This Money Talk by me and Kirsten Shaw is coming up this Thursday night. YASSSS. We might do others in the future on a range of topics, so do let me know if you’re interested in coming to in-person workshop experiences in the Bay Area. Open to topic suggestions, as well.
A particular aspect I want to share, which this Money Talk has led me to ponder this week is…
Who is my audience? aka Who is your audience?
I mean, really. Not just who has hired you, or who do you hypothetically think should be interested in your business. Who *gets* you and what you’re offering, as of today? And why do you think that match is there? What brings you together? Because not only must they want to pay you for what you do, you also must want to offer them something of value in exchange for payment. You are giving them access to your precious life energy.
I think that’s of paramount importance.
I spent years trying to please everyone. Anyone who might want to hire me, even years down the line. Hell, some “people” whose opinion I cared about, DON’T EVEN EXIST.
I’m experiencing that owning a business has many legitimate phases. At first I, for whatever reason, had to go real broad and try to potentially appeal to many people. Then I learned about having a “niche” and bless my detail-oriented heart, I tried to have a teensy tinsy speciality, and just waited for every one of those people to call me. (Adorable! Wouldn’t that have been convenient and tidy?!)
The phase I’m in now, which I certainly may look back on one day, is that there are internal factors that bring us together to do work. It’s not necessarily an external, measurable factor that qualifies someone to work with me. I haven’t been able to predict just men or women. I haven’t been able to predict an age range, or people with a certain amount of debt or money coming in. The intangible spark seems to bring us together. People who value growth above preserving status quo. Honestly, I used to roll my eyes when I’d hear from a tech dude, and make ungenerous assumptions about them. Those have been some of the loveliest, most creative people to work with! Couldn’t have predicted it at the time.
I think part of the beauty of this healthy business pursuit is the elegant economy that if something works, it will feel good and right to me. I may uncomfortably stretch, feel confronted, but there is often a rightness and a natural curiosity that keeps me coming back for more. When I’m out of my flow, there may be “security”, or “certainty” but it has a sense of being limited and probably will zap my energy.
My hope and wish for all of us, is that the business that comes our way is generative for everyone involved. Yes, the client pays money for it, and then has less money in that second. BUT they also have absorbed something excellent by working with us, especially if we are in our Flow Zone! Win-win.
I’ll wrap this up with also saying, I do appreciate the various phases. Each one is instructive and clarifying in its own way. I don’t believe there is any part of the business that doesn’t have something valuable to teach me/us. (But maybe that’s just a phase too! We shall see!)