Everything always changes. The rub is that the everything is changing in more ways and more often in 2014. After a wildly successful 2013, I hit a wall in the beginning of 2014.
The good news is that I have been able to adapt fast to what now is. That happened through observing the dynamics between rescue dog Lee K. and myself. That raw-boned experience taught me plenty about how to conduct business in 2014. My communications boutique has taken off again.
Here are just some of the takeaways:
Figure out what client expects and give it. There isn't such as thing as "giving in." There is only smart business. Lee K. knows exactly how long and where he wants to walk. He won't poop unless I comply. It's that simple. Clients are tense. That makes them brittle and easy to break into a billion bits.
Forget comparing everything to the past. Lee K. is very different from my animal companions from years ago. That's the way it is. I had to adjust to the new realities. Try as I might, he didn't morph into Nicole, Molly Mittens or Joshua. Clients won't be the well-funded, civil creatures from boom times. They can't. They're in too much pain.
This is not about me. Lee K. is an entity in his own right. This is about us. Likewise, sure, I can suggest to clients the ideal approach or what I assume it is. But the project is a we. I gotta listen and give their ideas my best shot in execution. Count on being frustrated. Also count on that clients are also frustrated. The more empathy I can muster the quicker we will get in and out on the project.
Praise. The mindset had to shift from how talented I am to the strengths of the client. Lee K. cooperates more when I praise him, but don't overdo it. I make it my business to keep ip in the media on clients' positive developments. Yes, it's useful to send little notes of congrats.
In short, Lee K. mirrors all clients. They want what they want when they want it. It's irrelevant that day or at 11 P.M. that night if I am exhausted, hungry or feeling unappreciated. The damn dog's agenda is a walk. And it better be a long one, with grass available. That's the way it is.