“Are your clients like me?”

I’ve had a few calls with potential new clients recently. Mostly women wanting to take stock, refine their plans, and work on overcoming some blocks in their business while things are… different.

I was reflecting on the themes coming up for these brilliant humans in business, curious to see whether these times are bringing up anything specific for creatives and small businesses.

Perhaps this was also on their minds too because I did spot a theme: several of the women I’ve spoken to asked a variation on the question, “Are your clients like me?”

Do other people struggle with this?

Am I unusual?

Is this unfixable, or can you help?

Am I in the right place?

My work isn’t for everyone, and there are certain things I don’t help with. I’m not an expert in Facebook ads. I’m not an accountant or an HR specialist. I’m not a designer or a web developer. There are plenty of wonderful experts out there who specialise in this kind of work.

I’m also not a coach who is purely focused on six-figure turnover, on churning out hundreds of products for the masses, or on making a quick quid with no substance. I’m sure there are business coaches and mentors out there who can help with that. (Though I don’t know that I can recommend one…)

So if I’m answering, “Am I in the right place?” there are several factors to my answer.

But if you’re wondering if you’re the only one struggling with confidence, getting organised, creating a sustainable business, making the right decisions for you, or cutting out the noise, you are definitely not alone. My clients are like you.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s “fixable”, my work is here to help you dial up the volume on your authentic voice, your unique offerings, your fabulous skills, and turn the volume DOWN on the noise that distracts you from success.

I LOVE to help creative humans define their own success.

I’m a sucker for asking questions that delve deeper, and listening to allllll the answers.

And I delight in giving business owners compassionate accountability and structure to get them taking action in the right direction for them.

If you’re wondering if my clients are like you, here’s an incomplete but quick overview of my clients:

  • My clients are mostly women with creative businesses, though I have a couple of non-creative business owners and women considering starting a business in the future
  • My clients have a hunch they could be earning more, doing better, or feeling happier, but they’re not quite sure how to get there
  • My clients have a lot of thoughts, and usually apologise for saying too much, or that it’s all “a mess” (when really this is a key part of the work we do together)
  • My clients usually need a little nudge towards more confidence to do the thing they really want to do or are scared of doing
  • My clients sometimes need to ask uncomfortable questions, and be gently encouraged out of their comfort zone
  • My clients usually need or want homework, accountability, and clarity on the most important thing for them to do

We’re all humans in business. We all need support from time to time, whether it’s help setting up a new website, or creating a business strategy, or getting out of our own way.

If you’re looking for support, I’d love to hear from you – even if you’re not sure I’m the right person! Chances are I can recommend someone who is.

You can also join me on Mondays at 12pm for a group call to get a taste of what it’s like to work with me. Join Progress not Perfection – my group programme – currently Pay What You Can and I’ll share all the call details!

We ask the wrong question first

In general, in my coaching practice (and life), I tend not to blanket things as “right” and “wrong”. Things can only be right or wrong for you in this moment, and even the wrong things can turn out to be right.

So I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I wrote the title of this blog post out of succinctness rather than accuracy! Here’s the long version:

We tend to focus first on a question that doesn’t often serve us

Catchy, hey?

Editing issues aside, you probably want to know the question. To be honest, I don’t think you’re going to like it. Not at first, at least.

Here it is: The question that needs to wait is, “What should I do?”

I spend a lot of time helping business owners and clever, creative humans to prioritise their to do list, make action plans, and even write business plans.

The value I add, the place we spend our time, the process is not, in fact, writing the list.

It’s easy to write a list. It’s easy to find 10 things to do. I bet you have 10 things you think you should be doing right now.

The value and the wisdom and the secret key to success is asking a whole load of questions (and maybe getting some answers) BEFORE you ask what you should do.

Questions like:

  • What am I really hoping to achieve?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What’s the most important thing for me right now?

(More of my favourite questions are available for free right here.)

The more you can understand the problem you’re trying to solve, the business you’re trying to create, and the world you’re trying to influence, the easier it is to write a meaningful, prioritised to do list.

So, when you’re looking at your list, when you’re wondering what to do, rather than panicking or rushing, try taking a breath.

Remember what matters most to you.

Remember that you’re capable and clever and creative.

Remember that going fast in the wrong direction isn’t that helpful.

Remember what your direction looks and feels like.

Then ask that pesky question.

***

Again, my 20 favourite coaching questions are available for free right here.

And my Progress not Perfection group has a prioritising group call on Monday at 12pm. You can join on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Here’s the thing: don’t let problem-solving get in the way

As a business owner and a creative, you’re probably pretty good at problem-solving. Many of us are. Sometimes it’s spotting an opportunity. Somethings it’s rushing through the long list of orders you have to get through, or replying to that tricky customer.

Many of us LOVE solving problems, fixing things, making it better.

And it serves us really well. It makes us good at customer service. It makes us good at creating products and services that people need. It makes our lives better, and helps those around us, too.

Because who doesn’t want fewer problems?

But in business, problem-solving can become a distraction.

When we’re always looking at the list of things that need sorting out, the orders to post, the printer to fix, we’re not able to focus on the bigger picture.

The more we see and solve problems, the more problems come up that need to be fixed.

And all these little problems keep all our attention, which means we don’t have the care or time or energy left to address the bigger issues.

Big questions, like:

Is this really what I want to be doing, how I want to be spending my days?

How can I earn a good living by doing the things I really love?

Where is the profit coming from?

What’s the meaning and purpose behind my business?

What am I here to do?

If we stay in problem-solving mode too long, getting distracted by urgent things that are shiny and have a short-term importance, we wake up in a life and a business that doesn’t quite feel right.

And this isn’t just one big crisis. Sometimes this happens a couple of times a year, or every two years or so.

This is the process. Get good at something. Get good at solving problems. Get distracted. Get restless. Get frustrated.

Then we stop. We reconnect. We look at the bigger questions. We get clear.

Yes, you can look at the bigger questions (and their answers) daily.

Yes, that will help you to stay focused on what really matters.

Yes, you can get EVEN BETTER at solving problems when you look at it from a bigger perspective.

So. Are you ready?

Come and dive deeper into the bigger questions with me on Friday 10th May at my Creative Business Day Retreat.

Let’s celebrate your awesome problem-solving skills, while also getting you set up to feel better, play bigger and find more success.

Dive into the big questions yourself, and you’ll discover clarity, answers, resources and energy that you’ve been missing. It’s thoroughly recommended.

And doing it in a group with a talented guide (ahem) can give you even more strength through community, inspiration, and accountability.

This is why I do what I do.

You matter, and so does your business,
Jenny xx

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