In 2006 and 2007. Michael Edits was headquartered in Chiang Mai, Thailand. That’s when I first changed it from part-time hobby to full-time business and sole source of income. (It has never gone back.)
That’s also when I got so many customers that I hired five subcontractors. From Asia, I was outsourcing work to Canada, Australia, and the United States.
(This isn’t to say that I was the only qualified editor in all of Thailand. In fact, I often recommend Joseph Skinkis. He’s probably got more experience editing for Thai authors than I do, and unlike me he can still accept Thai baht. But I didn’t know him then.)
Look at the name of my company. Michael Edits. it’s not Michael and Kathleen and Jeff and Jan and Robert and That Other Guy Whose Name I Forgot Edit.
This is when I started firing customers.
If you’ve been in business a little while, you know you started by taking on any contract you could lay your hands on. Sure, that works, but one day you might realize you’re not always doing the kind of work you set out to do.
Once I had enough work for six editors, there was no reason for me to keep the type of work I didn’t want to be doing.
By the way, I don’t really “fire” customers. I find them other editors who are better at what they need than I am. I still do that with prospective customers.
Focus is good. It prevents owning a business from turning into just another hateful grind.