"Smart" isn't quite the problem per se, it's our cultural valuation of "smart" at the expense of the "not-smart". Even at six it was obvious I'd done something very pleasing to the grownups in my life, so I went on to prove I was Smart for a chill K-through-12 years. I received straight A's, I participated in math and science contests, I beat the running year-long trivia game in fifth grade (record holder still, I believe), and assembled a few plaques and medals. Upon graduating high school I received a full ride scholarship in Engineering and got the Engineering degree. See - I'm Smart! People tell me so.
I'll bet you can't stump me with a client problem. If you're having them, you're probably not communicating your process and your Policies thoroughly and clearly. You also may not be delivering what you promise - or what the client might reasonably expect. You either kept things vague, or you wrote overly-wordy Policies. The former means you left things open to interpretation (and that won't work in your favor). The latter means that since you didn't focus (and write a tight, brief Policies clause) - you encouraged your clients not to focus, either.
In my experience, entrepreneurs who continuously complain about clients (or entrepreneurs who have the same problems with their clients, over and over) usually have some salient issue they are avoiding. Maybe they don't want to do their bookkeeping properly - they're intimidated or suspicious. Maybe they're still trying to prove Mummy or Daddy (or their ex) wrong, instead of turning inward to their OWN needs and impediments. Maybe they want to be Liked - or they want popularity, Followers or clout more than they want to run a sustainable business. Who knows!
When I get scared it can be really tempting to think I don't have time to play, it is wrong for me to experience Joy, it's wrong for me to be silly or give myself rest or recreation. I feel that dark cloud encroaching in my head and I am just so scared. Soon I'm telling myself a story I'm some kind of Cosmic Victim - the Universe is out to get me. I never say it in those terms because I know someone would argue me out of that. But that's what I'm believing, that's how scared I can get.
I know it doesn't sound that sexy to be consistent, predictable and honorable. But I think it pays off more than taking great photos. I think it pays off more than doing giveaways or collaborations.
I started my business officially in 2017 and initially I planned a family-friendly art side hustle. We raised our children and we lived our lives as radical unschoolers, which for many years meant one income for four people. When I got serious about business education in 2019, everything changed and I quickly developed into a REAL business. My family-friendly entrepreneurship evolved into a business friendly to chronic illness, which amongst other things means it is a very strong business.
I'd been taught that Art was talent. You either had it - or you didn't. More embarrassing than being bad at Art (whatever that means), was being artistically bad while being *earnest* about it all.