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What is a weed, really? You might say it’s a plant that ruins your lawn.  Nasty thorny sprouty stuff you’ve wasted considerable time trying to uproot. But in the end, a weed is just any plant growing in an unwanted spot. Dandelions are weeds, sure, but even perfectly lovely things like mint and wild strawberries […]

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  • Ceci Flanagan-Snow - Terrific article and I agree that a weed is simply a plant growing in the wrong place (a quote I heard often from a dear friend who was an avid gardener).
    For me it is a matter of nurturing myself by insisting on some private time every day – usually while walking our dog down a country lane. Then, physically and mentally refreshed, while the dog sleeps I have time to focus (pun intended) on my creative endeavours.

    I leave the mundane and the repetitive tasks for a time when interruptions won’t matter,

    To save additional time, I’ve hired someone to clean my house once a week. She does a better job than me and it feels good to come home to a sweet smelling environment minus the dust and detritus of the previous week!ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - A walk down a country lane sounds positively dreamy! And soul-refreshing. I’m so happy you and your fur-friend make time for that. Also – that’s so fantastic you’ve got someone to wrangle a task that leaves your house cleaner and your spirits happier. Bravo.ReplyCancel

  • Christoph Schiffer - Thank you so much for this valuable input, Jenica. First of all I decide to get back to inbox-zero. I´ve been subscribed to way too many newsletters for the last couple of months. Will do this using the app http://www.emailga.me
    Feels good to do so! Happy “gardening!” 😉ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Ah yes, inbox overload. Amazing what a good clean out can do – glad it feels good! Hope you can use all that new white space to create something new. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • John C. - It is awesome how you used weed as analogy for unwanted businesses that steal time. I’m particularly researching and planning towards gardening for this spring when I stumbled on your post and I must say it’s a great post.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - That’s fantastic that you found it while searching for gardening info – I love it. Thanks for reaching out with kind words! Appreciate it.ReplyCancel

We’ve been talking about planting business seeds to have a healthy harvest later this year (things like soliciting testimonials, and making sure clients have no regrets after they hire you). But I’m kinda embarrassed – I almost forgot about the most important part!  See, spend any time reading about gardening, and you’ll run across the […]

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Think about the last three pricey-ish things you’ve bought. Things where you had some choice, and maybe you had to pick between options that were pretty close to one another. How did you feel *right* after you paid up? Your reactions have probably ranged among the following: Over-the-moon excited because you splurged on THE TOP […]

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  • Ceci - Terrific article with wonderful suggestions on forestalling cognitive dissonance in new customers. For those with no direct experience with you and your business, it is reassuring to know that all will be well and they’ll be looked after!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Thank you so much – as always a wonderful article. Your psychologic background helps understand what customers feel, and I really love to help them with a good feeling. I love that your topics are always about understanding and making the client happy and not how to manipulate the client to make the photographer happy 😉ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Thanks for the kind words Andrea. Best of luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Fantastic! This really reaffirms some of the steps I’m taking at the moment to ensure my clients feel loved throughout our entire journey together. Thanks for a great post!ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Hooray! Glad you’re taking good care of your people. Best of luck making them feel supported and excited.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Looney - Amazing! I am implementing this immediately. I just signed on new High School Senior Reps and they paid to be in the program, I have to think of something good to celebrate with! Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Awesome! I bet they – and their parents – will love it. (I bet their parents could use a little affirmation too.)ReplyCancel

  • Linnae Harris - Wow! This is awesome. I’ve never heard this advice before and I think you are SO spot on. You are so good at really putting yourself on the client’s shoes and letting us know how they might be feeling. Thanks for the work that you do!ReplyCancel

  • andy main - Hi, Just had one of those ‘of course’ moments, but i hadn’t thought of doing it until i read it here. Thanks for putting it so well. AndyReplyCancel

  • Kate - Thank you very much for this post! It’s very usefull for me right now!ReplyCancel

Business is an awful lot like gardening. (We’ve talked about this before, in fact.) Few things happen immediately.  And if you want corn in the fall, you have to plant it in the spring.  Right now is the slow season for many of you – you’re not in the middle of the “harvesting” of serving […]

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  • Jessica S - Absolutely! I recently took this approach when I gave my client their gallery link after their reveal session. No matter how many times I told them AND showed them, they still had questions. When I changed over to short and sweet and numbered, less questions. I’m seeing more countdowns in my future.

    As a side question, how many times does it take the “average” person to hear and see something before they really understand it?ReplyCancel

    • Taryn - Jessica,
      I’ve heard the secret number is 3 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Interesting question! Unfortunately it’s impossible to answer, because it depends on the complexity of what they’re trying to understand, whether the thing they’re trying to understand is social, numerical, abstract, tangible, complex, etc. Usually the problem you’re up against is not whether they will understand it, but whether they will take the time to figure it out. Extremely few things in the average service business are hard to understand and could be understood on the first try if someone pays attention. The risk is that they’re not paying attention or, possibly, that they did not commit it to memory and so the concept is “stored” with similar ideas and that’s where the confusion arises. So making things quick and concrete the first time is your best bet, followed by explaining the same thing in a couple different ways (verbally when you meet or over the phone, graphically, in words, etc) to cover different learners and remind people. Hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • Nathan T - This makes so much sense! Thanks for this simple and sensible information !ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - My pleasure Nathan! 😀 Thanks for your note.ReplyCancel

  • Steph - Brilliant! Clearly that age-old saying, “less is more”, stands true! (At least to get that initial connection and glance)
    I used to work at my local newspaper as a graphic designer. Oh my goodness how we VERY OFTEN tried to get the stick-in-the-mud clients that proclaimed, “I’ve ALWAYS done it this way and I want ppl to see EVERYTHING I sell” to realize they don’t have to put EVERYTHING carried in their store on their tiny 1″x2″ advertisement in the paper. People just DONT like to read. So I know what I’m doing on my website this week!
    I’m loving these emails. These particularly are really hitting home.
    Thanks jenika!ReplyCancel

  • Joseph - Lots of great advice. I’ve learned the hard way on a few occasions. And having a contract really does help, but I like the idea of sowing seeds even before signing a contract and in addition to a contract. Thanks! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Thanks Joseph! I agree – contracts are vital, but nice to have added things that make everything easier. Hope you enjoy your week!ReplyCancel

  • Simon Dewey - Such great advice – so much of our work is managing client expectations – and even if you do it in person, information gets lost along the way.ReplyCancel

Like most traps, it’s got two halves. The first half:  That the way clients hear something described impacts their desire to have it. Psychologists call this a “framing effect.” For example:  People prefer meat labeled “75% lean” over meat labeled “25% fat.”  Even though either way, you’re getting the same thing. This applies in more […]

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