I want to work with smart people.
Now, let me explain a little bit further to avoid being misunderstood. You know that I truly value being absolutely transparent in your communication because you want to be working with people who are perfect for you. And the more experience you gather, the clearer you become on what you want and what you don't want – and that is totally fine. However, it automatically means that you will exclude a certain type of person or business. So I want to make it very clear that I do not intentionally want to hurt anyone's feelings here. And when I talk about smart, I do absolutely not refer to academics, because if there's one thing that I've learned over the years is that academics actually don't mean anything in terms of people skills, in terms of putting things together, in terms of perspective, in terms of seeing the big picture, in terms of creativity, etc…
I Am Not Smart Enough
I didn't think that I was smart for the longest time. The reason for that is high school. In our society, it's very traditional that science and math = smart and linguistic, creativity and arts = cute. And that's just not true. So, back in high school, I was not into math and science and because of that, I always considered myself not to be smart. But when I was in my last year of high school, one of my subjects was philosophy and logic. The first sentence that our philosophy teacher said when he entered the classroom was “Logic has nothing to do with mathematics.” I rocked at logic. I mean, I completed all the tests in half the time required with zero mistakes and it was just logical to me. 20 years later, I told that story to a mathematician, and he looked at me and said “Christine, you do realize that logic and philosophy are the purest form of math that there is?” At that moment, my mind was blown. It was a mindset thing. I was explained things in a way that I didn't understand and I allowed it to define me. It just cemented this idea that I'm not good at mathematics, ie. I am not smart enough.
A Beautiful Balance
Since then, I've realized that I am very smart in a lot of different ways – I'm able to see a lot of creative solutions, I'm able to think in different ways but at the same time, I'm very efficient, I can see very quickly where my energy is wasted and where it's not going anywhere and at the same time, I can see when something is working, and when it deserves all of my focus and attention.
So, when I say “smart clients”, it’s not about academia and degrees, it’s about people who “get it” and who get it quickly.
When I work with clients, I go into business and immediately see what’s worth spending your time on, what things can wait, and what things you should cut out completely because they simply don’t work for you. I like to conclude quickly, to go in and draw lots of conclusions, tie up loose ends, and make sure we get rid of all that clutter, greening up loads of time and space to create solid foundations for maybe new projects or to take that time and use it for yourself (crazy idea there!). So, one of the things that are really important is that I do these things fast. This logic comes to me very very, very quickly and it's not something that's given. To me, that is a sign of being smart and it's also something that I expect of my clients. I need clients who get that, who want that energy, who want to understand.
The other thing is that my left brain and my right brain work in quite a good balance. Through my linguistics, I've been able to read literature in its original language. I travel all around Europe all the time, and I live in Luxembourg, the heart of Europe, where I am surrounded by different cultures each day. So I think that hones and crafts a skill of being able to see and understand where people are coming from. I'm also very logical and factual, which means that I can explain and substantiate my opinions very well. That does not mean that I'm closed-minded or that even if I can explain my opinion, and where I'm coming from I'm not going to change it. But if I am working with someone, I can tell them my opinion, and really explain why this is logical, and all the facts behind it. At the same time, because I do have that creativity, I can think in different ways and see things that might not be completely obvious. So it's a beautiful mix that I bring to my clients and I do expect people to understand it. I do expect my clients to bring that swiftness to the table as well.
In a nutshell, what I'm saying is that I do not discriminate in terms of “you need to have a certain academic degree” but I thrive on working with business owners who get me and who get how I work. Don’t be afraid to articulate that – who do you want to work with?