Have you ever read fan fiction? It’s become almost mainstream these days, with every fandom from Dr. Who to My Little Pony to the original Star Trek producing reams and reams of the stuff. Or, more appropriately, bytes and bytes of the stuff, since it’s rarely ever printed. Although some is good, most of it is appallingly bad. Trust me, unless you have graded Creative Writing 101 fiction, you have never seen such dreck. And yet, people read (and write) the stuff insatiably.
Why is that, do you think?
It’s not (usually) because people dream of becoming famous authors. E.L. James notwithstanding, most people are writing for one simple reason– to make what they want to happen happen. Actually, E.L. James is a perfect example. She said, “The explosion of interest has taken me completely by surprise… [Fifty Shades of Grey is] my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that’s it.”
When people ‘ship John Watson with Sherlock Holmes, it’s to develop the fantasy even more clearly in their minds. And, if they’re lucky, to share the fantasy with others who share the same wishes for the characters.
You know who else does that?
We do. We microbiz owners.
Don’t believe me? Look at all the stuff we write about this fantastical beast The Ideal Client.
The Ideal Client will value our work highly. If we’re undercharging, this client will demand that we invoice for 20% more. They won’t argue with our better judgment. They always pay on time. And they work tirelessly to make sure their entire circle is aware of our talents.
Now, to be fair, we know that’s unreasonable. We know these Ideal Clients might as well be named Prince Charming, and we’ll meet them about as often.
But when you do stumble over your perfect client, it will surprise you as much as finding a True Love.
Because your ideal client will click with you– but they won’t kowtow. If anything, they’ll challenge you. Not in a “client from hell” sense, but in a way that forces you to dig deeper, become more resourceful, and grow more vigorously than you were before. Often they won’t be anything like you expect them to be– and yet they’ll be exactly what you wanted.
Your Ideal Client should be someone who not only allows you to work in your sphere of genius, but whose own strengths and insights push you to be more.
When your client gives you as much as you give them, that’s when you’ll have the perfect client. Not mere wish fulfillment.