Lesson Learned: Everybody Is Not My Ideal Client
Tai Goodwin
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Lesson Learned: Everybody Is Not My Ideal Client

bad clientWho’s on my “Not My Ideal Client” list?

One of my favorite things about having my own business is that I get to choose to grow it by working with and for clients that I respect and admire. I get to sow into them and their vision. Working with clients that aren’t a good fit increases my anxiety and reminds of being back in a corporate job where I worked strictly for the paycheck. Back then, I enjoyed the work but didn’t have the same values as the organization that I worked for. My options were to grin and bear it, try to transfer to a new department, or find a new job altogether.

As a solopreneur, I can get to make my life and workload easier by saying no to potential clients that are not a good fit. Based on my past experiences, I now easily say no to people who:

  • Come up with excuses for not taking action.
  • Resist improving their marketing and sales skills.
  • Take more than they give in most of their relationships.
  • Are unwilling to put in real work because they want a quick fix.
  • Blame their situation or other people for their lack of progress.
  • Become defensive instead of curious when given a new perspective. 
  • Are indecisive when it comes to investing in themselves and their business.
  • Make decisions solely based on price rather than the value of what they are investing in.
  • Continually buy programs and products but don’t invest in coaching that brings the accountability they need to get results.

It pays in more ways than one to know and like your clients

Money should never be the only common denominator in your client relationships. It is much more important to have shared values like integrity, a sense of purpose, and equity.  As you are signing on new clients, are you getting a sense of their values or just thinking about the value they may be able to contribute to your bank account? If you are getting an intuitive nudge that this might not be a good fit, listen to it. Trust me – it’s not worth the drama or the dinero if you cringe every time you see their name pop up on your calendar.

Everybody is not your ideal client. Invest your time in focusing on the people that are your ideal client an expect your business grow brilliantly.

Are you clear about who your ideal clients are?

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About the Author Tai Goodwin

Tai Goodwin on a mission to help 10,000 women entrepreneurs create more joy and wealth in their life and business. She's the CEO of Aligned + Bankable and creator of the Bankable Brilliance Course. An intuitive business growth strategist and teacher, her specialty is helping clients create bankable business models that allow them to increase their impact and income without burning out. Tai is a former corporate trainer with a master's degree in instructional design and over 20 years of experience designing course, training programs, and certifications. She is also the author of Girlfriend, It's Your Time and founder of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.

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Derek Lewinson says

I am thankful and grateful for this article. I am learning the hard way that not everyone is the right client. Unnecessary pain and damage to my rep. My mistake? Ignoring my intuition and previous experiences with the project manager…the individual chose me…I should not have chosen them. #lessonlearned.

Dianne Dawson says

Great article! Excuses and whining are the first indicators of what’s to come if you choose to work with the person. I look for a strong desire to achieve a desired outcome and a willingness to do what it takes. Without these two traits, nothing significant is going to happen for the client. I want my clients to succeed, but I can’t want it more than they do; they have to be willing to step-up, even when doing so is scary.

Marjorie Geiser says

Good one, Tai. Yes, too often people will take on clients who are not a good fit. I did once. HARD lesson learned, but today I’m VERY careful who I accept to work with.

Jason Anderson says

Excellent yet hard decision to make. That’s why an onboarding interview is so critical. It’s NOT a marketing gimmick if deployed properly. Unfortunately, lots of coaches use an “application” as a lead generation piece and forget about the “application” part when the money is there.

    Tai Goodwin says

    Thanks for stopping by Jason. Some coaches say that applications deter potential clients. I think if you’ve established enough trust and credibility, the VIPs you attract that are serious about working with you, will respect your process and welcome the opportunity to ensure that the fit is right for both sides.

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