I spent the weekend working with a consulting client digging deeper into the business model that we built at the previous weekend retreat. We looked at all the possibilities of what he could do, and the truth is that he – like many of us – has more than one talent to be capitalized upon.
He’s an award winning filmmaker, podcast host, athlete, on air personality, and personal trainer. His client list ranges from non-profits to restaurants. So the hardest part for us was finding the focus that is most appropriate for his business, for him as a person, and has enough of a market to allow for business growth.
It’s very tempting when we are looking our skill sets and feel the pressure to land a client because the rent is due, to leap at whatever is in front of us, because we need the money. Taking on the wrong client, or project, can be very costly. There is an opportunity cost in everything we do. Choosing one thing, prevents us from doing something else which might be a better long term project.
Taking the small job today, so that you can pay rent, might seem like the smart thing to do, but if it prevents you from being able to take the job that would allow to make the next big leap in your career, what did that small job cost you?
If you become busy with the wrong career, and it prevents you from being able to focus on the work you were meant to do, then the cost of it is too high. Working with my client this weekend we were able to peel away the distraction jobs, so that he can focus on building his core business, and find more clients in the niche that he wants to focus on.By doing so we were able to drill down into the world of his ideal client and see what doors the current clients could open.
By saying “no” to the projects and clients that would not be a bad fit, but were not a good fit, we are able to focus on the clients that are the ideal fit. While they may take longer to develop, in the long run they’ll be more profitable, satisfying and productive for him. It’s not easy to say no to opportunities – especially when you’re hungry and cash strapped – but almost always it is the right thing to do if you want to grow. This applies to both business and our personal lives – saying no today allows the better option to come into our lives tomorrow.
Photo: Getty Images