A reader emailed me with a great question. She asked: “What’s the most direct route to becoming one of the best paid service providers in my industry, Jim?” I told her I’d share my answer here, as I know it’s something many of you will find useful.
Sometimes, the best answer to a problem seems too simple to be correct. Too good to be true. Thankfully, when it comes to attracting the very best clients and fees, the simple answer is also the right answer.
Drum roll please…
You attract better clients, better projects and better fees, when you solve better problems.
What do I mean when I say “solve better problems”?
I’m suggesting you deliberately choose to apply your skills (in whatever area of business you’re in) to the most challenging work. I’m talking about the really tricky stuff. The demanding work, which requires more thinking, deeper problem solving and greater effort.
Here’s why this approach is so powerful
Very few service providers deliberately choose to solve the most pressing and valuable problems. The vast majority do what’s expected. In other words, they work hard doing their best possible version of what their marketplace expects from someone in their industry.
If you’re willing to embrace solving better problems, it presents you with a double opportunity.
By seeking out the most challenging work, your fees are not only higher, you also find yourself with very little (often zero) meaningful competition.
Hold on. There’s another benefit.
The providers who focus on solving the best problems aren’t only (by far) the highest paid, with the least competition. They also get to work every single day, on the most interesting and professionally rewarding projects.
Let’s recap. By shunning the middle ground and choosing to solve better problems you get:
- The best clients. (Clients who pay the top rates because they value your skills are always the best to work with).
- A chance for you to earn the highest fees in your industry or profession.
- Far, far less competition. Read this.
- The most interesting type of work.
- Bigger and better rewards on every level.
Easier said than done?
Yes, of course it is. But that’s precisely why this opportunity exists.