The story goes: I met a lead on Linkedin, an ideal lead, one that could potentially serve up steady work for years to come. If he liked the work I did for his own company, he’d be able to utilize me in his contracts with clients. The interaction was warm and promising, so I accepted his invitation to meet (something I don’t typically do free of charge). Our meeting went well. I learned a lot about his business; the strengths, the weaknesses, what they needed me for. I was clear what I charged and clear about the value I brought to the table that other copywriters don’t. He understood but was concerned about my rates. I thought about how I could make them more comfortable for him but ultimately, I did not waver. The workload was just too large. He wanted to move forward with the least amount of work for the least amount of money, and he wanted to meet again for a project that would cost less than $50.00.
I quickly realized what he was. He was my least ideal client, the opposite of the client I’ve done masterminding to uncover and get to, the opposite of the best clients I have. He was the type of man I’d suffer under when I had a “job”.
Wastes Time, Everyone’s Time
This blog will outline markers for “unsuccess”, qualities found in unsuccessful people, and one of them is wasting people’s time. Successful people are busy, so they want their time respected and know they must respect other people’s time in return. They don’t schedule countless meetings for small things. If they schedule a meeting, they come prepared to get everything necessary done in that meeting to move the project toward completion faster. Unsuccessful people aren’t busy. They have all the time in the world to do things that make them feel like a business owner. They are often heavily involved in some kind of club that makes them feel important, attend networking events, and schedule a lot of meetings that go nowhere (both internally and with people outside the company), all of which aren’t highly fruitful and they have no idea why.
Unsuccessful people clutch control. They clutch control to the point of appearing insane. Nothing gets done because they criticize every step of the way. They have several meetings to criticize these projects that will never get done. IF something ever does reach the finish line, it will accomplish nothing because all the passion and creativity will have been criticized from it or the idea will have “expired” and is no longer relevant. This business owner kills his team’s enthusiasm and takes their voice away. He completely works against the creativity that is vital to his business’ growth and future. He will make his team members feel like they are partners at times, and other times make them feel totally unvaluable and replaceable. Eventually, they will run off with his business and start their own.
Wants A Lot For a Little; Cheap
This business owner sees himself as superior to members of his team and other business owners, so he rarely pays fair wages or full price for anything in the real world. His attitude perpetuates this pattern, making it hard for others to see his value when he pitches his services to them. Because money doesn’t flow from him, it doesn’t flow to him. He thinks he is the only successful pillar of his business and instead of delegating, paying appropriately for it, and doing a great job of many things, he does a crappy job of everything himself. He’s not self-aware, he can’t see his own destruction, and will continue to scrape by and eventually close without money to retire with.
After I proposed a more effective plan of action to benefit his business with my writing and expertise, he apprehensively obliged to pay my rates, admitting he saw the value I had to offer, but that going forward, I was not to surprise him, with ideas or costs. He was using the word transparency and honesty, but what he actually meant was that he expected to pay a little and get a lot, while also working around his personality quirks and bending to his style, including working in his office rather than at mine, having him approve every detail, and going by his timeline and schedule.
I followed his objection with rejection, not the recommended rebuttal you’d be trained to use in any call center or customer service position. I told him it was not a good fit. And I got the best possible reaction from it.
At first, he responded appalled like a diva. Then dismissed me. BUT THEN he realized “what could have been” and asked me how we could repair the situation “because it was too valuable an opportunity for both of us” to which I explained how it was not for me.
I work with successful, potential-full, open-minded business owners who LOVE to put their money to work and reap results they’ve never seen before. They know I’m doing something right. I don’t just bring traffic to their business, I set their business apart from the rest. They are stars and I just find unique ways to show the world and give them a more solid platform to serve them from. I often don’t have to, but when I do, I make the transaction as comfortable as possible, proving my services and results along the way and taking their hand through each step via thorough proposals, coaching calls, or meetings.
Mindset is always a struggle that needs to be addressed. I serve as an example for my clients, a business owner who takes responsibility for my results and the effect my thoughts and mindset have on them. Nothing has been more fruitful than this work and that is why it’s integrated into my services and relationships. The more successful I am, the more successful my clients are and vice versa, and I can’t jeopardize our corner of the world by taking on desperate clients on the verge of closing.
Desperate business owners take on desperate clients and the poor mentality perpetuates. It’s a harsh reality, but as successful business owners, we need to get real.
Get crystal clear about your ideal client and stay within the parameters you set. A once retired athlete, now successful businessman I know once told me “Success is a marathon, not a sprint”. We must keep our energy up and can’t jeopardize our motivation by lower-level, under-appreciative clients.
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