.

Then fight ‘em ruthlessly.


Need help scaling your business (without sacrificing your freedom)? One of the most effective ways to pour gasoline on your income is with an email strategy that people love both reading and buying from.

But… if you don’t pay me on time, I’ll cut ties with you with no hard feelings.

So only grab a time if you think you can pay my outrageous fees.



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