In 9 out of 10 cases, low-paying clients are also high-pain clients. It’s typically the ones who want discounts, reductions and freebies who also pay late, criticise work and ask for endless repeats and alterations. High-paying clients tend to be less petty, more professional. 

You are becoming an industry expert. Give yourself permission to fire your low-paying, high-input clients. Focus on the high-end clients that you want to work with. 

Not only does this culling process play into the 80/20 Pareto Principle, freeing up time for you, but ridding yourself of the psychological burden of awful customers also contributes to your own sense of being a valuable, top-end player. And if you don’t believe yourself to be premium, how will you portray it? 

Start by asserting that you are not desperate. You do not have to take any work that comes your way. You can be selective about your clients. Don’t scuttle for a hundred crumbs on the floor, when a single proper meal atop the counter will fill you better, and leave you with more free time. 

Go ahead and fire your low-pay, high-input clients. Give yourself permission to graduate up the scale, and own your industry.