Rather than owe your client, have your client owe you.
If you find yourself working toward any kind of deadline for your client
You have set the expectation
For them to wait.
When’s it gonna be done?
All that time your client spends waiting
Could be spent
Working with you
Giving you a window
Into what has made them so successful
In the first place.
Before you set a deadline:
Is there a way to put any time I might spend
Working without my client
Toward working with them
In as tight
And efficient of a manner
Taking the least amount of time
From both them
If that’s possible,
Then you might start by asking your client some simple questions about their business
Gently, firmly, softly, loudly, repeatedly, encouragingly, hopefully, persuadingly (?), nudgingly (??), compassionately, wisely, mindfully
Insist that they answer
By the next time