If you offer more stuff in your business, more services, you’ll get more clients and make more money, right? Not in our experience and not in the experience of some of the biggest brands on earth. So today I want to talk about how you can use the word no to get more yeses from better quality clients, fewer of them do less work, make more money, and also enjoy the work you’re doing more than you might be right now. So there is a fallacy out there, especially with new business owners, especially creative types. I call it the one stop shop fallacy. You think if you put out there that I’m a one-stop shop, I can do it all, that you will get more clients. If you get more clients, therefore you will make more money, you will be successful. And I understand that logic completely.

I lived that logic. I’m gonna tell you a story in a minute. <laugh>, when I tried did that logic in a business I owned years ago, and I’m not even saying it doesn’t work for a little while. It can, but it is inevitable that you will burn out, you will hit a ceiling, and then what will happen is you’ll start this nasty pattern of getting more clients, but they pay you less and less per client. So you have to get more clients and make less and less. And it, it turns into a terrible cycle. It’s gonna wear you out. And I’ll explain why that’s happening and how to reverse it and how to have fewer clients say no to the one stop shop and make more money per client. Have better clients, the fewer that you have. And, um, you can do less work. Find it more meaningful, and focus, focus, focus.

So look around the world. Let’s look at some one-stop shops. Walmart is probably the number one, one-stop shop in the universe. Dollar General is another one. Um, five below is another one. All the dollar tree versions of dollar trees, these are one-stop shops and these are billion dollar companies. And you may say to yourself, well, those are billion dollar companies. Why can’t I just be the Walmart of my field? In my case, it’s video production. Why can’t I be the Walmart of photography? Why can’t I be the, the Walmart of, of cake decorating or interior design or the, the Walmart of, of painting? Well, you can <laugh> if you wanna do that. How do those companies become those big billion dollar things? They do it by having thousands of locations, selling millions of crappy, cheap items at very low cost. That means they have to have lots of stuff, lots of inventory, lots of administration, lots of employ lots, lots, lots, lots.

Now if you wanna do that, if that’s the life you wanna live, then knock yourself out. But I’ve never met a creative yet <laugh> that wants to actually live like that. And so don’t build a business like that. Because what happens is when I say I do everything I am, I offer everything. I do all the things in my field, you can’t possibly get good at any one of them. Jack of all trades, right? That’s the, that’s the phrase. And, and people, customers intuitively know that. They know that if you’re doing a lot of things, you aren’t gonna be great at any of them. You might be cheap, but you’re not gonna be great. We pay for greatness. We pay for specificity, we pay for specialists. So if you go into a Walmart and you see something expensive, you’re almost offended. You’re like, wait a minute, this is Walmart.

It’s not supposed to be expensive here. Do you really want customers coming to you expecting cheapness? And when you put a decent price on something, they get offended? No, of course you don’t. However, if you walk in to say, an Apple store, they’re specialists, right? <laugh>, they only do one thing for one brand, and they only offer those things. And if you’re an Apple person, you pay lots and lots of money for those things. If you are, um, if you have a heart problem, you have, you need a heart specialist, do you go to a general practitioner? No. You want the best heart specialist. You want somebody who has spent the last 25 years and all they’ve thought about is hearts and how to get really good at heart stuff. Um, pediatric brain surgeons, if your child, heaven forbid, gets a serious brain problem, you’re gonna go to the local, um, one-stop shop, doctor, no, you’re gonna go find a pediatric brain surgeon.

Specialists can have fewer clients and do less work, but they get better and better and better at the one thing they do. And because they’re better and better and better at the one thing they do, people pay them more and more and more. A couple stories, uh, years ago before I had a film company and did all this, I owned a, uh, a property I used, owned a renovation. I used to renovate houses. I like working with my hands and I like tools and all that stuff. So I started a renovation business and it went fine. It went great for a few years. What happened though, is as I would, I would fix something on somebody’s house or say I would hang gutters on their house, and then they would ask me to come back and clean the gutters and they would say, Hey, I, I’m old.

I can’t clean these things. Hey man, you hung these gutters from me three months ago and now they’re full of leaves. Can you come back and clean them? Said, sure, I was a one-stop shop. Yeah, yeah, well, you pay me money, I’ll do it. So I come back and I clean their gutters and I, all that stuff that evolved into, they’re like, well, you’re cleaning my gutters. Can you trim that tree over there? I was like, sure, yeah, of course I’ll do that. And there’s like, well, you know, you’re already here. You’re cutting thing. Can you cut my grass too? I was like, sure, why not? It’s money, right? I’m a one stop shop. I’ll do anything for money. And after a while, what happened was, yeah, I had more customers and I was doing more work, but I was making less money per job, and I was extremely exhausted.

