Discipline makes Daring possible.

Billable hours

Billable hours

Your clients don’t want your time.  They want who you’ll help them to become.

That’s the Promise you’re making them.

And it’s worth far more to them than the time it takes you to achieve.



Your Promise of Value is unlikely to change much over time.  That is the point of it after all – to encapsulate the thing your business is here to do for the people you serve.   By the time you can get clear on that, it isn’t going to change.

How you deliver on that Promise will vary however, not only over time, but also within any one time.

Packaging allows you to offer your Promise in a format that will suit a particular kind of customer with a more specific need from you – a litre of whisky is for drinking at home or with friends; 35ml of whisky in a golf-ball shaped bottle is for giving, or collecting as part of a set.

Packaging lets people try you out before they take a bigger risk with you – a free sample, a test-drive or a trial period lets me check whether you’ll deliver on the promise you’re making.

It’s also how you evolve as a business in step with the people you serve – someone who has just bought a puppy is not ready for a dog-walking service, but they will appreciate puppy visits; one copy of a book is for my own reading, several copies are for giving away.

Packaging helps people to recognise themselves, their situation and their need instantly.  Embrace it.  It’s not about you.

It’s about your customer, and making it easy for them to buy from you.  Or not.

An hour as a package makes no sense.



Starting is a powerful thing.

Once we start something, we feel compelled to finish it.

So the best way to achieve that thing you’ve been meaning to do, but aren’t sure you’ll be able to, is to just start.

Regardless of how ‘ready’ you feel.

It’s been a year since I started writing these posts.  It’s been one of the best things I’ve done.

And I wish I’d started earlier.

Thank you for reading them.



If there is one thing that human beings like better than making their own individual dent in the universe, it’s being part of something that promises to make an even bigger dent.

We crave purpose and meaning in our lives, and if we don’t get it from work, we look elsewhere for it.

‘Work’ becomes merely the means of achieving some of our ‘hygiene factors’ – a roof over our heads, food on the table – the things that enable us to pursue our purpose elsewhere.  In which case, ‘work’ probably doesn’t get our full attention, or our best energy.

One response is to starve people into spending more and more time ‘in work’, in order to simply acquire the basics.    That’s how you end up with a productivity paradox.

Much better, for everyone, to offer work with purpose.



With a deep understanding of what makes you tick, and what makes the people you serve tick, you can focus on where to find them.

That’s where demographics come in.

Empathy gives you the insight into what these people really want, and why they might like to come to you for help in getting it.

Demographics gives you an idea of where enough of these people might be.  And ‘enough’ is a much smaller number than you think.

The trick is to find a demographic that is under-served by what else is out there.  People who feel ignored or under-appreciated, will be happy that you focus on them.

Narrowing your focus enables you to make your message much clearer.  “This is for you” is far more powerful than “This is for anyone”.


The Ideal Client

The Ideal Client

There is a better way to find out who really is your ideal client.

Simply ask the question from a different perspective:

Who am I ideal for?

That way it’s easier to focus on what they want, not what you want.



Reflection is an excellent start for clarifying who your ‘ideal clients’ are.   By getting under your own skin to discover your values and preferred behaviours, you’ll uncover some of the values and preferred behaviours of the clients you like to work with, and who like to work with you.

This enables you to take the next step – putting yourself in your client’s shoes and seeing what you do from their perspective.

This will move your thinking from ‘features’ (“we produce accurate accounting information”), to ‘benefits’ (“we make sure you have the information you need to run your business well”).

If you already have clients who love you, you can even ask them why they do, and this will uncover benefits you didn’t even know you delivered (“you listen to me”,”you really get to know me and my business”, “you find me suppliers I can trust”).

The next step is to get to the core of the relationship you create with your clients over time, and for that there is one key question:

Who do you help them to become?

Because all business is about transformation – even accountancy.



Whoever you want as a client, to serve them well, you need to understand them.   Empathy is essential.

That’s always hard.  Because they are not you.  They don’t know what you know, don’t believe what you believe, don’t want what you want.

But you can get a start, by looking at yourself first.  What do you know?  What do you believe?  What do you want?  Are you the only one?

Then test what you’ve found with real clients.  They’ll soon show you where your assumptions are wrong.

Three strangers walked into a bar

Three strangers walked into a bar

On Friday I went to a meetup with total strangers.

Even though we had never met each other before, online or off, I knew it was worth the risk, because we are all alumni of at least one Seth Godin course, and I knew that would mean attendees would be curious about others, open to sharing ideas and information, willing to help each other and have a very interesting story behind them.

I was right.   We left the bar feeling like friends.  We took selfies, swapped podcasts and arranged to do it again for Christmas, and encourage others to come along too.

All we had in common was that we are customers of a particular brand, living in a particular location.

Can your brand do this?



It’s very hard to call out the obvious falsehood when everyone around you wants it to be true.   Which is why it’s often the outsider, the uninitiated, the person of no consequence that does.

And why wise leaders keep a Fool close to them.