Who are you to tell me what to do?

I got an email from a client in which I discover this client is now working with a "business development coach".   In her email she writes:

My business development coach said that I shouldn’t respond to any blog that doesn’t have a Page Rank of at least 4.  He says Google robots check contact validity, and if I ‘hook up’ to a weak blog, that my Page Ranking will ultimately suffer.

Oh how I HATE it when this happens. 

My first draft back to my client went along these lines:

Dear Client,

Since you forwarded the email from your business development coach, I was able to check his web site’s page rank with Google.  His site doesn’t have a page ranking…. Check it out here.

So I have to wonder what, if anything, he knows about Google and it’s page rank system. Is this just advice he read and is now passing along to you?

How many blogs is your business development coach authoring?  From the looks of his web site, it’s ZERO!  If he is authoring blogs, he doesn’t mention any of them on his web site… which is a case study on what NOT to do when developing a web site from a coding standpoint!

Would you take weight loss advice from someone who is 100 lbs over weight?   Admittedly, someone who is 100 lbs over weight probably knows more about the principles of dieting than someone who is naturally thin…. however, knowing the principles and applying them are two entirely different things! 

How successful is this business development coach?  How many businesses has he launched?  How many have been successful? How many successful businesses has he mentored?

At this point, I highlight all of the above text and erase it. Ok, I copied it and pasted it into my blog…. blog content creation tip #1.…. use outgoing email messages to create content for your own blog.  Anyhow, I recognize that attacking her trusted business development coach isn’t going to improve OUR relationship at all.  However, it does touch upon more than one eposed nerve for me.

In the first place, this client has YET to post a single post to her blog.  It’s been four months since her blog’s launch and it’s still featuring the "welcome to Word Press" post as it’s only content.   I want to scream at her ‘business development" coach, "QUIT TELLING HER TO BE "CAREFUL" ABOUT HER CONTENT!!! "  Any content beats no content!!!  I had spent WEEKS working with her, trying to get her to overcome her perfectionistic fear that she might do something "wrong" by posting to her blog only to have this jerk come in and fill her heart with terror.

The second exposed nerve is that at least 50% of my business is "fixing" the mistakes of people who have been spent too much time/money following the advice of such "gurus".

I know… I should be happy that "gurus" like this mean I’ll never be lacking in clients. As one client said to me last week at lunch, "You’ll never be without a backlog of clients!"  I wish I could view it through that lense. Instead, when I see someone leading people astray, I see someone who is damaging MY integrity as well as his own.  Because after all, when you get burned by one "consultant" you tend to pain the others with the same brush.

If you’re in the "service" business, it’s ESSENTIAL that you focus upon what you do best and leave the rest to OTHERS!  Your weak points are someone else’s strong points and vice versa.

I’ve set up some GREAT relationships with other professionals who strengths are quite directly opposed to mine.  By referring clients to these other providers, I position my self as an EXPERT instead of a "jack of all trades, master of none."

One of the KEYS to finding a competent "guru" is to ask him/her not only where his/her strengths lie but what are his/her weaknesses as well.   The one sign that endears ANY service professional to me is when they can quickly and easily identify when a job is "out of their comfort zone".

When my general practice physician took one look at my son’s acne problem and said, "You need a specialist…. here’s the name of a good dermatologist," it didn’t make me think less of her.  On the contrary, it made me respect her MORE and most importantly, TRUST HER MORE!

She may have "missed" out on a few appointments with my son, but in the long run she has secured her spot as TRUSTED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL for my family of five.  Those few appointments that will be going to a dermatologist instead of to her are a small price to pay for the additional business she earned through that one recommendation.

When Cindy at Virtually Fantastic told me she won’t take a client who needs extensive help in areas outside of her areas of strength, I wasn’t suprised to learn that her business is thriving.  Instead of claiming to be a "jack of all trades, master of none," Cindy DELIGHTS her clients by carefully outlining what she can and can’t do. 

Through my past ten years of business experience, I’ve found that when I do the same, when I pass on projects that are outside my area of expertise, instead of driving away business the opposite is true.  


  1. All I can say, Kathy, is “Amen.”