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It’s Not You, It’s Me

Broken-Heart1-300x199As almost every person of a certain age would know, “it’s not you; it’s me” was the break-up line made famous by Seinfeld’s George Costanza. He used it as an excuse – a way to let someone down easily, without embarking on an uncomfortable conversation.

Having been with my wife for over 20 years now, I don’t think much about dating break-ups. I do, however, contemplate business break-ups fairly frequently. When dating, “it’s not you; it’s me” lands somewhere on the spectrum between sensitivity and cowardice. In business, I think it’s fair to call it “focus.”

Earlier today, I was speaking with my friend Sheila Cox of Clark Leadership. During our conversation, Sheila said something that really resonated with me. (She has a tendency to do that.) We were talking about identifying our best clients. She bypassed the normal litmus tests of revenue or even the enjoyment factor.

What she said was that a person’s best clients are those who allow him to do his best work.

I thought about that, and it’s true. Everything else – revenue, growth, the increasing volume of referrals, client satisfaction – derives from this simple assessment.

  • What is my best work?
  • Which customers or types of customers facilitate it?
  • How can I get more of them?

As we look toward finalizing 2014 projections, one could do worse than identify a 2014 strategy based upon bringing out your best work.

After all, it’s about you.