Have you ever dealt with people who drained your energy, bored you to death or made you feel like you want to run away from them as far as possible? I suppose we all have had that experience.

In this article, which is step 1 out of 8 Steps to Build Relationships With CEOs and Other Influential People, I will show you how you can create a filtration system so you only let energizing & inspiring clients into your business.


Dealing With Uninspiring People

When I was still working in corporate, I had to deal with many people I did not enjoy being around. Most people were far away from being energizing & inspiring. It didn’t stop there.

When I got promoted and became the manager of two regions in Switzerland, I was supposed to get the big corporations as clients for the company. I was even told to go after very specific large corporations to gain them as clients, just because the king wanted to capture that prestigious land.

Being not particularly good at following instructions, I refused to do this.

First, because I was not interested in competing on price and second, I knew that we had much bigger potential to grow the business in the small to medium sized segment of the market.

So I disobeyed the ruler and went after small to medium sized organizations to get them on board as our clients. They were a lot more fun to work with, prices were almost never negotiated, profits were extremely high and we were actually doing business with human beings instead of bidding systems and excel sheets.

The essence of this story is that we always have the choice to decide who we want to work with and who we don’t.


Working With Everyone

In one of the first lessons in marketing, we learn that if we try to market to everyone, we will fail miserably. We need to pick a very specific target market to start with. Only then, we can successfully grow vertically or horizontally.

However, the target market alone is not enough.

Let’s say you work with startup CEOs in Switzerland as your specific target market. Great. Is every one of these CEOs going to be ideal for you? Of course not.

You need to consciously seek out the CEOs who are ideal for you, the ones who energize and inspire you.


Working With Less Than Ideal CEOs

Many of my clients engage with me because they are working with clients who are less than ideal.

Sometimes, that means they drain your energy, bore you to death and make you feel like you want to run away.

Other times, it’s not that bad. You may simply realize that the clients you work with are not the most inspiring ones.

Maybe your goal is to make a difference in the world and you realize that there are CEOs out there that you want to work with who have the potential to make a huge difference. So you want to get them as your clients.

Whatever your situation may be, if you work with less than ideal clients, you don’t live up to your full potential. You may be doing very good work and your clients get good results.

However, if your clients are less than ideal, the results don’t make you as proud as they should because they don’t have the full impact that they could have.

Just imagine the difference between a client saying “This was great, thanks a lot.” and “You completely changed the way I look at the world and changed my life in the process.” 

How much more proud about your work are you if you constantly get the second feedback?


Working Exclusively With Ideal CEOs

If you spend all your days, working with energizing & inspiring CEOs, you probably deeply love your work most of the time.

Think back to a conversation you had where you felt completely alive, excitedly talking about what you are passionate about.

Who were you talking to?

Most probably not your elementary school friend who is miserable in his job and refuses to accept any advice you have. Probably also not to a naysayer who turns down every single one of your “crazy” ideas and tells you that you are nuts.

It was most probably a conversation with someone who shared your values and passions and you feel connected with that person. It was most probably someone who energizes and inspire you because he believes what you believe.

I have recently launched the Business Revolution Network Switzerland on LinkedIn. Join the Revolution if you are an entrepreneur or business leader in Switzerland and want to meet other inspiring and likeminded business owners.


Making the World a Better Place as a Business Development Executive

A while ago, I have worked with a business development executive from New York who is establishing a consulting business in Switzerland to help startup CEOs grow their business.

He had been doing it in the U.S. for years and wanted to relocate to Switzerland with his wife. All those years, he had worked with great startups which led into astonishing results for their businesses, generating hundreds of millions in revenue for the startups and lots of money for him personally.

However, all of those years, he had never felt truly fulfilled. He really enjoyed his work but there had been a lack of true meaning in doing the work.

So when we started to work together, we looked at what kinds of organizations he would love to work with the most.

First, he was hesitant to talk about it because of his limiting beliefs. What fueled his passion for business development was to help social organizations make a huge impact in the world. However, he had the limiting belief that these social organizations don’t make any money and are therefore not able to pay his fees.

So we re-defined the term “social organizations”. At the end of the day, it’s just words. It is whatever you define it to be.

Is Worldvision one of them? I would say so. Is the Acumen Fund one? Most certainly.

What about Apple, Google, clean tech startups, biotech businesses and other for-profit businesses that alter the course of industries and eventually the world?

It’s your call.

I believe if you work with organizations and people who believe what you believe you can make a massive difference in other people’s lives and change the world.

You most probably won’t identify with businesses that destroy the environment or kill millions of people as a result of lung cancer.


Startup CEO vs. Corporate CEO

One of the reasons I’m such a big advocate of working with people and businesses in the startup scene is that the CEOs there are usually the founders of the company. That means, the person who started the company is still the driving force.

Every successful organization has been started by somebody with a strong sense of Why. None of these successful businesses have been solely started to turn a profit. Maybe they have “evolved” into an only-for-profit-business eventually.

However, that model is not sustainable over the long haul.

What usually happens when a business grows bigger and bigger is, it gets much harder to keep the Why embodied throughout the entire organization. Latest when the founder leaves or dies, this becomes a major issue.

Businesses like Starbucks, Dell, Apple and Microsoft have all gone through that dip and most have only made it because the founder had returned before the company collapsed.

What we see in today’s corporate world is many CEOs who move from Fortune 500 company to Fortune 500 company in a 2-year cycle to raise the stock price, cash out and then move on.

How are you supposed to connect with such a CEO if he is only in the game for the money?

It’s much more fun and impactful to work with a CEO who actually wants to make a difference, one who wants to make change happen, not just to turn a profit but to actually do something that has a positive impact in the world.


How to Separate Energizing & Inspiring CEOs from the Rest

In order to know which CEOs are ideal for you and which ones are not, you need to create a filtration system. That’s exactly what the Red Velvet Rope Policy is for.

What do you value most in life? What are you most passionate about when it comes to your work? What are you most passionate about when it comes to your private life?

Who are your best friends and why?

What qualities and characteristics in people do inspire you? Who do you look up to and why?

Who are the people who drain your energy and bore you to death? What are their qualities and characteristics?

These are questions that can help you get a better picture about who is ideal for you and who is not.

Download the Communication Excellence Workbook now to establish your Red Velvet Rope Policy and only let energizing & inspiring clients into your business.


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