Friends or Clients?
Is it ok to be friends with your clients?
Years back, when I started out on this online business support journey, I remember excitedly babbling on to my husband about all the really bloody cool people I was meeting online and working with. He floored me pretty quickly with this line:
“These people are not your friends Kristina, they’re your clients”.
I was about a year in to running my own business, supporting online business owners around the world to bring their ideas, courses and digital offerings to life.
That sentence hit me hard. It was so far detached from who I am and what I did, that I was genuinely surprised to hear it.
It was still back in the time when my business was new, I didn’t know where it was going, and I guess I didn’t really know who I really was either as I was finding my feet on this new path. But in that moment, I suddenly knew EXACTLY where I was going.
I replied “Why would I want to work with someone I wouldn’t be friends with in real life?”.
I’d left my salaried job a year before, where you don’t get to pick your colleagues (though most of them I adored), and didn’t get to pick your work.
I had finally begun something for myself where I got to A) choose what I do, and B) choose who I do it with.
And in that moment I knew, that if I didn’t think I’d be friends with the person I was working with, I just wouldn’t be working with them.
I realised that everything in my business and my future career was suddenly within my control. WOW.
I genuinely ADORE with my whole heart the clients that I work with.
Our relationships stretch far beyond the client/OBM, professional reach. I know my clients hobbies, I know their families, the issues they’re facing outwith their businesses and I am there for them when they need me.
I’m their biggest fan, waving the pompoms, and ready to defend and protect by their side if necessary, like a tiny virtual guard dog.
We’re - dare I say it for fear of breaking from the ‘norm’ in this industry - FRIENDS.
And I love it.
It is that magical relationship that I have with the people I work with that makes me SO much more invested in the success of their business, and the quality of service I provide to them.
My 1-to-1 clients aren’t just clients to me. I value their business and their trust in me, and they value mine. It’s a mutual thing and it’s why together, we thrive.
The relationship I strive for with my clients is what sets me apart with the work that I do. I know it’s not for everybody, and that’s why not everybody is for me, too - and that’s absolutely fine.
My husband now ‘gets’ what I do. He knows the level of passion and enthusiasm I have for the wonderful people I get to work with, and he knows that this is me.
I’m an ‘all in or not at all’ kinda person - I’ve really grown in to that over the past 7 years in business as I’ve learned more about who I really am and how I can really make a difference. It’s powerful.
Last week, I had the opportunity to finally meet someone I’ve worked with in person - I live in Shetland - far away from all of my clients, so meeting in person really has taken 7 years… and this further confirmed everything I already knew to be true… I really do love the people I get to work with not just when they’re inside my computer on Zoom!
Friends in business doesn’t mean there’s no boundaries or respect in place - for me it just means everything is a million times more fun!
Do you have a business ‘bestie’? If not, I truly urge you to find your person. That connection when you run an online business, to have someone as invested in your success as you are, is priceless.
You find the right people in your business by being truly you.
Please know that it’s ok to not appeal to everyone (I know I don’t!) - when you stick to who you really are, the best people find you.
Friends or clients - there’s no reason you can’t have both, if that’s what works for you!
Don’t stay stuck,
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More about Kristina
Fuelled by lemons, sunshine and a terrible sense of humour, Kristina is a lover of all things Simplero, systems and tech. She spends her days helping business owners build, nourish and grow their online communities and memberships using her not-so-secret weapon - the all-in-one platform Simplero.
Kristina's support allows her clients to spend more time doing their thing, creating an income and serving their crowds, and less time losing their zing in the dull, behind the scenes stuff that is required to run a business online.
An intuitive wing-woman, sounding board and loudest cheerleader for her clients, Kristina’s proactive approach and enthusiasm is infectious and makes the leap to outsourcing and growing your team feel effortless.