Your Ideal Client Strategy – Q&As

Your Ideal Client – Part 1

I hope you started working on your Ideal Client strategy.

Just in case you didn’t start yet (or you missed it today)… CLICK HERE to do it NOW.

Remember – this week’s assignment is answering a different question in the process – each day.

  • Did you give the process a try?
  • Do you have any question about the process?
  • Did you get stuck anywhere?

This is your opportunity to ask any question related to this week’s implementation assignment – to make sure you get the maximum out of it.

It’s also a golden chance to help someone else – by reading their question in the comments below – and offering them an answer, an idea, an encouragement…

If you have any question regarding this week’s implementation assignment or you need some support – let me know in the comment box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

If you can offer an answer or support to anyone – please reply to their comment below.

Your Ideal Client – Part 1

I hope you started working on your Ideal Client strategy.

Just in case you didn’t start yet (or you missed it today)… CLICK HERE to do it NOW.

Remember – this week’s assignment is answering a different question in the process – each day.

  • Did you give the process a try?
  • Do you have any question about the process?
  • Did you get stuck anywhere?

This is your opportunity to ask any question related to this week’s implementation assignment – to make sure you get the maximum out of it.

It’s also a golden chance to help someone else – by reading their question in the comments below – and offering them an answer, an idea, an encouragement…

If you have any question regarding this week’s implementation assignment or you need some support – let me know in the comment box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

If you can offer an answer or support to anyone – please reply to their comment below.

I am looking forward to celebrate your progress and results on Friday (I’m curious to hear what solution you’ll come up with).

Until then…

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh

56 Comments

  1. Day 4 – come up with at least 10 ideas how to ‘transform’ your “everyone else” clients to ideal clients and choose your preferred strategy;

    This was quite an invitation for me to turn everyone else clients in to ideal clients.
    It really made me think if my client is who she or he is why do I need to change my client. Why not look for the ideal client. But Nisandeh and Vered never asked a question without a reason. So that make me think why do they give me this assignment. To be brutally honest I could not figure it out. SoI give myself the assignment to write down 10 reasons why they would give this assignment.

    1. They already came to rent a room so somewhere there is a CONNECTION.
    2. How can I get a BETTER RELATIONSHIP with my everyone else Client
    3. Share with my everyone else clients what is important for us our CORE VALUES.
    4. We already know our everyone else clients, So we can ask these clients what they need and how we can serve them with the starting point from our own core values in mind.
    5. It also made me realise to look at my Every one else Client from without hour idea of the ideal client so that we make a decision to be more pacific.
    6. It also raises the question why do we attract the every one else climbs and why don’t we attract the ideal client
    7. So we have to make some changes in our website.
    8. The way we have made advertisements in google ads.
    9. Maybe there is an easy way to change the rooms so they are more appealing to our ideal clients.
    10. Last but not least. I give myself the assignment in life to be more of servants. I do this with the question: “how can I help”

  2. Day 5 – come up with at least 10 ideas how to deal with your “flops” and choose your preferred strategy;

    How to I deal with my Flops ?

    Our flop clients were groups of people that just wanted to rent a space for a day especially when those groups came with children we had more trouble afterwards than it was worth so we already looked at our for clients and decided that we would not invite them anymore.
    Furthermore we specifically put on the website that we are a location for trainers coaches and meetings.
    Thinking about this it made me realise that we do not have flop clients anymore so that was very good to realise.
    Our preferred strategy is to attract the people that we want by being very clear in our message to our ideal clients.

  3. My Question:
    Most businesses (evej ZZP-er or that work with others or sometimes outsource some work or even for short project hire additonal capacity) are making choices in product/market combinations. I have ideal and less ideal clients in different markets. Even if I would have for every day (say 5) different products/services and markets, that are more or less independent and not connected), should I find ideal clients in each PMC? What would be your advice for this situation. Yes I know that focus on one PMC would with maybe the most ideal clients make more results (even from a 80/20 perspective), but I like doing different things because I would get bored to otherwize, Then in some cases the the size of the market is limited in time and volume.

    1. I recognize the getting bored part very much, Marcel. My solution is: making conscious and substantiated choices in finding my own way, working with everything we are receiving in this program. So, experiment and fail fast with your eyes wide open. And have some fun doing it. 🙂

      I hope this helps a little.

    2. “…should I find ideal clients in each PMC?”

      It’s not about what you should or shouldn’t do, Marcel…
      It’s about your purpose and your desired end result.

      If your main purpose is “not getting bored”, then I would welcome any client… including flops.
      This es surely will keep you on your toes, so you wouldn’t get bored.

      I like working with ideal clients - not only because what they give me.
      But also, and maybe more, because of who they make me.

      Working with ideal clients keeps me growing every time I work with them…
      See, for a good example, these Wednesdays Q&As…

      I never found an ideal client that was boring to work with…

      But again… your purpose, your goals, your choice.

