I like to think about my clients when I’m not with them and I find myself pondering such things as what they have in common and what distinguishes them. What motivates, inspires and excites them enough about their own entrepreneurial dreams? Here are some typical scenarios which might prompt a client to get in touch and ask for my help.
1. Getting out of the day job. “Day jobs” come in all shapes and sizes these days. Clients might have enjoyed a career for quite a long time and it’s served them well historically, taken them to interesting places, offered them growth opportunities, they’ve learned a lot and earned well but now it’s time for a change. Either the future doesn’t look quite as exciting as it did or the job is eating away at their soul.
These clients often have an alternative in mind, something which will replace their income; but they are a bit scared as it’s all pastures new. They want an expert to give an opinion about their plan. Is it realistic? Is it feasible? Will it work? Do I think it’s a good idea? How long do I think it will take them to replace their current income and will I support them on their journey? Who can I introduce them to who can give them the variety of different types of expertise and support they’ll need, even before they know that themselves?
2. The other big motivator is realising they cannot or do not want to work as hard as they have done in the past. These clients might already have a good source of earned income but they want to make the switch to unearned income, passive income and financial freedom. A significant birthday or bereavement might prompt this sort of thinking. “How can I support my family and my own financial and life goals by creating financial flow in new ways?” is the question on their lips.
3. The third client is considering a major life change after redundancy or divorce or children having flown the nest leaving them with a vacuum they want to fill. These clients have an opportunity to reinvent themselves but it’s been a while since they had the luxury of focusing solely on their own desires, on what they want for themselves. This can require big thinking and some brave decisions which I can often see coming before they do. If they are robust I provoke this; sometimes it’s more elegant to allow it to emerge.
4. My next client has lots of plans and no focus. She wants to do X and Y and Z all at once while having a day job and an already busy life full of personal commitments to family and hobbies. My job then is to encourage serial focus. Let’s pick on one thing you would love to do first and channel all your free time and energy into that and achieve a result for you which can set you on your way. Often this client will have to choose between variety being the spice of life, and enough of a reward in itself, or going for success on one initial project first for a particular desired result – profit perhaps, or proof they can do it.
5. My fifth client is engaged by creative projects and/or re-shaping their businesses to be even more perfect. These people are building on their current entrepreneurial success and they are a bit bored now, so how can life continue to be exciting and stimulating and how can their existing business morph to support the new version of the life they want to lead in 2014 and beyond?
We know we entrepreneurs are often regarded just as dreamers and, without accountability, we have the propensity to remain just that. In my book, dreaming is good so long as it doesn’t stop there, so long as you have a plan for implementation and you are prepared to get out of your comfort zone and do a couple of new things each week.
Two things a week builds to eight or ten over a month and a hundred new things over a year. If you will commit simply to that you are not a dreamer, you are a doer. And this time next year you will be in a completely different place, one of your own choosing and design, living your dream and perhaps even your ideal life.
What’s your entrepreneurial dream?