Love, Always

Being “specific” isn’t cold. It’s pure love.

When someone shares with me that they want to “go freelance” or “start a business” or set up a coaching or consulting practice, my first response is:

“Awesome! Being your own boss is an incredible ride.”

After that, my first question is:

“So, what kinds of clients do you want to work with… specifically?”

At this point, the person I’m chatting with invariably scrunches up his (or her) eyebrows, replying with, “Um, I don’t know. I guess… anybody who will, like, pay me?”

It seems “cold” or even “ungracious” to get “specific” about the kinds of clients you want — especially when you’re just starting out, trying to fill your calendar with bookings, and figure out a way to pay the bills!

But what I have learned — the long and slow way — is that if you are “vague” about the kinds of clients you want to work with, it’s harmful to your business, to your income, to your professional reputation, and to your overall happiness and satisfaction.

This goes for everything in life — not just business!

Vague about the kind of partner you want? Dating is going to be tough.

Vague about the goals you’re working towards? Progress is going to be slow and shaky.

Vague about the kind of impact you want to leave on the world, or in your community? Life is going to feel far less “meaningful” than it could.

If you don’t know what you want, you’re obviously not going to get it.

Specificity is your best friend — not your enemy.

Here’s what I know about myself & my work:

I love people. All kinds of people. If I had 10,000 clones of myself? I’d be honored to provide life coaching and therapy services for everyone on the planet!

But that’s not doable, so I have learned to be very clear about the types of clients I’m especially good at serving:

Specifically: high-functioning men and women with demanding lifestyles — doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, super-busy parents. People who feel like they are doing “great” in certain areas of life — but “not great” in others.

An ideal client for me would be…

– An attorney who loves her work and is a champion in the courtroom… but who is stuck in an unfulfilling marriage.

– A business owner who is at the top of his game when it comes to “work”… but who has a heck of a time getting his kids to cooperate at home.

– A highly skilled medical doctor who loves her work and helps so many people… but who eats her way through her evenings because she’s so exhausted and stressed.

My clients aren’t always (and don’t need to be) doctors, lawyers and business owners.

But my clients are definitely people who hold themselves to high standards — and who want to improve when they fall short. My clients are also people who want RESULTS. They’re not the kinds of people who flake out and miss appointments. Once they commit to a program? They are all in.

While I am trained to serve other types of clients (people with serious emotional disturbances, for example) I choose not to. I know that’s not my calling in this lifetime. It’s not what I love most — or what I’m most passionate about doing.

After 28 years of practice as a coach and psychologist, it feels really good to be able to say:

“I know exactly who — and how — I want to serve!”

That’s my wish for every human being — including you.

The privilege and gift of being able to say:

“I know exactly what I want — and I won’t settle for anything less.

This is my life. My choices. My goals. Clear, focused… and specific.”

Being “specific” isn’t cold, calculating, or ungenerous.

It’s an expression of love and respect — for yourself and for others.

Being “specific” won’t hold you back. It’s what can allow you to reach your full potential.

And to me? THAT is pure love.