Biz owner triggers 500% asshole tax

Today’s email is a lesson in being a professional consultant.

When you DM me as a prospect who needs help with copy…

I’m likely to give away the entire solution for free and only charge for implementation.

But that’s only if you’re cool.

If you give me bad vibes, I’m going to MOG you.

Take this one prospect from yesterday, for example.

One of my SaaS clients, Danny Postma, shared early results from the abandoned checkout campaign I wrote him.

You might remember Danny from my “From DM to Paid in 60 Minutes” case study. More on this in my next email.

So a bunch of founders who follow Danny commented, asking for an intro.

I reached out to one of them and we chat over DM about some emails for a B2B subscription service.

I quote him a price.

This was his response.

Tell me you’ve never worked with legit copywriters without telling me you’ve never worked with legit copywriters.

Now don’t get me wrong…

It’s cool if you aren’t used to investing in quality copy.

And I’m more than willing to consult with you on why my services are worth the investment.

But this mf’s tone rubbed me the wrong way.

And this was after he saw the results I was able to get Danny.

My reply:

Results speak for themself.

For any reasonable person, this ought to be enough proof.

But no, he doubled down.

The equivalent of asking me to poast fizeek.

Anyway, that was enough to persuade him.

But it wasn’t enough to fix his attitude.

You don’t need to watch the video ffs. I’ve summarized the results in the tweet. He didn’t even bother clicking. IMBECILE.

At this point I’d had enough.

He Triggered the Asshole Tax

The asshole tax is a premium you add to your rates for the inconvenience of dealing with difficult clients.

If you’re a service provider, dealing with clients is your job.

So any client can be dealt with for the right price…

Though we all have limits and lines we won’t cross.

You can set whatever premium you want for your asshole tax.

And it doesn’t have to be fixed.

The more of an asshole the prospect/client is, the bigger the tax.

In my prospect’s case, it’s just a few emails so I set the asshole tax at 500%.

The goal of the asshole tax is to incentivize said asshole to fuck off. Or pay an obscene fee to incentivize you to put up with the asshole-ry.

Mission accomplished.

How to Set Boundaries as a Consultant

When you’re a freelance copywriter starting out…

Or any kind of service provider…

Even if you’ve got a little experience…

It can be difficult to set appropriate parameters for the behaviour you’ll accept from clients.

When you’re new, you have no idea what bad behaviour looks like…

So how do you know what boundaries to set?

And I’m not gonna lie to you.

Early on in your career…

You’re gonna have to eat some shit and deal with stuff you don’t like…

Just to build your portfolio and get testimonials and case studies.

Everyone’s done it.

Everyone’s compromised at some point.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is bullshitting you.

Eventually once you get a bit of experience…

You’ll be able to identify bad behaviour.

But maybe you’re shy or an introvert or a people pleaser…

So you don’t have the confidence to speak up for yourself.

That confidence comes with time as well.

Finally, you’ll gain enough experience and confidence that you’ll develop intuition.

Intuition will allow you to spot red flags before you even enroll them as a client…

Like the example above.

Now, you can figure all of this out by trial and error like I did.

You can deal with your fair share of assholes and not get paid enough to do it.


You can join CopySkills™ and get:

  • 🧐 All your business, marketing & client management questions answered
  • 📝 Unlimited copy critiques so you keep getting better
  • 👨‍💻 Growing course library to level-up your skills
  • 🧠 Guest lectures from the best copywriters & marketers in the galaxy
  • 🤝 Engaged & active community full of supportive copywriters helping each other win

For as low as $19.99/month.

>>> Enroll in CopySkills™ today 👉


P.S. What does any of this have to do with Jonah Hill?

Jonah Hill’s been in the news these past few days because…

He’s a man who’s willing to set boundaries…

And define standards of behaviour he expects from women he’s romantically involved with.

You can look up the details online.


If you’re a man who doesn’t want his women posting pics online…

Maybe don’t date a pro surfer/model in the first place.

This chick, Hill’s ex, was bipolar too.

And waited until Hill just welcomed his first child with his current gf…

To release the texts from Hill that she’d screenshotted.

Hill made the first mistake by dating her…

But he’s not the bad guy here.

More on this in my book…

40 Hadith on Masculinity: How to Be a Good Man.

Look it up if you’re interested.

Daily Email Newsletter

Nabeel writes a daily email to an audience of business owners, marketers and copywriters. Subscription to this newsletter is by invitation only. The only way to get on the list is by becoming a client, joining his community or buying one of his products.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *