Shark Repellent

Hear that sound?

Yes, it’s Shark Week!

Sharks come in all shapes and sizes. The savvy pro has the right dose of shark repellent in hand at all times.

Vial #1 is for the Leopard Shark. Only deadly to shellfish and worms, they are more annoying than lethal. Think non-sweet-spot clients who are looking vs buying. They ask a lot of superfluous questions and can eat up large chunks of your (non-billable) time. Simply spray them with a focused resource or two and ask pointedly if they are ready to commit. No? Then disengage.

Vial #2 is reserved for the Tiger Shark. While they can kill, they most often just maim their victim. This is the territory of the penny-pinchers, once they get their teeth in you. Before you know it, you agree to do more work for less. You let scope creep go unaddressed. Injecting them with firm and clear boundaries keeps the tiger shark at a safe distance.

Vial #3 is for the Great White, by far the most deadly shark to humans. These are the bullies—often treating their colleagues and advisors with equal disdain. Best course is to stay out of their part of the ocean. But if you encounter one, your best bet is to go still. They generally prefer moving targets and will quickly swim off to find another victim.

Shark Week is coming. Keep your eyes (and ears) open.

* Thanks to Michael J. Metz for the awesome illustration


  • I suspect more than a few people get engaged by the tiger variety. Up front retainers paid perhaps quarterly work best and of court with a contract.
    One of the interesting asides of lobbying laws, it gives me an out as I explain I need to file a contract before most activities because m work my existing client base exceeds the threshold where non-reporting is permitted.
    It remains a wonderful out.
    As to the great white, my rule is picking the time and place for appropriate remediation; no notice required.

  • Thanks Corey–I always appreciate your take on things. The lobbying laws add an interesting twist to sealing the deal with your clients!

  • Nothing I write is ever half as good as everything you write!

  • You’re sweet to say that Carleen–but you know darned well you are my role model for feistiness!

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