Also, every time I added on a new specialty or a new thing I added, I had to buy more tools for it that needed maintaining. I had to, I had to advertise more because I had to advertise all the things I was doing. Now, <laugh>, and it was confusing people. We don’t like to be confused as consumers. So what happened? Well, there was a point in my business where I was renovating houses and I really enjoyed that, but I was, I, I looked at kind of what I was doing and I ended up doing more of property maintenance. So I’d cut the grass and I might pressure wash their building. And I, it was maintenance stuff instead of renovation stuff, construction type stuff. And so there, I remember there’s a very po there’s a point in my business where I had to make a decision and I go, I can’t do all of this.

And people are getting confused about what I do. And so I decided to move over into the property maintenance side of things. And the, that worked great for me because it was regular income. I could put people on monthly schedules and, and it was regular revenue. But, but the problem was, is once I started doing that and I bought a lawnmower and I started working in that and pushing hard into that and marketing myself as more of a property maintenance type person for town homes and surgical centers and restaurants and stuff like that, I would get phone calls from people, uh, who wanted me to renovate their house because I had former customers passing the word. And they would say, Hey Kevin, I got this room. I need you to come renovate or do drywall or renovate my bathroom, or whatever. And it would be the, the, these are good jobs.

These would be like, you know, 10 plus thousand dollars jobs. And I had to say no. I had to say, sorry, I don’t do that anymore. I’m, I do property maintenance. And that carried on for probably a year and a half after I made that decision. Cuz you know, people were, word of mouth was kicking in. And I had worked for like five years to build myself as a renovation person. Now, if you’re a, a one stop shop or a very small business, and you have to say no to 10,000 plus dollars jobs, I know that’s painful <laugh>, I know that’s scary. And I had to do it. And it once, I did though, and once I focused on that, two things happened. One is I could get rid of about three quarters of the tools I was carrying around to do all these renovation things.

I could just focus on property maintenance stuff. So my overhead went down. That’s awesome. Overhead goes down. Then because I was specializing and I was getting really good at this little niche, townhome complexes was, was really my niche that I found, um, is that other people at other townhome complexes heard about me. They’re like, oh, we got this guy. He just, he, he can, he can maintain your property for you is really, really good. And the momentum shifted over in the other direction. And that side of my business, when I got rid of all the confusion, the one-stop shop stuff, that business really took off, really took off. And it took off so well that I got so good at that specialty that I could even, I, the moment I met somebody, I knew if I was gonna get that job or not. And, um, because my customer type was so focused and so specific, the other thing was, uh, I had customers that were so common, like the, the customer type, my avatar <laugh> that most of them were over 70 years old.

Most of them were women widows. And to a shocking degree, their names were Barbara, Mary, or Susan. I had, at one time, I had three Barbaras and four Marys. Not kidding. That’s the power of specializing in not being a one-stop shop. So the second story is with Weal Films, my current film company, I learned that lesson of specialization of not being a one-stop shop. And so when we started Weal Films, we started on purpose as a specialist. We specialize in heartfelt videos. That’s, that’s our word. You’ll see it on our website, you’ll see it in our marketing. If you want to feel something, if you want to touch people’s hearts, that’s the kind of video we do. That’s the only kind of video we do. We don’t do funny explainer videos. Um, we don’t do catchy marketing videos. We make heartfelt videos. That’s it. And we put that out there as our niche, as our specialty.

We’re not a one-stop shop. And I had people early on call me before our brand got established and they were like, Hey, can you do this kind of video? And it wasn’t one of our kinds of videos and they might be offering a good money. And I had to say, sorry, no, we don’t do that because it will only dilute my brand and it will take us toward the road of more work for less money. I want to do less work for more money. And the good thing also about specializing is once you specialize, you can now enjoy the work you’re doing because you’re gonna get better and better and more proficient and more proficient at that one thing, which means you can produce faster and more efficiently, but still charge the same price. Now, that is how you grow a creative business. And also keep your sanity.

If you go to a theme park, you want to go to Disney World, you don’t want to go to the county fair, you want to be Disney World, right? Cuz county fairs are a dime a dozen and they’re all dirty and gross and crappy. You don’t want to be that. You want to be the Disney world of your brand. And you can do it by saying no to the things that aren’t part of your specialization. I know it’s scary, but you can do it. Now, once you start making all that money and you start growing your business over like six figures, and you, and you’re, and you’re just doing really, really well, you are gonna need a financial team. And I know it’s a scary thing for creatives to start talking about accountants and CPAs and bookkeepers, but if you watch this video that is on the screen next, it will teach you what you need at what point in your business, an accountant, a cpa, or a bookkeeper, you can do this creative. I love you.