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Out of my comfort zone

I've recently (yesterday) quoted a prospect and they're sounding fairly interested but the situation I quoted for isn't quite the same as reality (because after all why would you be given all the info upfront!). The problem is that the reality has me feeling a bit out of my comfort zone and I'm having a crisis of confidence at the moment anyway (roll on tomorrow when I can legitimately say to hell with it all). I don't know whether to quote for the updated circumstances and push the boat out of calm waters into a potentially choppy sea or whether to make my excuses and decline?

What does everybody else do? It doesn't matter what the specific circumstances are here, it's just do you risk leaving your comfort zone for something that's not really important in life or do you challenge yourself constantly? My gut instinct is that I should decline and focus on facing demons where it matters. And give up accountancy and return to football / saving the Earth....

'Dear Santa, I've been terribly good all year so please bring me the self-confidence that some bugger nicked from me when I was a tiny tot. I'm making mince pies at the weekend so you can help yourself and tell Rudy and the rest to raid the fridge for carrots and anything else they fancy. Ta everso, love Flash xx'


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you already know the answer to this. At this stage of my career I am very selective about who I take on. That said there is a world of difference between clients who are technically challenging and those who are prats and/or whose ethical and/or business philosophy does not square. This one sounds like the latter in which case there is again a world of difference between coming out of your comfort zone and forcing yourself to deal with idiots who are going to give you sleepless nights.If it happened to be a technical issue then you need to be someone who relishes technical challenges. If you're not forget it.

Follow your gut feeling,,its there for a reason. 

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You'll be fine, just wear a rubber...

... ring.

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When I was younger ...

I used to take up the challenge. Now, I just want to have peace of mind, and know for certain that I did a good job and didn't miss anything, so I keep the work I am confident with and direct the others to an accountant pal up the road.

It's a bit more tricky if an existing client needs something I am unfamiliar with, and I take the easy route out and I either engage a specialist, or refer the client to them direct.

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If you find the challenge daunting, don't do it.

If you find it exciting, go for it.

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Write yourself a detailed letter

Go into detail in a letter to yourself as to your reservations, and with each one, think of the worst possible situation and also what is the more likely one.

Put the letter in a drawer until next week and re-examine it after quaffing the odd glass of brandy. (Prospect may be some time getting back to you in any case. If he gets back sooner to accept the quote, play for time, saying you'll be in touch first thing in Jan).

In the intervening time, you will have remembered things the prospect did/didn't say at your meeting that either concerned you or gave you the impression he might be accommodating.

By the end of next week you will know very clearly why you are going to continue/discontinue with the client.

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If you don't think you can do the work don't do it. If you think the client has deceived you about how difficult the job is maybe you can just explain that you now know it will take longer given the extra information - if it takes longer should you charge more if you are a believer in value pricing? Maybe this is the flaw in value pricing?

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Cheers folks

Ta for the answers (and George's safe something advice!!) I feel happier about saying no now. I think it's the right thing for me to do - my gut says no and when I tried flipping a coin (best of 3, twice) that said no both times too! So just got to think of a suitable way of putting it. And that's the easy part.

Merry Christmas folks!

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I take comfort from...
The fact that u are having a crisis of self confidence! I thought that only happened to me :)

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Even superheroes have their off days!

I think there are probably more people than you imagine doubting themselves in some way or getting wound up over something that they think nobody else would understand. It's very easy sometimes to think that you're the only one and somehow you're not normal, but really I think we all hide it too well and actually we're all as nutty as each other. (Well maybe there are one or two on here who are seriously abnormal but...!)

Anyway the latest - I turned them down (backed up by discovering that there are multinational links that I seriously don't want a part of) and now they've come back again and with a lovely patronising attitude to boot! My gut was sooooooooo right. In fact so right that I treated it to 4 little duck spring rolls :) Very tasty and the dog didn't even get a sniff! So I'll have to waste more time tomorrow being polite but at least I know I've made the right decision.

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12 years in to this way of life ...

and I still expect a knock at the door and someone 'official' to point that I am doing it all wrong!!

Tis the plight of the sole-practitioner I suspect.

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