  4. And, not really a strategic question at all I guess..., but the definition of a client is: someone that pays for a service/ product.
    Other people that don't pay but do use a service / product are (end)users. Correct? Does this distinction really matter at all... ?

    Do you (Nisandeh/ others) take this into consideration within your marketing and targeting audiences. And how?

    I notice that for me this is a very hard thing. For example that the mailing list is full of users, but not of clients...

    1. This is a crucial distinction, Bas…
      As you write, client is the one who pays you.

      In case your client is different than your user - for example the client can be the hospital administrator but the users would be the nurses, or the client can be the parent while the users are their children… then you have to work twice… especially in the marketing part…

      You need to market, differently, to both the client and the user…

      Although, in your case, I don’t really understand what you mean by “my mailing list is full of users, but not of clients...”

      1. Thank you Nisandeh,

        Will we be focussing in the program on this distinction in marketing?

        I meant that the mailing list that I/we currently have, most subscribers are end-users (not paying people)- and its hazy for me how to get prospects etc out of them... That doesn't need to be solved this week..:D

  5. Hi!
    A couple of contributions/ answers on the ideal-client question were set as "companies or organizations". Which made me wonder, can an ideal client be an abstraction like that, or does it need to be a person. In the sense that, even in organizations in the end it are persons that are doing the actions, the talk, the hiring, the buying...
    Thanks

    1. Since an organization can be a client, of course it can be defined as an ideal client, or a flop, or something in between.

      Just define the characteristics, qualities you expect from the organization, like: paying in advance, open to change, willing to implement, fast decision-making, innovative, socially responsible, etc…

  6. 1. On monday, we made a list of why we want ideal clients. On tuesday, we listed who are ideal clients. We listed qualities, not actual groups of people or a list of 100 company / peoples names. Was the goal a qualities list or also a names list?

    2. I'm not making progress on the committing part. When asking myself why, I get back the reply "VIP = work and stress and nagging". What I don't want, given the qualities of my ideal clients. So I asked myself if I could come up with 10, 5 or just 1 other way to service on a VIP way. I thought about the VIP sessions I was in. They were all Q&A kind of things, what doesn't seem to fit my business. I thought toolkit, but its more logicly to sell it or give it as a bonus. I thought high level network, but it is to hard right now to do even more stuff or to delegate the networking part. I can't come up with other high value low work alternatives. Can you name 1 or 2 other VIP examples, and a good question to come up with more answers?

    3. Tomorrow, we move non ideal clients to ideal clients. How to do this? Check back the qualities list, see where they fail the list, and figure out a system to prevent them failing? Like "pay fast" --> pay upfront or no go? Or is it meant as a less systematic approach where you talk to them saying what you expect as client behavior etc? It's not a "Am I doing it wright " question. It's more a "am I overdoing it with systems" question. I don't want people the feel like they are part of a machinerie company. I myself never feel it that way, but others have commented on highly automated application and elimination funnels. So... I'm unsure about the right balance.

    4. I watched the BU sessions on referrals. First one: tell you build a referral based company. Brilliant. Felt silly, I don't say that often enough. However. Would you also say who you look for, fairly detailed, when giving them physical pass along items/cards? Or set up an elimination funnel based on the qualities list once they apply?

    If any of these come in later weeks, do tell. If not, I'll presume it is work for this week.

    1. Good questions, Sin…

      1. All you needed for the first day is to create a clear filter/criteria.
      Who should enter your club… (remember the red velvet rope policy from the video).
      I like to have a (short) list of qualities as my “club bouncer”, but if you come up with a different way to filter ideal clients… by all mean - use it.

      2. ideal clients not necessarily equals VIP one-on-one service.
      It could be, and often it’s the easiest way to serve your ideal clients - but it doesn’t have to.

      You can simply make your expertise (or a part of it) available exclusively for them.

      You can put them together in the room for exclusive content + networking (works like a charm for big players.

      You can charge for connecting them to the right people/organizations…

      There are many ways you can serve your ideal clients, but instead of inventing those ways, the easiest way is to let them tell you… in the coming weeks of the program we’re going to do just that…

      3. I assume, that as soon as you know what your ideal client criteria is, then you can easily look at your clients list and divide them into 3 lists: Ideal, Flops, and everyone else.
      To be honest, you probably can do it without even having an “official” criteria.

      The next step is to let those who are Ideal that you are going to focus most of your time, attention, expertise on them (if they want to, of course)… that you see them more as partners than clients, and that your wish is to work together with them for the coming xx years/projects/goals/etc…
      Prepare them that you’ll be contacting them in the coming weeks with some questions, so together you can identify the best way you can serve them.

