Every now and then, I’ll talk to one of my clients and think “This is why she is my favorite client.” Then the voices in my head start arguing, and I will remember conversations with other clients on other days and think, “Well, maybe he is my favorite.” At that (crazy) point, I remember that I like all of my clients. There is not a single one of them that I wouldn’t be happy to see, or any that I feel uncomfortable with.
But I know other business owners who have clients that they just can’t stand. They say things like, “I wish she would just start going somewhere else,” or “People are just so stupid! I’ve told him over and over again that’s not how it works!”
Any time you are dealing with people you are going to encounter moments of frustration, misunderstandings, annoyance and even anger. So it’s completely understandable to just let loose in a moment of frustration. But when you find yourself feeling annoyed daily and dreading even having to talk to your customers, something is wrong.
I’ve been working on some copy for a dog grooming shop recently and came across this quote: “I went to beauty school but decided to do dog grooming instead because dogs don’t pressure you for conversation.”
This person is brilliant. She could have spent years listening to people complain about their lives while she fixed their hair, but she realized early on that it was the hair she loved and not the people. She found a way to continue doing what she liked without the part she didn’t like.
People start businesses for all sorts of good reasons. Personally, I needed income and desperately wanted some autonomy and flexibility. I never expected to genuinely like all of my customers, but am steadily becoming more and more particular about who I pitch my services to and who I accept work from.
I have no idea who coined the phrase “finding your Right People” but I learned about it from Havi, Sonia and Naomi and am only now recognizing the power of their advice. Sure, there are a million businesses that fit the description of my ideal client, but only a small fraction of them are my Right People.
If you are running a business and finding yourself miserable, maybe you are accepting the wrong customers. If that is the case, figure out what you are looking for in a client. Who makes you happy to be in business? Then, start cultivating relationships with other people who will make you happy. You’ll be so glad you did!