Sometimes less is more... Sometimes walking away from what's not right makes more room for what is.
I've had this nagging voice that I need to update my blog, but haven't really been inspired, until today, when I was working on a presentation I am going to be giving to small businesses about blogging. Exactly.
In the middle of my putting this presentation together I had the opportunity to talk with someone I don't know that well. I am jealous that I don't know this person that well because all of our mutual friends think he walks on water. I now know why.
"I've spent 20 years figuring out how to say no to 75% of the business that comes my way," said this very smart man. It was perfect timing, really. I just, over the last 4 weeks, turned away and/or was willing to walk away from a lot of business. When I say a lot, I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sounds nuts right? What business owner who wants to grow would say no to that kind of revenue, but I think figuring this out is actually the key to true growth.
As a result of my being able to take this hard line and really walk away, it has occurred to me that at some level, my company has arrived. We no longer have to prove we can do the job, we now have to figure out how to work with the right clients. As the RIGHT clients will allow us to truly grow.
And here's the crazy thing: The more bad business I say no to, the more good business comes our way!
We stopped working with a client last month and the end result was that it was the best thing that ever happened to us. This client was never happy with anything we did. They never said thank you for deliverables, (for instance, when we got them showcased in People Magazine) always had a negative attitude, and barely returned emails. As a result, my staff started to dread working with this client. That's when I knew we were no longer a good fit.
We can't be effective if my staff is demotivated and you won't communicate with us. No longer having to deal with this type of person allowed us to really reflect on and hone in on what we do and don't want in a client.
Within 2 days of our old, soul draining client, came a new, grateful, happy client! Our new client asks our opinions! Our new client responds to our emails! Our new client says thank you! (Our new client actually pays more too!)
This is just one example as this scenario of saying no and then being rewarded has played out 3 times in the past 3 weeks. I don't know why, but I do know that when you listen to your gut and make hard decisions, you usually end up ahead.
I'm beginning to really understand what the meaning was of what Matt Ferrara said to me today. Sometimes the best business you do, is the business you don't do.