Lisa Wight shares her top 5 tips on why being choosy with clients will make you happier.

Before you’ve even read a single word of this blog, I know there will be some people out there asking why they’d want to be choosy. Surely you want to have as many clients as possible, earn lots of money, and make a lot of impact. Why is this article even needed? And I completely understand where you’re coming from. However, there are a number of situations that you might find yourself in where you realise that it would have been better not to have that client after all. And it’s way better to be selective up front than worry about how you’re going to get rid of that client.

Here are my five reasons why I think you would not want to work with a specific client.

1. Area of Expertise
Everyone has their own skill set and their own experience, and there is a market for everyone that matches their individual expertise. However, there are also people who don’t match that.

Let’s take me as an example. I have no experience in manufacturing, and I would never go out looking for manufacturing clients. My experience is in small businesses. So if I had a business owner in front of me who ran a manufacturing company, while there would be some value that I could give to them, there’s also a huge part of their business operations that I just wouldn’t understand effectively. In essence, I would be doing the client a disservice by trying to mould myself into a manufacturing specialist.

To add to that, you would also be doing yourself a disservice in choosing an industry or marketplace that doesn’t optimise your strengths. I know I can deliver much greater value to a small business, and that means they’ll get better results and I’ll get better testimonials, case studies and recommendations.

It takes a lot of confidence and a lot of integrity to be able to put aside your desire for revenue and to be able to say no, but the more you work to your strengths, the better it will be for everyone.

2. Energy Draining
We all have those people in our lives who light us up and are a joy to be around, and time just flies when you’re with them. And then there are those people who have the opposite effect.

There are a lot of different reasons why this happens, but essentially you need to ask yourself: do you want to be in a position where your clients make you feel excited and energised, or do you want to run the risk of being drained by them?

It’s not just the client sessions and interaction in itself that’s the issue, but when you’ve been in a draining meeting it can take you a long time to pull yourself back out of it. It impacts the rest of your day. Just as your clients will want to find the right fit in their business coach, don’t be afraid to find the right fit in your clients.

3. Misaligned Values
This point is becoming more and more common when I talk to, not just business coaches, but anyone providing a service. A friend of mine owns a social media company and she told me that she turns away people who aren’t in line with her values. She’s very environmentally conscious and so she avoids working with businesses that don’t meet her own ethics. For example, she won’t work with businesses that produce a lot of plastic, or where things end up in landfill. She assesses her potential clients, and if they don’t match her values, she won’t work with them.

Having your own values is so important. It’s better to stand for something than nothing.

4. Mismatched Schedules
We all have our own rhythms of how we work best. It’s really important that you get clear on what that is for you so you construct your days and your weeks ensuring that you’re always working at your optimum. If you’ve got a client who doesn’t work within the schedule, it could cause you issues.

For example, you might have a client that’s only available at 6 p.m. on a weekday or on a Saturday morning, or perhaps they’re unable to actually give you the full hour that you need. They might say they can only grab five minutes here or ten minutes there, and it ends up being all over the place.

If something messes with your routine or rhythm, it will reduce your effectiveness, and it will probably impact other clients as well as your business.

Setting your own boundaries of when you want to work isn’t a bad thing.

5. Mismatch of Expectations
I remember one of my first coaching clients. He wanted to achieve a certain goal, so I assessed the business and I created the action plan for him. I remember the look in his eyes when I delivered it. He said he thought he could just print a leaflet out and he would get all of this new business. I had to explain that it’s not that simple. You can’t just print a leaflet. There are a lot of things that go behind it, such as understanding the pain points and the service that you’re offering etc.

I have found time and time again that there are business owners out there who are looking for that silver bullet, catapulting them straight to success. I decided that if I was ever talking to a potential client who said they were looking for that quick fix, that would be another reason to avoid them. There is simply no such thing, and you run the risk of never being able to get good results with them as they don’t understand. They also might not be willing to put the hard work in.

The role of a business adviser is to help clients identify their goals and then create a plan to be able to achieve those goals. They’re there to ask questions and be a sounding board. They’re not there to do the work and make the decisions. So you need to be clear from the start what your role is and find clients that actually want what you offer, not someone who can take over and just ‘make it happen’ for them.

Work out what it is you want, and don’t be afraid to be choosy. It’s better to be happy than dread waking up each morning, and you have the power to make that a reality.


If you’re not familiar with hubbix, I’d just like to take a final moment to introduce it. It was created following my real life experience of working as a business coach and it’s already making the lives of our clients far easier. Just because you’re working with your ideal clients, doesn’t mean you can’t improve your client sessions further. Why not find out more about hubbix and how it could transform your client sessions?