Working FOR clients sucks.
Working WITH clients is a different matter.
Getting yourself in the right headspace about this concept will make a huge impact on the quality (and profitability) of your client engagements.
When you are working with a client, you go in as a partner. As an expert your client has hired to walk along side him/her towards a goal.
If your client hired you to fulfill a list of orders, or to make a widget or two–in my mind, those are not the type of clients you want.
If your clients don’t perceive you as a professional “partner,” then it’s time to get new clients.
You don’t work for clients, you work with them towards a common goal.
I’ve struggled with this for some time. I’m able to navigate the sales process very well. During the sales process, I’m clearly positioned as a partner.
But once the deal is signed, that’s when the problems can creep in.
Once the deal closes, it starts to feel like I’m working for someone.
To me, that feeling sucks.
All the problems are in my head of course–a creation of my own mind. But that doesn’t make them any less real or their impact any less significant.
I used to think it was the client’s problem. That they were “taking advantage” of me. Like they thought they owned me or something just because they were a client.
Money doesn’t give anyone a right to “own” you, unless you grant them that right.
As it turns out, it was me projecting that whole scenario onto my client relationships.
The longer I projected that feeling of “the client owns me, I work for the client,” the more and more it became true.
The good news is that if you are experiencing this, today is the day to stop it.
Quit working for clients. Start working with them.
The clients you should be working with will welcome an expert who is ready to stand up and help lead them through uncharted waters. The clients you shouldn’t be working with will simply go away.
And that will be a big step forward for your business.