As a freelancer, your clients are your bread and butter. You need them to survive, and unfortunately, that sometimes means putting up with a lot from them.

Hard work is great, especially when it’s necessary for a paycheck, but what happens when that hard work is accompanied by endless, nitpicking revisions or impossible-to-meet deadlines – or even worse, a refusal to pay? The reason you got into freelancing in the first place was to have more freedom to work remotely, and to be more flexible, so having a difficult client can really put a damper on your business.

Here are some tips on how and when to cut off your problem clients.

For Projects You Just Can’t Take On

Your clients aren’t bad people, it may just happen that you have a steadier stream of projects from other clients, and would like to focus on those instead. Handle these transitions in between projects, when they send over their next request.

Remember to explain the situation, be professional and set expectations for what will happen next.

For example…

This is an excerpt from the article When and How to Sever Ties With a Bad Client which originally appeared on