      Then communicate a similar message to those that are “everyone else” and tell them what (and by when) they need to do/become in order to move to the VIP category (I wouldn’t use the word ideal clients with them)…

      Then, if you’re ready to let go of the flops, then find a nice way to let them go or refer them to others with an explanation that you’re focusing all your attention, time and resources on a small group of VIP clients, and so you’d like to help them move along to another provider by referring them…

      4. Concerning referrals… definitely always when ask for referrals tell them what type of client you’re looking for (I’d keep it to easily identifiable details - mainly demographics), or… in certain cases… the magic sentence… “I’d like to work with clients just like you… who do you have in your network that you would vouch for…?”

      I hope that helps…

      1. “I’d like to work with clients just like you… who do you have in your network that you would vouch for…?”

        Goes on the NEW/MORE. Thank You.

        Sin, great questions- you think very differently/ deeper on some things than I do- It is a pleasure to look at things through your lense! Very broadening my view.

      2. Ad 1. Good organisation, bad internal client. It happens. Will use the people-list over the company list.

        Ad 2. Postponed to next weeks.

        Ad 3. Still confused. VIP is based on what ideal clients do/need. So non ideal clients must fit the VIP profile. Ok, I get that. But telling is not doing. I'll think some more about it. Feels like a substantial insight is making it's way 😀

        Ad 4. Someone like you [add likeable qualities plus demographics]. Got it. Reinforce with something physical that can have a virtual equivalent. Could be an invite only + approval vip. Making a collection of vip based business models.

  7. In you respond to my question on how to generate more time and capital for my love project HappyVillages in the Q&A on productivity you me two questions to ponder:

    1) 1. Why do you need money to realize the Happy Villages? Creating a concept and selling it to someone else to implement (or raising funds) shouldn’t cost you money I think.
    2. Why do you need to work 50 hours a week, as a consultant? Keep your lifestyle costs to minimum and I guess you can go by with €2,000-€2,500 a month. I’m sure you can make that money with your AirB&B, or at least with a lot less that 200 hours a month as a consultant…

    Status update on 2:
    Thanks for this very relevant question. I've entered into discussions with lease contractors and have found a way to transfer my lease contract to a 3rd person. Next to this I'm performing ROI across all my expenses with the purpose to be live of the income of my Airbnb. My time and material contract runs until January 31st 2022 after which I can focus solumly on the realization of my HappyVillages.

    I appreciate your input for 1:
    My Burning WHY and Manifest for the HappyVillage project are end of ready this week. My Business Plan for the same project will be ready end of next week. It will offer a number of ideas on how to solve a number of burning questions and challenges in society:

    a) the demographic developments;
    b) the older people in our society;
    c) the growing burn out amongst young adults and young parents;
    d) the growing loneliness and depression amongst certain age groups following the lock down;
    e) young people who do not fit into the school systems;
    f) the isolation of unemployed who cannot find a job;
    g) how to place reguees;
    h) the challenge of knowledge drain in the knowledge economy;
    i) the housing problems;
    j) farming discussion;
    k)....

    How would you go about creating exposure for my plan? I plan on offering it to platforms relevant to the above target groups, and to foundations supporting initiatives involving more groups in society next to posting bloqs amount the initiatives and actions I take to realize the HappyVillages.
    As you are the master of creative and surprising ideas, I love to pick your brain on how to go about this in the right manner.

    1. I assume you’re going to have a complete business plan for your concept, Marie-Louise, to show to possible interested parties.

      And I assume, in your business plan, you prove that this is an extremely lucrative (financially) opportunity for such interested parties…

      If you do, then it’s time to do some research work:

      1. Who could benefit the most (financially) from taking your concept and making it happen?
      2. Who already have everything in place (resources, know how, experience, connections, etc…) to make it happen?
      3. Who has the most to gain from adding such a project to their “portfolio” (public relation, greasing government, gain influence…)

      When you have those few “Ideal Prospects” for your project, it’s time to study each of them in depth and create an irresistible, customized “I have a great idea for you, let’s meet for a 30-minute presentation” message.

      I hope that helps…

  8. First of all, thank you for this beautiful project. Yesterday I spent all day mapping ea.

    My own repair and maintenance business is running well. I just want to mean more than the 500-1000 customers I help each year now.

    I have set up an online platform http://www.fietsherstel.nu to connect the ideal match for cyclists and bicycle repair shops. I (the system) know which bicycle and which problem and I (the system) know which bicycle the bicycle repairer wants and can make. Now I get almost no registrations from bicycle repair shops. Sin Declerc gives, among other things, an experience she had in Belgium. I know how stubborn they are and that's how I think to tackle it nationally myself and 12 halls (in each province 1) and 15 delivery vans at each hall that come to home or on location.

    There is a lot of work and potential. From companies that will deliver directly, to online companies that only sell bicycles, the stubbornness of bicycle repair shops who do not want to do anything with that market. A brand like Stelle sells 100000 bicycles a year but they don't get the repair and maintenance right. A lot is about too little staff and too little knowledge.

