In grammar school I was a good athlete but a lousy fighter. I tried to stay out of fights, especially with older kids. But one day one of them started punching me in the arm repeatedly, and I viscerally punched him in the stomach and knocked the wind out of him. Word spread, and I was never picked on again.
I had accidentally created a deterrent (something that discourages others from doing something—the police should be a deterrent to crime).
I don’t negotiate fees with clients, nor change my plans to meet arbitrary meeting dates. I tell my coaching clients that I want to hear their question first, I will not sit and listen to ten minutes of “background.”
It’s one thing to enter into battle daily, but it’s another to avoid them altogether in the future.