Client Success: When I Wanted It More Than My Client
Want proof that spending time in community helps you to create content. Here it is :)
In responding to a thread of conversation in a friend’s community today, I said this:
I’ve brainstormed multiple-millions of dollars worth of projects with clients over the years and get the most painful pinch when someone has a great idea and full potential – but doesn’t take action. I used to get really twisted about it – even angry at the person who didn’t act on the ideas. Not anymore though because I understand people have all kinds of reasons for holding back. Mostly I just feel wistful for the possibilities.
The person I was replying to had just shared she had a couple of great potential passive income ideas but hadn’t taken action yet. She wanted a digital kick in the butt and thankfully, she got a loving one from the community.
That thread sparked this blog post.
I have indeed brainstormed millions of dollars in income producing projects with clients. Information products, memberships, coaching programs, challenges… so many amazing ideas!
I adore the process of outlining an idea with someone and get pretty jazzed about the potential. I dream of helping them build it out and get goosebumps at the thought of seeing it all in action, making money!
Thankfully, I have a lot of experience in seeing that happen in reality. Still, multi-millions remained imaginary money. The client never put in the time and effort and the brilliant plans collect digital dust on their hard drive to this day.
It Made Me Mad
I’m not proud, but it’s true.
There was a client I worked with for six months. We built out a great foundation for the business and a first product release made money from the beginning. I felt proud of our work together and looked forward to telling the story of success for years to come.
But the client quit suddenly, never returned to finish the program and yes, I was mad.
- Mad to have my internal success story line interrupted.
- Mad that my great case study was ruined.
- Mad that I wasn’t getting to prove my awesomeness as a coach with her fully implement funnel to point at.
There is another client I spent a lot of time with who brought more excuses to our calls than complete to do lists. I got frustrated and verbally chastised her for lack of progress.
I know that sounds terrible.
You might think I’m a rotten person.
Who is this person who says she ‘Loves People’ and admits she gets mad and treats them roughly?
I hate writing it out and owning it… but dang, it’s what was true and I’ll own it.
My friend Nicole called me out on this very thing once when I was ranting about how a client had disappointed me. She said I seemed judgmental and impatient with the very people I claimed to love. That burned, let me tell you. The truth hurts.
What I see clearly NOW is that I was wrapped up in my own expectations and a need to feel fulfilled by someone else.
No relationship thrives when one person wants more than the other is willing to give. It’s true in life and even more so in business.
It never occurred to me then that being too attached to a client’s follow through could have a negative impact on the client. I thought being driven by completion was a good thing. My hunger to prove myself may have been rooted in positive intention but it brought a desperate energy I’ve since come to recognize as being no good for anyone.
Today, I approach clients with a new attitude and energy.
Client projects are still freaking exciting for me. The time spend with each client is a precious gift in both directions. I know I bring value by showing up and it’s a joy to experience their creativity. Goosebumps rise and dollar signs dance as we brainstorm their ideas!
What’s different is I am not attached to their results.
While I DO want things for my clients – I’m reminded of a quote from Therese Kienast, Founder of Radical Leadership:
If you ask for what you want and you’re attached, it is a demand. If you ask for what you want and you’re unattached, it is a gift.
Instead of showing up in my client’s lives with a demand for action, I’m an invitation for it.
I don’t get all twisted if they miss a deadline or change up plans. I don’t judge them for what gets in the way. I’m not beating them over the head with a timeline or shaming them for what isn’t getting done.
I can be with them in the midst of whatever they’re dealing with. Some clients execute beautifully, some get stuck for awhile. This is the adventure of being an entrepreneur.
As I bring this different energy to my client interactions, I’m making space for them to show up powerfully responsible for their own results.
The greatest blessing is that the celebration when those results come in is all about THEM ❤