I hosted a men’s circle earlier this year and a young man said something brilliant: be a flower, not a butterfly net.
It reminds me of something I heard colleagues say for years: be a lighthouse, not a searchlight.
Butterflies run away from nets. People run away from searchlights.
Of course, it’s dangerous to get into dogma about any of this but it’s worth noticing how much energy we often put into a strategy that is fundamentally about chasing potential clients (who might never be a fit in the first place).
I recall a successful life coach being asked, “What’s your niche?”
And he replied, “People who like me?”
On one level, it’s a shit answer. On another level, that’s absolutely where it’s at.
At the end of the day, you only want to work with people who are a good fit for you. They’ve got to like you.
And, if your strategy is to run around chasing everything that moves with your butterfly net, or swinging your searchlight around and capturing everyone you see, you might just find that most of them have no interest in what you’re offering at all.
It’s so much effort for so little reward.
What if you were to out your effort into being a more beautiful flower or a more known and trusted lighthouse instead?
What if you were to work on honing your niche and point of view so that they were clear and well-known?
What if you were to really focus on bringing your own vibe, quirk, personality and aesthetic into your business (instead of going for the generic look)?
You might find that this is what really wins the long-game and that you win, with less effort, in such a way that no one else has to lose.
Don’t be a butterfly net, be a flower.
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