I once had a client state that they would like to run their own site since they felt that my skills and experience could be learned on the go like a take out meal.
“In the future, I’d prefer not to pay you to make websites for me. I’ve seen what you do, and I think it’s pretty easy. Can you just teach me how to do your web stuff?”
“If you’re really interested, I guess I can teach you the basics of web design, but it’s going to require at least several lessons and it’ll cost $xx for every hour I spend with you.
“Damnit, do you have to charge for everything?!?”
I used to think I was an entrepreneur running a web design company, but the reality was far from entrepreneurial. Clients were my bosses, and we were at the mercy of their whims.
I have worked with some amazing and wonderful clients, and had my share of the misguided, tyrannical and flat-out bonkers clients also. You can not always see them coming.
Most web designers work constantly just to keep their clients happy, because unhappy clients don’t pay their bills. Regardless of how good their legal contracts are, a web design company that pisses off their clients won’t stay in business for long, and to keep clients happy sometimes means compromising your work to do what you’re told.
I fired a number of clients in over time. Yes you can fire a client! Inevitably you can’t fire everyone you disagree with. At times, to pay the bills, you’ll probably take on work you suspect you shouldn’t, and deal with people you wish you wouldn’t. Bit by bit, you sacrifice your ideals for expediency, because the alternative is worse.
But eventually, your conscience grows thin.