I’ve been working for a billion years. A billion. I might have just begun to understand the right level for me, the place where I make sense and am happy. I’m a contractor for a reason. I don’t tolerate foolish decisions when I have to be one of those who make the decisions happen. I feel as if I’m stupid by association. And I HATE to feel stupid.
So speaking of that, I have been struggling to define my perfect client a key piece off figuring out my Unique Selling Proposition. I struggled with that puzzle as I drew two different types of clients and then tried to map what their worlds were like. It was valuable but it didn’t get me where I wanted to go. I looked at the two sides, one for-profit and one not-for-profit and thought I had to choose a favorite. I chose non-profits.
I think back now and I realize that while I came up with two different clients who seemed to embody the two very different worlds in which I work, I didn’t LOVE either of them. They represented senior C-level leadership. That’s not who I work with. I think maybe I don’t really like C-level leadership. I know that I don’t agree with Milton Friedman that a CEO’s and consequently businesses #1 and only responsibility is to make money for its shareholders. CEOs seem to be totally interested in preserving the status quo. I’m not. Status quo doesn’t seem good enough to me. It seems like settling. See how I might be scary to CEOs?
Long set up. . .Yesterday, my favorite client (and good friend) reminded me that I keep telling her that she’s my favorite client. She is. The light bulb finally came on (during cocktail hour). SHE’S MY FAVORITE CLIENT! She’s the one I want to work for. And what’s interesting about it is that when I think of the reasons why she’s my favorite client, I can find a client on the other side, the non-profit side, JUST LIKE HER whom I also LOVE. The two worlds collide (well, really, they merged).
Here’s what I love about them both:
- They have great respect for my abilities and they tell me in words and actions
- They provide critical skills I lack
- They really listen. . . a lot
- They are 100% committed to quality
- They believe that they will receive quality
- They are willing to compromise on many other things but not quality
- They are enthusiastic about new ideas
- They provide the test bed AND help polish and refine new ideas
- We take the time to have other conversations
- They believe that the price I tell them is the best price I can offer
- They don’t do stupid
Here’s the last one and it’s part them and part the contractor position. They provide a very valuable buffer between me and stupid.
A HUGE thanks to both my favorite clients. It’s okay, just like children I love you both equally.