    Which business should I go for. See, among other things, the messages with the ideal customers that I have made for each target group.

    There is an opportunity with online teaching in an online learning environment and with educational videos etc.

    I want to get the whole picture. With a good investor who will be there because no one has this repair maintenance story yet and or gets (due to lack of knowledge) I have all the knowledge and experiences in house. I know the possibilities and the opportunities.

    Only in my big plan do I think I have room for 600 people.

    Question 1. What should I do? Do you have any tips and/or advice or can you indicate things I should look at?

    Question 2
    You can share advice and experiences about the big plan with 600 staff to implement this

    Question 3 what mistake can I make (which is not wrong but learning moment) what warning can you give me is perhaps a better question. What are the pitfalls the do and don'ts

    1. I love the way you think big, Leo…
      We need more people thinking like that.

      I have no answers to you, because I have no experience or knowledge of your market, your target audience, your product and especially not the type of operation you’re trying to create.

      I do, however, have some questions… which might be valuable for you to ask yourself:

      1. You write “There is an opportunity with online teaching” - an opportunity, the way I understand it is something that is there… waiting for you (for a short time) to grab it and make it a great success.
      How do you know that this is an opportunity?
      Are there people calling you for teaching them online (and willing to pay for it), is it something that everyone is talking in cycling forums and social media groups, are there similar services that are extremely successful?

      If you answered “yes” to these 3 questions - there’s probably an opportunity. If you answered “no” then I’d be cautious in defining it as an opportunity… until further research proves it as such.

      2. You’re talking about getting an investor…
      What is it that you’re offering as your part of the deal?
      Is it just your knowledge and experience (that’s what I could figure out from your question above)…?
      If so, please be aware that a professional investor that only puts money - would need you to provide also all the marketing and sales.
      On the other hand you can go for an investor that already has the marketing (and possibly other relevant capacities) in-house.

      In both cases, any professional investor will not put any money in your pocket, but only in the company, so you will have to work for years to grow that business in order to cash out at one point.

      What I’m trying to say is that for a big project like this, IF it was me, I would prefer to sell the idea - preferably for a percent of the profits for life OR in return for a small part of the shares, than to try to build the whole operation myself with a financial backup of an investor…

      But this is me… I don’t like big operations and I believe that I can get paid better for my knowledge, expertise and creativity, while someone else is doing all the heavy lifting. It’s also a lot easier then to find the right “buyer”.

      3. Did you research all the successful (world-wide) companies that do what you’re trying to achieve?
      That’s usually my favorite way of creating a new company or a new big idea.
      Look for what is already successful in the market and find ways to make it better, faster, cheaper.

      4. Last question for now…
      Did you “interview” enough potential clients to find out IF they’re interested in what you have to offer, and if yes - what exactly would they want to get?
      If not… no worry… that’s next week’s assignment in the program.

      I hope that helps create some clarity…

      1. I see the opportunity because it is not offered. And what is offered in lessons at a location do not have the quality that I can deliver.

        I may be able to get screens with touchscreen through a lot. The same screens can then be set up at 11 other locations, for example, and I can then teach them from my own workshop. I can then actively teach at 11x10 = 110 participants in 1 lesson. And can, for example, at current bicycle repair shops in the morning before work or at the end of the day treat the things that people have encountered and share tips etc. This is where the entrepreneur saves time and gives quality.

        We also want to make small videos of all actions (work assignments) that, depending on the bike you have, watch the videos that you then need to make your bike or to see that you prefer to leave it to a bicycle repairman. And then also understand why it costs x amount. The customer then understands the value of what it costs to solve her problem.
        1.
        It is further that everyone is complaining and asking for staff. The courses that are there are expensive, for example, you have to pay € 35.00 per hour for a mechanic after he has had 3 months of training. Employer says I prefer to guide them myself and he doesn't have time for that.

        People I present the plan to say that's a godsend. We have waited a long time for that. There is no such thing. Cool if you would.

        2. Thank you for your explanation about this.
        For example, for making the videos, I can possibly get tools and workbenches and lifts as an influencer and ambassador of the two-wheeler industry. The screens may be supplied through a municipal subsidy.

        I have the big plan with the help of another ambassador of the industry who has contact with many investors and he indicated that there are opportunities there. I understand your reaction and that's a nice view to see it differently. Thank you.

        I thought of setting up the big plan myself and then selling it because large parties want this. And you're right they don't but why not? I don't think I have the knowledge and experience, and I do have it. How do I pretend that I just give my plan away and they do it themselves. That is often my fear. At the same time, I know that if they don't have me there, it won't work because I oversee and have experienced everything in the industry and have insights about it.

        3. Is also good advice. I wouldn't know but I'm going to look into it. The online platform is, for example, Thuisbezorgt.nl, but that is also a match website as I am already creating. That is not training 600 people and carrying out repairs, with everything that comes with it. Do you know these types of companies or other fellow students?

