How running a business is like a first date.

Does meeting your clients for the first time make you feel like you’re on a first date — nerves and all? Read how, despite the nerves, we’re able to have a successful first client meeting thanks to our no-fail entrepreneur mission statement formula. | LE Consulting

If you know me at all, you know there's been a lot of change in my life lately. Ditching the 9-5, hopscotching my way across the globe, and even experiencing single life again. The most interesting new experience? First dates. I had a first date this weekend and it got me to thinking...first dates are so much like new client meetings!

WHERE'S THE COMPARISON?

When you're getting ready for a first date, you have a lot on your mind. In my case, it's

  • "Will we have things to talk about?" 
  • "Will she be like her pictures?"
  • "Will she value the same things I do?"
  • "How early should I show up?"

and the ever popular "what the heck do I wear?!"

When you think about it, running a business is incredibly similar. Every new client opportunity is like a first date. When I'm prepping for a new client meeting, I'm wondering

  • "Will she have questions prepared or should I steer the conversation?"
  • "Will her brand reflect what I see online?"
  • "Does she value the same business ethics I do?"
  • "How early should I show up?"

and the ever popular "what the heck do I wear?!" 

See the similarities? I get just as nervous for a new client meeting as I do a first date. I worry that the kickass entrepreneur sitting across from me won't see me for my successes or for how I can help her, that she'll only see my youth. When I'm on that first date, I worry about the same things - will she see that I'm more than my age? How do I know? 

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

I was talking to one of my favorite people (Christina Scalera) this weekend and she had an excellent point. She said that if she were me, she'd encourage me to highlight how talented and experienced I am, because most people will question how/why I am two years out of school and working for myself unless I squash that early for them. This is so true. How many of us have a business-related Achilles' Heel that we never address that could be costing us new clients? The same is true for dates. How often do I hide behind my outward "profile" and not really show the woman sitting across from me how truly incredible I am? 

How do we combat this natural fear as women to put down our skills and successes, both as entrepreneurs and as humans? It's all about the mission statement. As a human, my "mission statement" and who I am is really simple. I'm an entrepreneur, but I'm also a cat lover, an avid reader, a travel connoisseur, and a kind woman. I'm sure you can say the same about yourself - three to five facts that round out your personality and show (at least on the surface) who you are. It may not be in depth, but it's enough to paint a picture on a first date.

What about as an entrepreneur? Do you have a personal mission statement that says what you do? Do you have a set way you articulate that you're more than just a random person sitting in front of that new client? 

Try this formula: [Who You Are] + [What You Do] + [For Whom] + [Why]. 

For me, this looks like the following: 

I build and execute strategies for busy creative entrepreneurs so you can build awareness and increase sales without having to give up doing what you love.

Can you identify the different parts in the sentence above? If I want to take it up a notch, I might use: My goal is to bring you marketing and PR strategies that will help you increase your visibility, improve your credibility, and of course, drive sales.

Share your mission statement with me in the comments below! I can't wait to read how you woo a client on that ever important first date (I mean, first client meeting!). 

Dannie FountainComment