When I first started my business, I would take anything I could get. I wanted any customers that would work with me, I wanted plenty of speaking opportunities, and I wanted a lot of social media attention.
But a funny thing happened. The further along I went in my business, the more I actually repelled people, rather than attracted them. People would tell me within two minutes of talking to me whether I was or wasn’t a fit. I was getting asked to speak at less opportunities. And more people than ever starting unfollowing my social media.
I felt rejected. I must have been doing something terribly wrong.
But I looked around at my practice and noticed that I really loved working with every single one of my clients, that the speaking opportunities I did were always energizing and fun, and that I had even better engagement on social media.
I wasn’t doing something wrong. I was doing a lot right.
If we play it safe as entrepreneurs—if we try to appeal to as many people as possible and not alienate anyone—then we’re not being special to anyone.
Customers don’t want to find a good fit; they want the right fit. They want someone who speaks directly to them, understands their core pain points, and can best help their unique issues.
And, if someone doesn’t fall into that category, then he or she probably isn’t your ideal customer, anyway. You won’t very energized and excited to work with a run-of-the-mill customer. You want someone who’s easy to work with, passionate, and plays to your strengths.
As an entrepreneur, you get to make the rules. You get to market to the exact customers you want to work with. You get to decide who’s a fit and who isn’t. It’s your company. You get to choose.
Look, if someone doesn’t like your Facebook page, chances are he or she wouldn’t like working with you, either. So put yourself out there as authentically as possible. Let people know exactly what they’re buying. And, if they don’t like it, great—you’ve just repelled another wrong fit.
To attract the right fits into your business, you have to be willing to repel the wrong ones. When you eliminate the customers who aren’t a total match, you make room for those that are to come in.
Today, I celebrate every single time someone unlikes my Facebook page just as much as I do when someone new likes it. Because it means that I’m putting myself out there and showing people exactly who I am. If it’s not a fit for some—awesome. We got that out of the way before any money was involved.
But, if it is a fit—if somebody reads my blog and says, “Holy crap, this guy gets me more than anyone,” then I get to work with my dream client.
Maybe you won’t have as many social media followers and maybe your client load will even temporarily drop down—but, if you put yourself out authentically, you’ll build the exact business you’ve always dreamed of building.
You’ll set the ground rules, you’ll work on what you’re passionate about, and you’ll attract the ideal customers right to you.
Most of the time, entrepreneurs think they need to change themselves to attract the right business in, when actually they need to become more of themselves to attract the right business.
But, hey—you’re the boss. You make the rules. You get to decide what you’ll do.
Mike Iamele is a clinical herbalist & entrepreneurial wellness coach who specializes in helping passionate, ambitious millennials overcome burnout and reclaim their definitions of success. Based in Boston, he blogs every weekday at www.bostonwellnesscoach.com.
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