        4. My interviews and experience and my own experiences in my own company/shop and working as a consultant and mechanic at internet companies. And being the administrator of a Facebook group with 1700 colleagues who share their problems and annoyances on a daily basis. As a result, my plans are all applicable and a huge contribution I also hear when I ventilate that and the feedback from it. Also a large network on LinkedIn (5000+) and many contacts increasingly international who see what is needed and nobody picks it up. (can pick it up) That's where I see the chance to pick it up

        Only with mini set and thoughts and ideas I am way ahead. I have seen for years what is going to happen and what is needed. Out of 10, 2-3 think it's top and participate or would use it. And 5-6 people think that's weird and look in the background and wait. And the 2-3 find it scary and I act weird and floaty etc. (you know that ;0)
        I know it is and that's how it works.
        Hence my preference is the biggest plan because then I execute it myself. I don't really see the bicycle mechanic going along with the plan. And afterwards when we have drawn the hot repair and maintenance market to us, they are angry and afterwards they think we should have participated.
        But it's nice to dive into that again next week and be able to look at it.

        Maybe you would like to invest and or set up together. Is really a nice project for the Netherlands and then the rest of the world 🙂

        Or someone in the group who is interested in collaborating or participating

        1. Great...
          It seems that you have quite some answers and thought about it a lot.
          If you want to go for it on your own... I would start with a beta test.
          Create a small part of the program - and offer it to the people you know in the Facebook and LinkedIn and get their feedback.
          It's called a proof of concept.

          And thank you for the offer to join the project.
          However, I am not in a place in my life to start or join a new business.
          The opposite, actually.

          I wish you success...

          1. I also had some questions I hope I don't come across as if I already know everything. If that were the case, I would not have participated in the training.
            And yes, I have already followed many training courses from you and other inspiring people. And with great success. Now with the plans, which are quite big. I like to learn from people who have had large companies, hence my participation and idea to set up something together for years and my question regarding investment and meaning something for the world.

            That they have had experience with success and how you achieve it.
            Thanks for the tip regarding making the videos and the online learning environment. I know you've done that a lot yourself. Do you have info there for what I can follow and or tips / step-by-step plan to implement that.

            Then about the big plan there I still have some questions that have not been answered. Would you like to comment on that?

            Last question because I think that's going to help me. With x comments you had to fill in something and then you got something. I understood it was coming. I haven't received this yet. I have the feeling that will help me further do you have an idea when this will come?

  9. My Question regarding ideal clients:

    Right now I have not enough work, so I think: 'every client is welcome, wether they are ideal or not."

    Would you say this is the wrong mindset and I should focus on ideal client only? Or is it logical and should I take every client, untill I get more applications again and THEN get more picky in who I am going to serve and who not?

    1. I don’t really believe that there is a “right” or “wrong” mindset, Paul.
      The only thing you want to ask yourself is, does my current mindset support me in achieving my goals.
      And as your goals change, you’d need to change your mindset accordingly.

      One question that might help you is…
      I don’t have enough work now.
      Which part of my mindset - my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes - created that?

      When you identify those thoughts, beliefs and attitudes - you might want to change them in order to create different results.

      1. Great questions, Paul and Nisandeh. Thanks
        For me, it all comes down to my burning WHY.
        If I get all limiting thoughts out of my way, what then is it that I really want?

    2. I honestly think Paul, that it is not the amount of work that you don't have, and also not the money that is coming in..... Maybe you can ask yourself how do you want to live your ideal life? How many hours do you wanna work? What do you wanna do then? And with who?
      If money is not an issue.... what is then most important?

      For everybody else it is different. I think our personal life must be first and then we want to build our business life around that. And not the other way around.
      So I think what is the real question: Not enough work? Not enough clients? Not enough money? Or not clear how your life must meant to be? (if you know what I mean)

      Just some loving thoughts 🙂

      1. Thank you Sigrid!

        That for sure is true.
        I'm like: "First I have to earn enough money, then I have time to figure out what I want ot do with my life."
        But to be honest, in a year where I made 100K I didn't realy get that clarity anyway.

        I am going to spent some time on thinking about the ideal me, instead of the ideal client... 😉

        1. He Paul, just another question.

          Do you know Eelco de Boer? He also talks about this topic a lot. I don't know if you know him or like his trainings, but otherwise I can recommend him.. and his trainings. ... if so.. .I hear from you.... And besides that, I always can also brainstorm about this topic :-).

  10. Please bear with me while I give you an unexpected introduction to my questions of today....

    A HEARTFELT MEETING

    I had a very heartfelt meeting yesterday with two dear people from Romania.

    Anna and Nicolas (and their lovely dog Jessie) live in the Netherlands for four years now.

