You don't have to sell to everybody. Sooner or later you come to accept this.
Maybe it's age or experience or the simple realisation that with each passing project a little bit of your life is used up in the process - uncosted.
Eventually, you may learn to read the signs and know when to walk away - or send the customer away. Always respectfully, of course, with regard to both the customer and yourself.
This is probably even more important now that things are economically tighter. Attempting to satisfy the demands of the wrong type of customer can suck any profit right out of a job, and make your life a misery at the same time. When you get that gut feeling, don't second guess it. Get out early.
This is not cynicism. In fact, not doing it is what leads to cynicism.
Only an open mind with a healthy sense of self worth can make the right judgment.
The fact is you're too good at what you do; you take it too seriously and responsibly to let a small minded customer take your energy away from giving your best to those who can see and appreciate your commitment, notwithstanding snags along the way.
Some are brave enough to set the ground rules right at the outset:
Better to lose the sale than make a loss?
Image Credit: Michal Zacharzewski SXC