Setting Your Own Agenda

One of the joys of running your own business is the freedom to set your own agenda—the clients you serve, your mix of products and services and how you price yourself. But sometimes we forget that we have this freedom (or how to use it).

Jonathan and I explore how to channel the mindset of a business owner vs. assuming you must fill every client request:

The questions to ask yourself if you want to start or stop providing a particular service to a particular client.

Breaking up with your client: when to do it, how to do it and what to watch out for.

Why you always want to build a time constraint when transitioning clients—and how to think about the transition process

When retainer scope creep is your fault—think guilt around doing less for a bigger retainer—and what to do about it.

Why the consultant’s job is to hold the vision for the project (and who is always THE client).



“Here’s the thing, it’s your business. If you want to stop doing tactical work, you do more strategic work.”—JS

“Breakups don’t have to be ugly, but the other thing is that sometimes what we think might lead to a breakup doesn’t at all.”—RM

“Once you start doing that (extra pair of hands work), then it’s a slippery slope. All of a sudden it’s like the architect is cleaning the bathrooms.”—JS

“The client asks because they don’t think about our business model. They assume if they ask us for something that doesn’t make sense, we’ll say no.”—RM

“The perfect time to say no…is the first time, like when the first ask happens or when you first think you’re going to do it of your own volition. The second best time to do it is right now.”—JS

“It’s really important to be clear about your timeline so that your clients understand that there’s a limited timeframe and if they don’t move, they’re not going to get support.”—RM

“But if you have one foot out the door, it totally changes the framing (of your message). And then they’re like, wait, maybe there’s something we can work out.”—JS

“Holding the vision for the project, that’s our job. And if I want to get dramatic, I would say it’s a sacred obligation.”—RM



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