    They make money selling newspapers in front of shopping malls.
    About half of what they make with this is sent to to their two little children of 9 and 7 1/2, who live with their family back in Romania.

    With the other half of their income, they survive, but barely.

    A DIFFERENT WAY TO LIVE

    Anna, Nicolas and Jessie sleep in their car and get sent away all the time from their sleeping places. They shower once a week. If they're lucky, someone buys them food so they have some more money to go on. In the winter, it's too cold to cook outside so they eat cold food only. How they manage to prevent freezing at night is a mistery....

    With the rising prices of food and gas, it gets harder and harder for them to get by. And to make things worse, Nicolas cannot work all day as he has a problem with his leg and suffered from a stroke, making him shake his head all the time.

    Despite how difficult this is, for them, it's better than staying in Romania, having no job at all or something that doesn't pay enough to live on.

    We shared stories for about an hour and I was amazed by their friendliness, honesty and bravery.

    Despite all their hardships, they continue doing all they can to support their little children, even if that means they have to miss them for most of the year and have to live in a car.

    A BIG DREAM

    Turns out they have a Big Dream: having a farm, with animals and all, making a good living of that and being reunited with their little children.

    And the most amazing fact is that they actually already have the land and they know all about farming! The land is in their family for generations already and has a very neglected farm, not suitable for anything at the moment. And the farm doesn't have animals or other inventory at the moment. And there's no money to buy it.

    From what they told me and the energy I felt, I have this very firm and strong trust that they'll be able to make their Big Dream come true, if they only get the right support and guidance.

    SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE

    So I offered them my time to support them with managing their money, brainstorm about their big dream and looking at ways to make it happen.
    Giving them money is not going to help them....they need to change their habits and mindset first.

    I'm going to use the Idea Generator to see what other ways I can think of to support them.

    And then....I suddenly thought...let's not keep this to myself. Why not ask Nisandeh and the great people of the WOMB program how they would approach this. What better place is there!?

    So for this Q&A Wednesday, I dedicate my opportunity to ask questions, to Nicolas, Anna and Jessie.

    TWO QUESTIONS

    1) How would you approach this, Nisandeh, would you have been me? What would you see as the best ways to support / guide them to make their Big Dream come true?
    2) Do you or others have experience with supporting people in difficult situations like this?

    If you're not Nisandeh and read this and can also offer your ideas / support .... please do.

    My apologies if you think this is not the right place for this. I believe that sometimes, things happen for a reason and events and circumstances line up in a very unlikely, magical way like this to make something amazing happen. Who am I to prevent this from happening?

    1. Hi Rens,

      First of all, can I give you BIG COMPLEMENTS on your story telling skills. Your style of writing is amazing. I think it's a talent of yours and you should do something with that, if you don't allready do that.

      Regarding Anna and Nicolas, there is this organisation that gives loans to people who need it, by finding other people willing to loan or give their money if they like their cause/idea. (Google: "Kiva loans".) Mayby you can help them get an account there?
      (I only know the organisation from loaning money to other people, I'm not sure how easy it is to get a loan there.)

      It's just 1 idea, but I hope it helps.

      1. Paul… I don’t know Kiva today…
        But in the past it was considered a big scam…

        In our foundation we researched tons and tons of organizations to give our money to (we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of euros)…

        Kiva was always a big “no no”.

        They would have a picture of a woman in Sri Lanka asking for $500 to buy a cow, with a beautiful touching story.
        Then someone like you would send some money, believing that it will arrive to that woman.

        In reality, all the money to all the projects in Sri Lanka (for example) would be sent to an umbrella organization in Sri Lanka to be distributed as they see fit - of course after Kiva and all the middlemen took their cut.

        In our foundation, our number one criteria was that 100% (not 95% or 99%) of any money we donate must arrive to the final “user”… we had 2 lawyers working (voluntarily) a whole year to find each year one organization that would fit all our criteria and sign a legal-binding contract and send a legal yearly report…

        That was also our promise to our students… whenever you donate through our Open Circles Foundation you know for sure that every cent you donate, gets to the end “user”.

        It’s not easy to find good charity organizations, and at least at the time, Kiva definitely wasn’t one of them… although I have no idea how they operate today.

        A word of advice: be careful where you give your money away… at least if you want it to do some real good.

        1. Thanks, Nisandeh.

          It's good to know you have experience with it and know what's really behind it.
          Their website is quite deceiving then.

          Looks like my selection process for charities can use a little fine-tuning 🙂

      2. Paul, thanks for your compliments about the story telling, it's good to know and appreciate you sharing it.

        Thanks fort he idea of Kiva loans!

