… to create things your business doesn’t need.
When I see recurring themes happening in my communication with my clients, I tend to pay attention.
I’ll often find myself having the same conversation over and over during the span of a week — with different people, thank goodness — but about the same topic.
This usually means that I’m on to a topic that would make a great blog post or training program.
And this happened this week, but the subject was different and it really had me stop and take notice.
I had two different potential new clients contact me about working with them. And in both cases, I found myself not interested in helping them with their project.
It took some introspection to figure out why… and a separate experience with a long-standing client.
I had just finished a really large project with this long-standing client and had sent them the bill. It was a rather large bill, not the highest amount that they’ve ever paid me in a month, but it prompted a conversation.
The jist of that conversation can be summarized thus: “While we love and highly value the end result of the project, we simply can’t afford to pay this bill right now.”
I had spent 57 hours in a single month on this one project, worked countless long days, and busted my butt… and this was the thanks I got: “Can we make payments?”
When I thought about why I wasn’t interested in these new projects, why I secretly hoped they choose another provider, I saw the connection between them and the issue with the long-standing client:
In all 3 cases, they were spending money they didn’t actually have to create something that their business didn’t actually need.
We, as business owners, often get caught up in the bright shiny object syndrome.
Here’s this syndrome in another context:
Your 20-something daughter walks into your kitchen:
“Mom, we need to go shopping for a wedding dress.”
“Oh, are you engaged?”
“Well, no. But Bob and I are so happy together I want to go pick out the perfect dress for our perfect day.”
“Bob, the guy you’ve been dating for 3 weeks?”
“Yes, that Bob, who else?”
“Have you met his parents? I know you want children, but have you talked to him about that? Will he support your dreams of becoming a veterinarian? Does he share your values?”
“Well, no, but none of that is important. All of my friends have been shopping for their wedding dresses and I want to too.”
If you were the mom in this story, you wouldn’t give in to your daughter and take her shopping for a wedding gown under these circumstances.
Yet, this is what we do in our businesses.
We buy into this notion that since everyone else is doing this cool and interesting thing, that we must too.
But this is a big mistake.
One that I’ve been guilty of helping my clients make. And I’m done with it.
So, if you come to me and ask for help to:
- Host a Telesummit: but you don’t have a clue who your audience is, have no idea what the message is you want to share with that audience, and no experience communicating with that audience, I’m going to tell you NO.
- Create Branding for your business that has no name, no products, no customers and no revenue, I’m going to tell you NO.
- Launch an expensive Product or Program but you have never offered this product or program to your audience and don’t know if anyone will even be interested, I’m going to tell you NO.
See, I’m not like many of those other business coaches and “experts” out there trying to convince you to “sign up for my $10,000 program even if it is a financial stretch for you… the tools you learn will more than help you create the extra business to pay for this program.”
I believe that you can build a business affordably and without risking bankruptcy; it’s actually one of the founding principles of my business.
I’ve now had several clients go through fairly large launches, always by following the expensive advice of some other coach, and not had their promised payoff materialize.
The result: Even at my below market rates, I send them a bill that they have no way to pay.
These clients are now on payment plans and I trust that I will eventually get paid.
But when I took on the project, I didn’t do so with the understanding that it was okay with me to wait for full payment for months… or years.
Yet this is what happened.
And now, I understand: Saying YES to your request for help doesn’t actually serve the greater good.
Saying NO does.
It’s not the answer that you want to hear. It may even feel like someone rained on your parade.
But from now on, this is what you can expect from me: the cold, honest truth:
If this BIG IDEA isn’t going to *really* help move your business forward, I’m going to tell you.
I might even have an idea that WILL help move your business forward, one that you can probably even afford.
There is only ONE thing that I can guarantee: it won’t be that wedding dress that you have your heart set on. That, my dear, will have to wait until your business is ready for it.