My daughter Alison is an “equestrienne professional.” That’s her picture up above (says the proud Father). Ali has been in love with horses ever since she was 8 years old and had to clean stalls to earn riding time. You may wonder, “What is an “equestrienne professional?” Ali teaches riders, trains, cares for, helps buy and sell horses. My wife and I feel blessed that our daughter has found her calling so early in life – something she loves to do, does exceptionally well, and others value highly.
Recently Ali was over for dinner. As I suspect is true at most dinner tables these days, our conversation found its way to today’s economy. I asked Ali how she and her partner were dealing with these issues out at their barn. Horseback riding has always seemed to be a discretionary expense to me (remember, I’m not a rider).
What she told me is why I’m writing this post. She said,
“Dad, when people come out to look at the barn we tell them, ‘This isn’t a place to come if riding is your hobby. If you’re serious about it though, this is the place for you.’” I asked how that pitch was working for them. Her answer: “We’re building the business because of it.”
This is a totally counter-intuitive approach to the problem. It’s a tough economy. People are cutting back on spending across the board. So why not further limit your potential market by eliminating 90% of your prospective clients? Sound risky? Only if in doing so you cut out what you do best in the process.
It’s easy in tough times to be tempted to “take what you can get.” Don’t. Know your business. Know what you need from customers and clients to be successful. And find people who fit that bill.
Two things happen when you get clear about these choices.
- You’ll find the people that are right for you to work with; and,
- They’ll find you.