    2. Dear Rens,

      I support what Paul is saying: you are an amazing story teller. Your story goes straight to the heart. It is a beautiful gesture that you devote your questions to them today and support them.
      So far I have no knowledge on company offering loans for people in their situations. But I will support any action you and/or this group will arrange. Where are they living at the moment? In their car I read that but where in the Netherlands is that? I have had refugees in my house because and maybe I can mean something to them in their present situation. Not for ever but for a certain period. I could help them find work so they could earn money. I think about housekeeping, gardening etc.

      This is of course not a sustainable solution but I'm sure that we as group can come up with some great ideas to help them gain a living an provide for themselves and their children. A kind of Micro Credit.

      1. Thank you, Marie-Louise.
        They are currently living in their car in the Rotterdam area.
        Absolutely fantastic that you might be able to give them something in their situation and notice that we could do something as a group.

        I'll let you know when I speak to them and found out if they want / need something at this moment and if so, what.

    3. I commend you Rens for your pure intentions to help your new friends.
      The world needs more people like you.

      And I totally agree with you that giving them money - probably won’t do them any good.

      However, I would like to raise some questions, instead of answering yours:

      1. Why do you think they need help?
      We tend to judge people through our own lens of experiences, beliefs, circumstances, upbringing and world view.
      I don’t know enough about them - but I wouldn’t assume that although their life may be hard, and although they might have want it differently - that anything is “wrong” in their life.

      2. Did they ask for help?
      They seem to be doing fine. Maybe not by your/our standards but objectively reading what you write…
      They have enough food, they have a place to live, they take care of their children, they even have enough love, care, time and resources to take care of a dog…
      Why taking a shower every day, or eating warm food every day, or sleeping in a bed under a roof became essentials to living?

      3. If they did ask for help, what did they ask for?
      Vered and I have been involved in charity work for many years…
      Whenever we actually met the people we were trying to help, what they needed and wanted was very often, very different, than what we tried to do…
      Again… we tend to judge other people based on our own values… which, by definition is wrong - based on how different lives we created from each other.

      I guess when you have the answers to these questions, you might be able to look at them and see them for who they are… they might not look so helpless then.

      And you might be able to offer empowerment, friendship, cooperation, mutual support instead of helping.

      Just my 2 cents.

      1. Thanks, Nisandeh!

        Answers to your questions:

        >>> 1. Why do you think they need help?

        I asked Nicolas and Anna if their Big Dream would become reality if they continued like this.
        Their answer was "No".

        They do their best, with all knowledge they have right now, but it's not enough to be reunited with their children, let alone to make their dream of living on their farm together come true.

        I totally agree that nothing is wrong with their life. We just live in a different way, not better or worse.
        I also do not want to help them....that inherently means I judge them to be a victim and have already decided they need to change.
 People don’t want to be changed and it takes away their power and responsibility.
 If I've learned something over the past years, it's that humans are capable of the most extraordinary things themselves, even in the worst circumstances.

        So indeed, if I’m going to support them…it needs to be as equals, not me ‘helping’ them.
        
The fact that I’m already thinking about a thousand solutions and asking others means I’m apparently not 100% clear on this on a deeper level.

        >>> 2. Did they ask for help?

        I offered them a bit of my time and I left it up to them to take it or not. I will hear when I meet them again.

        >>> 3. If they did ask for help, what did they ask for?

        
Insightful to read your experiences with this, thanks for sharing.
        The simple answer....I don't know yet what they want or need.
        My idea was to just see what comes up and ask them. Listen to their story and see what they want and need.
        Prevent filling in my idea about what they need.

        As noted above, I did not prevent apparently and a part of my mind ran away with it.
        
Time for some regression work tonight to see what’s behind it.


        Thanks for your questions, Nisandeh.
        Makes me get a lot clearer on this, better for me and them 🙂

        1. Hi Rens, what a beautiful and heart braking story this is.
          And indeed, you can tell a good story....

          What I think? Maybe you can ask them what education did they do or have done. And if they are wanna have a job in the NL. I know that many company's are looking for hard working people. Also with a driving lesson for example to be a taxi driver. Or to work in the horeca. I hear all around me that they are seeking for hard working people. So if they want to.... there must be a way.

          Good luck! And I think you are a great and heartwarming person.

        2. Wonderful reflection, Rens…
          Well done.
          I think if they DO ask for help, try to get them to say what they need in order to do it themselves, and see what they come up with.

          To be honest, I think they’re much more resilient than most of us (I’m just a little jealous)…
          They might surprise you…

          I’ll wait patiently to hear what comes up next.

          1. >>> "To be honest, I think they’re much more resilient than most of us (I’m just a little jealous)…"
            That's a nice way to see it, didn't think of it that way yet. So I could actually learn from them instead of (only) the other way around.

            >>> "try to get them to say what they need in order to do it themselves, and see what they come up with"
            I love that, thanks

            Will let you know when there's news.

          2. "The richest person is not the one that has the most, but the one that needs the least."
            I didn't invent it, but I believe it's true.

