Satisfying the Customer vs. Satisfying Yourself
Quite often clients will be pleased already with quite mediocre products and many composers develop a habit of saying “The customer’s happy, that’s all that counts.” While from a purely business-related viewpoint this might be true, it is not something that is really adviseable in order to stay positive on your job.
The question is always how far beyond your customer being pleased you go. My personal approach is to always try to get the maximum out of what I’m working on and especially to be happy about it myself. The business reality also is that nobody will pay you for the work you put into it beyond the point where the client is happy. But personally, I would lose the joy on this job over time if I always had the feeling that I’m not giving my best. The other side effect of course is always the possibility of another more picky potential customer hearing your work and not really being excited about the mediocre product you delivered or being excited because you delivered something beyond what needed to be done.
So, in the end it is down to your own working attitude and sometimes one has to make compromises, but being content with mediocre results will eventually only land you in the mediocre field of composers.