Working with the right client will make what you do a joy! When you love what you do but are working with a client who is not the right fit for you it is a total drag for you and I guarantee it's not so pleasant for your client either. When you go through the process of figuring out who your ideal client is and you focus on that client you're creating a win-win for all concerned. So if you're working with a client who is not a good fit for you, fire them or have them fire you. Here are some indicators that you're working with the wrong client.
1. They want things for free or are nickel and diming you to death!
2. Your values are not in line - don't underestimate the importance of this.
3. They complain, complain, complain.
4. They don't respect your time.
5. You find yourself dreading your time with them.
6. They're late to pay you.
7. They try to tell you how to do your job.
8. You can't please them no matter what you do.
When you take on a client simply for the money it's like the old saying: "If you marry for money you will earn every penny of it". You can lose far more in the long run than the one off payment that you get from a bad fit client. If they're unhappy and tell others you'll lose more down the road than the cost of one project with them.
When I worked in the hotel industry at a 4.5 star hotel, as Managers we did Manager on Duty shifts on the weekend. I once had a couple where the husband had maintenance change a toilet seat at 2am because it was scratched, next came a replacement of the phone at 3am, new sheets and pillows followed. In the morning I spoke to them and explained that although we were doing our best we felt that we were unable to meet his expectations, which we felt horrible about. Because we wanted he and his wife to have an amazing experience while in Halifax, I felt it best to not charge him for their night with us and to book him in another hotel of his choice for Saturday night which we would pay for, along with dinner at the other hotel, a cab to get them there - all on us...we would even pack them up. He was a nightmare client for us and I "fired" him without him realizing he had been fired. From his perspective we screwed up and paid for a great weekend for he and his wife. ( I did feel guilty though sending him to a competitor's hotel :)
Do both you and you non-ideal clients a favour and cut them loose.