I went to see two of my oldest relationships. One a client and one not a client (anymore).
Jeff, has been a client and friend for 20 years. Over the years he has done more and done less. Earlier in the week, we recognized him by sending a framed copy of his most recent accolade via messenger to his office with a bole of champagne. Celebrating his “power”. You see I met Jeff in 1998 and as he likes to replay the me as me calling him every other day for a month until he finally agreed to meet with me. At the me he was a new attorney not making any money . But I knew and he knew that the two of us were going to be something and do something BIG.
He has and I have.
What made the lunch so incredible (and we have had a lot of these over the years) was not that we have been together for so long and done so much together professionally, but the discussion around who we are and what we attract.
Jeff is one of the most powerful entertainment attorneys in Hollywood and has referred us a tremendous amount of business over the years. We were talking about one particular client and friend that has recently had a tremendous degree of success. He then tells me that Ill never get anywhere or any further with him and that is that. Well, needless to say I was surprised and disappointed. But as we sat there Jeff explained something that I had known but never really internalized. He started by saying, “Jeremy, look at me and the way I dress. There will be some agent here is this restaurant that will see me and say what a slob and that I would never do any business with him. And I know that if I wore a suit and e and dressed different, maybe I would get a little more business and while I certainly don’t need it, I always want more.” He then continued and said, “You have a process that you work and you are focused on that process. That has made you who you are today and allowed you to be successful. It works for you. I love it and while you are the most relentless and persistent person I have ever met, I wouldn’t change it….BECAUSE IT WORKS.”
You cannot be all things to all people.
While I was disappointed to hear that this one particular client was no longer interested in maintaining that BIGGER relationship with me, I understand why.
The ah ha, for me is that you must always be who you are. Never deviate. People sense a lack of sincerity. Know who you are and if you don’t know who you are, learn as fast as you can. Life is easier when you know.