How many clients do you actually want? How many clients do you need?
This is a question of design.
It’s incredible to me when I talk with business owners who want to grow with no clear end in mind:
“We want to buy other companies to grow”
Me: “Why? What’s your exit strategy?”
Or when I help founders who say they want to one day sell and exit, then we get to the point of having a business that is sellable with strong cashflow change their position because they don’t want to give “it” up.
Sometimes, we want something because we think it’s the right thing, even the SMART thing to do, but at the end of the day, it’s all a choice and one that you own.
In contrast, one of my friends and agency owner (venture backed) here in San Diego once ran his company 3 weeks on 2-3 days off. Sprint, rest, sprint rest.
Another, ran a solo shop, and was only looking for a handful of clients for the year, because each client would extend to (on average) 9 months (or longer) of engagements.
Who was more successful?
The answer is both.
Both real-life scenarios are also: by design.
What’s your design?
Instead of asking the common “what do I want” consider asking “what am I Called-To?” (see definition below)
Because client growth tactics will always change but the principle pools of where to get clients remain constant:
1 – Warm network (local, communities, peers)
2 – Cold network to turn warm (outreach, guest training, guest podcasting/blogging)
3 – Sharing your expertise (becoming a thought leader, by sharing your unique points of view)
4 – Paid acquisition (sponsoring events or newsletters, buying ads, local community booth)
Figuring out the growth equation isn’t what’s blocking you, it’s figuring out the outcome of your growth, the “what changes for the better after we grow”.
Don’t just grow. Grow by design.
(verb) Called-To: the highest impact work one does; instead of asking “what do I want?”, ask the bigger, expansive, life-giving question “what am I Called-To?”