Sunday, November 19, 2017


Client comes from the Latin cliens, which denoted a plebeian under a patrician's thumb—a minion.

A client in Ancient Rome wasn't quite a slave, but he was close to it.

Etymologists believe the Latin cliens stemmed either from cluens, meaning "to obey," or from clinare, meaning "to bend."

Client in English originally denoted a lawyer's customer; by the the 17th century, the meaning of the word was extended to denote any professional's customer.

Clients in the 17th century were obedient. (Obey also comes from Latin: obedire meant "to serve" or "to listen to" a superior.) They obeyed professionals' advice.

We've come a long way, baby.

Clients—the vast majority, in any case—have flipped the script.

Clients have quit taking professionals' advice

I date that event to 2002, the year the dot-com bubble burst.

Call me spineless, but I cave when a client dismisses my marketing advice. Not immediately, but almost.

While experts say you should stick to your guns and "do what's right." I do neither.

I do neither because I know clients don't actually want advice. 

They want what Roman patricians had.


I also know, as Dale Carnegie did, you can't win an argument:

You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is
non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.
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