Newsletter #6: A Client Who Can’t or Won’t Choose a Niche


I’m really enjoying myself as I travel across the US this summer. I’m meeting so many people I’ve worked with online and now get to meet in person! I had lunch today with a client who is a marketing specialist. He’s a speaker, coach and has self-published a very interesting book on how to market products online. His business has been really slow of late and instead of refocusing on his truly viable business and changing it into something that I can see working very well, he has decided to go back to his old business that doesn’t have a track record – his massage business. The problem is that he doesn’t have clients and will have to find a space and come up with a marketing plan.

I suggested gently that considering all of the time this will take, he could use his incredible talents and energy to redirect his current business as there is a market out there for what he does. The problem is that he’s so used to going back and forth between these two businesses instead of putting all of his attention on one and really going for it, I’m not sure he was very open to my ideas. It’s always hard for me to see how a lack of focus on one idea can side rail such a talent into too many directions. As you may know, I call this Mission Creep and it’s the bane of many very talented creative entrepreneurs. If you find yourself in this position (as we all have!), here are some suggestions from my book, Better, Smarter, Richer: Seven Business Principles for Creative Entrepreneurs:

1. If you have more than one focus and you’re still not making the profit you would like, think carefully of which of your businesses has the most earning potential along with providing you a creative outlet that keeps you interested. It’s always about profit as much as the enjoyment. I call this finding your niche and cover it in great detail in Chapter Two. Just doing the exercises in this chapter can change the way you look at your work.

2. Remember, your time is your most important asset. They way you spend your time on your business will determine how much of a profit you can make in order to support yourself. This is covered in the chapter called The Time/Money Squeeze. Once you learn to avoid the Time/Money squeeze, you’ll see your profits climb steadily.

What I love about all of this is that change is so possible. I find that it’s the first steps that are the hardest. It’s hard to let go of what you’ve been doing, even if what you’ve been doing isn’t working! If you’re really resonating with this topic, you’re not alone. I see it in all of the creative entrepreneurs I work with, and I love to see when the light turns on in their eyes and a change for the better is made.

I will end this newsletter with a quote from my client Julie. She was so hesitant to raise her prices when we met, but once she did she told me she could never go back.

“Hi Jackie. What amazes me the most about learning what I’m worth and truly knowing the hourly time I put into a project or client is that I now know exactly what I want to make per hour for my work- whether it’s one on one or writing a book that I then sell at the back of one of my classes. For example, I used to say yes to the, ‘ Julie, let’s meet and I can pick your brain and buy you lunch!” Now, I say, “I have a great coaching business that is perfect for this. We can really focus on what you would like to work towards. Let’s meet to talk about your needs and my process and fees. It would be great to work together.” I charge $100 an hour to startno matter what now Jackie! And what really amazes me is that most people say, Yes, when can we start?” I loved Better, Smarter, Richer and keep reading it over and over again. It changed my life. Thank you Jackie!” – Julie


If you would like to know more about the book, please click here for ordering information. I guarantee that the book will change the way you look at your business while you’re reading – and will change it even more when you do the exercises. I believe this so much I have a 100% money back guarantee. My goal is to help you succeed in all that you do as a creative entrepreneur. It has been the focus of my work for over 20 years and I’m so glad I now have a book that can help you be a successful part of this goal.

I would love to hear your comments on the book, your work and how you have made changes that have improved your business and helped you enjoy your creative entrepreneurial talents to the fullest.

Good luck in all that you do,

Jackie B. Peterson

  1. Jackie, I often go in and read chapters of the book to remind myself of where I have problems- the main is taking on work that doesn’t pay. I’d also like your advice on how to reduce my email load. I have tried so many things- or maybe I just need to face that it’s part of my business and I need to schedule more time for it! Julie

  2. Claudia Plaza

    And I thought you were on vacation! Sounds like you’re out getting the word out about good business practices instead! Claudia

  3. admin

    Julie, I do schedule time for email. I try to first quickly eliminate any emails that do not look like they apply to business. That gets rid of a lot of them. Then I open others and try to respond immediately if I can. That gets rid of them with only handling them once. Then, if there are those I want to think about or to hold for part of a future conversation or a later event, I set up a folder and put them there at once. I really try to read each email only once and dispose of it in some way (delete, answer, file) at that time. Time management is huge for creatives- think of time as currency- how you spend your time will make all the difference to your financial future. Email is so distracting. And can eat up an entire day if you let it. For sure do not be “on” you email with instant messaging all the time. That will not just eat your time,it will devour it. I guess its structure I am talking about.

  4. admin

    Ruth, I hope your book of paintings works for you as well. My message to you, not knowing you, however, is that when you allow yourself to be distracted from your focus it can dilute your “brand.” It not only uses up your precious time, it confuses people about who you really are and what you really do. I think our customers can only relate us to one thing. Oh, they say, Ruth is an oil painter. When you add Ruth is a painter and she has published a book about iPhone paintings etc. etc. they have a harder time remembering exactly who you are. I am always encouraging my clients to be the go-to expert in their field so they can charge top prices and be seen as professionals. Again, it is hard to maintain that position when you are not focused.

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