DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I’m always fighting with my main client about every little thing. She does the nickel-and-dime dance. Whatever we are working on, she tries to get me (and her other contractors) to pitch in about 30 percent of the work for free. She does this by asking for favors and then throwing in that she wants us to volunteer for whatever those favors are. Whenever I have pushed back, she gets her back up and says things that make me feel like I’m being selfish by wanting to be paid for my services. This has been going on for a few years -- the entire time she has been my client. I bet you are going to say I should walk away, but it isn’t that easy. I need the work, and I like the project. I just don’t appreciate the way that my client constantly tries to manipulate me. How can I tamp that down? -- Enough Already, Atlanta
DEAR ENOUGH ALREADY: If you plan to keep this client, there is a certain amount of acquiescence that you will have to continue to offer. This is how she works. You can, however, get crystal clear about each assignment, its parameters and the compensation being offered. After getting clarity on that, if your client adds other tasks onto the work, inform her what you will bill for those extra services before you execute them. This will likely ruffle some feathers, but it is the only way you will have any power in this negotiation. Stay positive when dealing with your client. Don’t fall to her ways of engaging. Stick to your professional demeanor.