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Take it to the top. Have the CEO of your company sit down with the CEO of their company and get it all straightened out. Since you've already decided they are on the way out as a customer as soon as your company can support itself there is nothing to lose.

Also, this didn't happen overnight and if someone - anyone - on your side would have set this client straight when they first crossed the lines it would have never gotten this far. I've seen my share of toxic customers over the years and the most important takeaway from me is that it takes two, if I let myself be abused once by a customer they'll use that as a baseline for future pushes and it is up to me to stand up for myself and my crew and to push back hard enough that they realize that it is a two way street.

On another note: never depend on a single customer, no customer should be more than 15-20% of your total business, max, and that is likely where it went wrong: your company is afraid to lose this valuable customer and so they accepted more from them than they really should have and it went downhill from there.

It's easy to say, but if you begin, it is very difficult to do.

Oh, absolutely. Most of this stuff happened early on in my career, people still try - rarely - but when they find out they can't make it stick it actually earns you some weird kind of respect.

I've made a simple decision: my first responsibility is to the crew and their dependents, clients second.

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