when it pays to say 'no thank you'

The lovely Fiona Humberstone and I captured by  Cecelina

The lovely Fiona Humberstone and I captured by Cecelina

I get to work with the most inspiring, dynamic, incredible people, most days I have to pinch myself that I get to do this work.

All of my clients make me feel that way. My job is never a chore, because I always look forward to connecting with them and i'm genuinely excited about their work and their unfolding journey.

But it wasn't aways like that, it took a few years when I started out, way back in the dark ages before social media, for me to get into my groove and really hone my ‘perfect client’ radar, but it has been absolutely invaluable in the years since.

Knowing your tribe and who you can best serve with your unique set of skills and talents is absolutely crucial for success.

I've taken the time to really understand who that is for me. and who is better served by another coach. I'm not afraid to say no, regardless of financial pressure, because frankly they deserve better than someone who isn't the perfect fit.

If I'm not convinced I can add value and if i'm not jumping at the bit to work with someone, I don't take them on. I owe it to my clients to be fully invested. To support them for as long as it takes and through whatever it takes for them to get where they want to go. So I have a no-doubt policy for taking on new work. If there's any doubt...it's a no thank you.

On the surface it may seem like a business limiting strategy, there are certainly a lot of people out there peddling the need to be all things to all people, but i've found it helps to be the complete opposite. It’s not just for the client’s benefit either.

If you're caught up in the reflexive habit of saying yes to everything the comes your way you are likely to end up with a few clients who, for one reason or another are a bit of a drain, who don't quite 'get' you, who may not keep commitments or are generally challenging to handle. This does not help you do your best work, in fact it is a huge blocker to it. It drains your energy which affects your productivity and the quality of your decisions, it damages your reputation because you’re not able to produce your best quality work and it affects your confidence as, after a while you wonder if you are even capable of better.

Because you are unlikely to want more of the same kind of clients it means that you probably cant share that work in your marketing or social media either, so you miss out on that potential exposure too.

But mostly it makes sense to only say yes to the right clients because if you don’t, you miss out on the magic, and every business needs a a liberal sprinkling of magic.

The magic is what happens when you come together with the right people in the right way. When your work is accelerated beyond what might normally be possible, when your reach extends further than you can go alone and when you become attractive, compelling and inspired.

There is a perfect tribe out there for you. They will ‘get’ you, value you and fall over themselves to work with you. Trust yourself, be yourself and be brave enough to be discerning, because if it isn’t a ‘heck yes’ you both deserve better.

Elizabeth Cairns1 Comment