Choosing to politely decline a client due to unrealistic expectations is something that comes hard. It’s hard because I want help people with a passion and the guts to start and operate a business.
The writing is on the wall with this particular opportunity.
The money they want to spend is a fraction of what they really ought to be spending (upwards of $1M). Unless they change their stance on their budget and provide me with what I need, the headaches and blame down-the-road for things not working are not worth it. That time and energy are better spent elsewhere.
A master chef cannot be expected to produce a five-course meal with two loaves of bread and a cup of water.