Who is your ideal client? Did you know who your ideal client was when you first started your business? Or did you have an idea, but gained clarity with time and experience?
For me, I had an idea, but the path to clarity had detours and winding roads. When I first started in January 2015 my goal was to help women small business owners with their teams through coaching. At the same time, I started hosted monthly events for creative entrepreneurial women to share their challenges and receive feedback. These events were open to anyone (any stage of business) and quickly took off.
Because I was having “easy success” in hosting these events I started doing more of them in Chicago and across the country. (I pulled back from coaching during this time.) The blessing was the opportunity to meet so many talented women and make new friendships. The caveat was not operating in my zone of genius (leadership/operations) and building my ideal client base.
As competition in the market increased I started to refine these events more and more into the Masterminds they are today. I knew with each change I made I would lose clients and I was mentally prepared for it. Yet, my confidence was shaken a lot!
Years of industry change (real estate bubble, health care reform) within my professional career taught me people are resistant to change. It also taught me that we all go through seasons and sometimes we outgrow each other or take different paths.
It was during the summer of 2018 when I had a moment of clarity. The reason for a lot of my frustration came from me trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. My experience and knowledge exceeded my existing clients’ stage in business. The information I was sharing either didn’t resonate with them because they weren’t there yet, or they knew it was valuable but didn’t need it yet.
My Little Black Desk Society branding and my knowledge were on par for my ideal client, but my messaging and pricing (impacts perception of value) were still out of sync. Sigh….this was a painful and expensive lesson to learn. At one time it felt like a gut punch when I learned how much out of alignment I was.
So here I am entering my 5th year of entrepreneurship with renewed clarity and confidence in who I am, the value of what I have to offer, and who I want to serve (ideal client).
- A business coach helping you become the leader teams love to work for, business partners in the industry respect, and your clients refer to friends.
- The women I help are established small business owners who want to solidify and streamline their operations (policies & processes) so they can better serve their clients. And women who lead teams of (part-time or full-time) employees and want to see their team thrive and performance improve.
Hindsight is always 20/20. You may think this was a long journey to figure out something I should have figured out earlier. I agree with you. I wish I would have figured it out earlier too. Yet, I am a firm believer that everything has a reason in life. You are where you are supposed to be at this very moment.
Looking back I can tell you the time spent taking a winding path was character building. It forced me to address my weaknesses, remove attitudes and habits that wouldn’t serve me, and create discipline in areas where I needed it. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m grateful for each lesson because I know it serves a purpose.
If you are in the midst of your own winding path, I encourage you to continue doing the work and showing up every day.
If you have survived the fire, congratulations! I know it wasn’t easy for you either.
Where are you at in this journey of identifying your ideal client? What have you learned along the way? Share in the comments below.