Remember a while back when I mentioned that starting your business has to start with you?
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But if you missed it the first time, I invite you to stop by and get a quick recap….you’ll see why as we go along!
With me there? Yay! It always bears remembering that you need to be your biggest fan–if you’re not crazy excited with what you’re sharing, well…it’s probably going to be a lot harder to get your clients to agree with you, right?
But then again….even when I say “start with you”, it doesn’t mean that just because you follow those words exactly that the idea ALWAYS magically manifests in front of you, ready to run. Sometimes it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself for an immediate answer here–I mean, after all, I surely know myself, right? How hard can it be to figure out what I love and what I want to do? Come on, this should be easy! This should be the FUN part, right?
Only sometimes, it isn’t quite that clear. Sometimes it’s hard to see not only what might be right in front of you but also to discover and unleash what is inside of you….especially when it’s done on demand. As in, tell me now. Or else.
And it can leave you feeling frustrated, confused, and even a little bit foolish. You might find yourself thinking, “you know, maybe this cubicle really is all I can expect out of this life…I could do worse, right?”
Well, that’s not what I want for you, love. And truth be told, you don’t want that either. Do you?
But what if your Special Talents—and I’m not just talking about what you’re good at, I’m talking about what sets your SOUL on fire that you know you could rock with the most insane passion AND get paid for it–just don’t seem clear enough with just exploring yourself? (At least not yet?)
Sometimes it helps to take the pressure off of yourself just a little bit.
Sometimes if you shift the question away from yourself and (in a strange way, maybe) enlist the help of others, you might find an answer through the backdoor (or at the very least some hints!).
How do you do this? Take the pressure off of you for just a moment. And think about them.
And by “them”, I mean your people. Your dream clients. Your customers, your fans, your followers-to-be.
You might think it too soon to start considering who THEY would be if you’re not sure yourself what you want to do…..(I’ll admit it sounds a little bit “cart-before-the-horse-ish”, and I usually don’t advocate such things!)…but stay with me on this.
When you find yourself agonizing over what your idea is, when you can’t quite focus on anything in particular, when it all seems to be spinning around like a whirling dervish and getting you nowhere fast, the next step is usually to bag it all. Forget the whole thing. Go back to the life you knew, all the while thinking that you could’ve been a contender. (Insert woeful sigh right here!)
But what if you just need to give yourself a break for a moment and approach it from another direction? That is, who would you want to help with what you intend to do? In other words, WHO are your kind of people? The kind you could see flocking to your doorstep? (Or your website?)
Get real, be honest. You can probably see them, even if you’re not sure exactly why or how they’re there just yet. Your people. Who are they, JUST in general? Working moms, other entrepreneurs, yoga teachers, cross-fit fans, foodies or football fans? Who would you love to see stopping by your website? Who would you love to help?
Now here’s the fun part: so you’ve landed the client. Made the sale. You’re having the greatest sales-closing conversation of ALL TIME and you can’t wait to get started. Neither can they. You’re both so jazzed you don’t know what to do with yourselves. Feel how awesome that would be in the greatest of detail. Go on. I’ll wait!
Now ask yourself this: what was it that you and the dream client were talking about?
What are you and the Dream Buyer about to agree to? What are you going to do for them that’ll change their life? (Or at least make it a little bit more fun?)
What were you talking about doing for this person that not only makes them more than willing to hire you but also makes you want to spin around like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, your so dang happy to have found them? Was the conversation about specialty Coaching? Special products? Dance or Pottery lessons? Personal training? Crocheted doilies?
Do you come up with anything? Well….maybe that’s what you want to do with your business. Maybe that’s your special talent. Maybe the answer wasn’t quite clear yet….but it also might be providing a few hints or nudges in the right direction. Or at the very least…..it can get you experiencing those feelings of joy, purpose, and action that go along with hitting on the right idea for the right person. Even if that’s all that comes of this little exercise, go with it. See where it leads. Start writing down the details of what’s going on with you and this client. And start to REALLY let those feelings in. See where they go.
So here’s the question I originally proposed: What Do You Do, and For Whom?
And if answering the first part of it is making you feel as though you’re drowning in a sea of “IDKs”, let it go for a few moments and focus on the second part. Yes, the “For Whom” part (because we like proper grammar around here!) and go wild. See that dream client, see them signing the agreement to work with you, see their face light up with amazement at something beautiful that you made for them.
….and from there, tell me what it was you did for them! And see how that goes!
So have you ever gotten so frustrated with figuring out the “what” that you turned the question upside down like this? How’d it work out for you? Think that it might be helpful from time to time to approach a debacle in this way?
And while we’re at it, I’d love to hear your results! The shortest Ideal Client line EVER–tell me what you do and for whom. Or tell me what you’d LIKE to be doing, and for whom. Or tell me one or the other—and we’ll see if we can answer the rest!