            But what I did "invent" is, "The most resilient person is not the one that has the most, but the one that needs the least."
            This is what Vered and I are doing for the last 6-7 years - we consistently reduce our "needs" to the bear minimum.
            It started as a way to become more resilient, and we discovered that the less we need, the lower our standards of living, the higher the quality of our lives.

            So, if/when the shit will hit the fan... we're in a pretty good place to watch the "show" without stress or fear.
            And even if it would never happen... we just keep increasing our quality of life... month after month.

            If I were you, I would learn everything I can from Nicolas and Anna.
            They came into your life for a reason.
            Maybe you can become each other teachers/students.

          3. It's a nice way to live, Nisandeh.

            I can relate to your experience.
            Changed my expensive car to a cheaper one, got rid of my mortgages and cut my costs down to a (comfortable) minimum.
            All extra income goes into savings and investments.

            That change all started with the Financial Freedom workshop back in 2016.....

            The deeper sense of happiness and calmness that it got me is magical.

            I'm eager to learn more from Nicolas & Anna...

            Thanks again.

      2. Thanks Rens for bringing this up. As it is inspiring, it is very helpful as a tough process as well.
        Thank you Nisandeh also, by not answering the question, but by adding more.

        I noticed that my ideal clients all asked me to help them. Instead of me offering it to them.
        This dialogue made me realize that.

        That and indeed, people don't like to be changed, be lectured, be convinced... I will need to integrate this knowledge more into my life and actions (it goes to the LESS).

        Thanks.

  11. I have another question that is strongly related to the ideal client: What was the reason that Open Circles chose the target group self-employed (ZZP'ers) and what was the biggest lesson Open Circles learned in this in what worked and what did not work? This is also a question to the group to let me know how they found the sweet spot of their target group, which turned out to be successful in practice.

    1. Simple self-selection, Marcel…

      We started with “everyone” and gave mainly personal-development and spiritual education.

      At one point I realized the “everyone” who was attracted was broke financially and looked up to me to “be saved” and most important, they did almost nothing with what we taught them, and just came back again and again for a new dose of energy and inspiration.

      So, I asked myself, who would be an audience that would have to implement what we teach them or “starve”…
      And the answer was, “entrepreneurs”… they’re the only one (at that time) in the Netherlands that couldn’t just do nothing and still get paid for it.

      So, we wanted to start working with entrepreneurs and still teach them the same personal development and spiritual “stuff”… but they were not untested… their first priority was money.

      So, we gave them that…
      We started teaching financial freedom and a business course.
      So, of course, we immediately lost 90% of all our current clients, who were not interested (and thought that we sold our souls to the devil).

      But we slowly started building a following of entrepreneurs…
      Of course, the business and financial freedom courses were the first level, but the backend always stay the personal development and spiritual work - which now that those entrepreneurs knew us, liked us and trusted us - they happily participated in.

      With the years, we realized that 95% of the audience that is attracted to our programs are the ZZPers - then we adjusted both our programs and our communication to focus mainly on them.

      During the Business Bootcamp when we were working with many thousands of people and our tools were more sophisticated, we realized that about 60% of our best clients (those that paid at least €4,000) are coaches - we could have take it to the next level and just focus on these people.

      We would make a lot more money, for a lot less work, and probably could deliver them even more value…
      But at that time, our strategy was - let’s help as many as we can for the short time we’re here.

      Today, I probably would focus only on them…

      I hope that helps…

      1. Thanks for your instructive answer Nisandeh,

        It was an organic and evaluative process and now the Netherlands has 100,000 coaches of whom I estimate that less than 10 percent will make some financial savings. I now understand better the idea of the ideal customer. The example you once gave when there were women in the group who had more than 100 pairs of shoes. So you have a group that is happy to pay but where you don't feel that you give anything to value. So it is an extra challenge for me to distinguish myself so much from the 100,000 coaches and to be so attractive that my company grows. I am also often copied. For me it makes the need even greater in attracting the ideal customers.

      2. It's very inspiring to read how your journey went, in many ways.
        Taking one step at a time and then adjusting to new insights, thinking of how to find an audience that has the highest chance of implementing what you teach, switching to something different for the front-end and keeping your initial teachings as the back-end.

        Makes me understand also why the personal/spiritual development program I'm working with for they past years, doesn't have that many active participants, although it's absolutely brilliant.

        Thanks for sharing.

  12. What kind of (strategic) questions would you ask your ideal clients Nisandeh, to understand more about their needs and create ways or new products to meet their needs, in order to create value for them?

    1. It's a good question. Ask for their ambition. People love to talk about that and it gives you important info about where they want to go to. So they are not tgere yet, wich means there is a need to do things different and/or do different things. From there you can see where your product or service fits in.

      I'm also curious to Nisandeh's vision.

      1. Thats a great idea Rudolph, being interested in them and their ambitions and keep asking how what when questions! Thank you.

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