A Berger-esque break up?

Did you ever see that episode of Sex and the City where Berger broke up with Carrie with a post it note?

In last week's post, I talked about a client who I needed to break up with.  Well, I did it.  I broke up with her.  I broke up with her via email.  Yes, email.  Oh it's even worse when I see it in words.  It sounds so cold and impersonal, doesn't it?  I considered calling, but decided against it.  I decided this break up wasn't worth a phone call.

Here's why I broke up via email:

  • We had talked on the phone once.  Otherwise our contact was email based.
  • She is a talker.  And I'd already wasted too much time on the project.
  • She's nice, and I didn't want her to change my mind.
  • Our relationship was short.  We had only gone on one real date (one project).
  • Like many, I'm able to express my thoughts better with written words.
  • I was feeling a little bit hostile towards her. (That sounds bad too!)

And, if I'm honest, probably a little bit of:

  • It was my first break up, and I was scared.

Here are the main points from my break up email:

  1. I think you're very nice, but I don't think we're a good fit.
  2. I really want your business to succeed– but I know you've been having some questions about what exactly you want to do.  Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think it's really important to get a clear direction, otherwise my attempts (and your money) will be wasted.
  3. I spent way too many hours on this project, and therefore the next project isn't going to work for me.
  4. I hope you don't mind my honesty, and I really wish you the best of success.
  5. As a good will gesture, I'm not going to charge you for this last project.

Her response was understanding, appreciative, and affirming.  She agreed that she needed to get a clear view of what she wanted, said that she appreciated my honesty, and said that once she gets her act together, maybe we can reconvene.

All in all, the email break up went well. 

But I still keep thinking of Berger's post it note. 

This probably goes without saying, but I would never email break up with a client I've worked with for more than a few weeks. I've broken up with bad dates via text message before, but if I'd gone out with the guy more than twice, I'd usually give him the decency of a phone call.  (I know, I'm such a heart breaker!)  I look at this client like a bad date. 

So, what do you think? Was my email break up as bad as Berger's post it, or was it ok in this situation?  Have you done it? 

ps. I didn't like any part of this experience.  And looking back, I did get that gut feeling the first time I talked to her. I knew we weren't going to be a good fit.  I suppose listening to my gut could help me avoid having to breakup in the future.

Week 10 Recap:  This week I spent a lot of time reflecting, reading and working. I thought about my strengths, weaknesses, what I like doing the most, and how I can specialize my business even more.  It's a work in progress.  Like it recommends in the Grow Your Business Marketing Plan & Calendar, I've been seeking out more prospects and have started planning who my newest clients will be, even though they don't know me yet.  I also called lots of contacts this week to catch up, probably because I felt a little weird about the email breakup.  Another prospect found my website online, which is wonderful.  Things are going well with my marketing efforts.  I'm not perfect, but I'm SO much better than I was 10 weeks ago.