How Firing a Client Will Set You Free…

This blog may be a bit unorthodox and I might even get some negative comments about my headline… However this subject has come up in conversations, no lie, with at least 5 people in just the past 3 days!  What’s going on here?  I think what’s happening in this “new economy” business owners, coaches and consultants alike are just incredibly thankful to have work and have clients that they are just taking anyone who shows up.  Now I’m not saying this is a bad strategy, in fact I did this when I first started out. It actually helped me develop and shape my business into what it is today.  By just saying yes to everyone, I discovered quickly what were my strengths and weaknesses, who I wanted to work with and who I didn’t.

And I also figured out “WHO” my ideal client was, this is HUGE!  Being able to describe in intricate detail who your client is, this one thing is an incredibly valuable experience. And now I’m going off topic a little.  However this is REALLY important. So I’d encourage you to take 15 minutes and do this exercise:

  1. Write down all the qualities you want your ideal client to have
  2. Write down how you want your clients to see you (This will help you in your vision of who you want to work with and will help attract them to you.)

Here’s what I have written down for myself:

My ideal client is:

  • Incredibly successful
  • Mature, intelligent and caring
  • Humorous and light hearted
  • Full of integrity
  • Happily loves to hand over tons of  money to me to solve their problems
  • Creative, easy going and friendly

My clients see me as:

  • Their trusted friend, coach, mentor
  • Intelligent, Inventive, creative and enthusiastic to grow their business
  • An expert who’s driven to help them succeed in life

The goal for this exercise is to “know” who your ideal client is by visualizing them, writing down their traits and keep this list on your computer screen, or your wall, some place where you will see it every day.  Once you do this, then you can “spot” them a mile away.

Yet sometimes the Inevitable does happen, you start working with someone who you thought was your ideal client and things just don’t feel good and it’s just not working out how it’s supposed to. 

This is the main focus of my blog- “How firing a client will set you free.” I ought to know because I’ve done it only twice, yet it was just so worth it.  But it was really hard to do it.  I think the challenge in “firing” or letting a client go is the HUGE fear of “oh my gosh, I can’t let them go, where’s my money going to come from?” or “I can’t let them go because what if no one else shows up and my business goes under,” and on and on and on, the fears run rapid in the brain. 

Well I’m here to tell you as lovingly as possible, push through that fear.  TRUST me, it’s THE best thing to do.  AND, more clients will come! In fact, the clients that come after them are EVEN better. I know this because it’s happened to me, I speak from experience.  As soon as we parted ways, I got an email and had another amazing client walk through my proverbial door!

So please don’t sit there suffering with a client who’s driving you nuts, bringing you down, and making you not feel good about yourself and your business. Muster up the courage, tell them it’s not working, offer them another solution, refer them to someone else, or give them some tools or tips and simply sent them on their way.

This was a big lesson I learned from Dan Sullivan, www.strategiccoach.com . Life is way too short to work with people who don’t bring out the best in you and make you feel like the amazing, wonderful, gifted person that you truly are…

Moving Forward by Measuring Your Results Backwards

On the 4 hour drive home from D.C. after being at Yanik Silver’s Underground 7 event, I spent a lot of time mulling over the one day training we spent with Dan Sullivan of www.StrategicCoach.com He gave us SO MUCH valuable information, there’s no way I can tell you everything here in this post.  The one thing that really stuck with me is his whole process of the 21 Day Positive Focus exercise. I do something similar to this now, but this took what I do and put it on steroids. Let me explain…

The whole philosophy is that we won’t have a huge amount of forward motion, unless we’re measuring our results backwards. In other words, you need to keep track of all the things you’ve been doing yesterday and the day before, and the day before, and making note of them.  Doing this will set you up for success and enable you to move forward.

There’s a simple exercise you can do right now and it takes 21 days because, as you might know, it takes 21 days for a practice to become habit.  And as a result of doing this exercise, it totally builds your confidence level and helps you focus on the positives. A cool thing about this is you can use it with your kids too, I loved that!

Here’s all you need to do:

Before you go to bed each night, simply write down three things that you were the most proud of that you accomplished, or the three things that made you feel good, like the photo of this rabbit taking time to smell the flowers.

Here’s an example from what I wrote last night:

  1. Signed up a sponsor to Alex Mandossian’s Ultimate Internet Bootcamp 2.0 in Las Vegas
  2. Created a killer Marketing Roadmap for a top client
  3. Took a nice hike in the woods with my rescue dog, Lily

So I think you get the picture; you can mix work with family and self-care things that you do too – whatever works.  Then as you write these down, read them and have a clear vision and intention for the next day and what will make a positive impact for you and for those you come in contact with.

I would encourage you to do this for 21 days, it will help protect and increase your confidence. By focusing on what you’ve done, your accomplishments (or things that improved your outlook, your mental, emotional and physical health), however small or big, you’re setting yourself up for success and will move forward!

Don’t dwell on the mistakes and things that made you feel bad. If you must, write those down only to get rid of them and NOT to think about them again. Here’s some extra credit – if you must dwell on your mistakes and disappointments (which I wouldn’t encourage), write down the lesson you learned from it and how you will improve and make changes for much success next time.

Let me know how you do in keeping track of your positive focus, I’d love to hear from you!