Become ruthless about who you work with.

ADHD Business Tips - Become ruthless about who you work with.

Everyone is not your customer.
– Seth Godin

As entrepreneurs, we often have a deep desire to help as many people as possible with our products or services. And if you have ADHD like me, you may find yourself eagerly saying “yes” to every potential client or collaboration that comes your way. You think “Why not? This could be great!” and your passion and excitement take over.

The problem is, trying to be everything to everyone inevitably, and often very quickly, becomes unsustainable. You spread yourself too thin, struggle to give anyone your full focus and attention, and end up producing sub-par work that leaves clients unsatisfied. It’s actually better for you and the people you want to serve to be highly selective upfront.

The power of ruthless clarity

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs I know have an almost ruthless clarity about who their ideal clients are and what types of problems they want to solve. They establish clear boundaries and stick to them rigorously. It allows them to do exceptional work for the right people instead of mediocre work for anyone who comes along.

For those of us with ADHD traits like hyperfocus and rejection sensitivity, having this level of clarity is even more important. When we find the right fit, we can pour all of our energy and obsessive attention into a project – creating amazing results. But the wrong clients or collaborations are like kryptonite, rapidly depleting our focus and motivation.

We’re also more prone to taking rejection personally instead of objectively. So anytime we turn someone away, we need a clear purpose behind it to stay confident in that decision.

The people who bring out your best

Take a moment to think about your favourite clients or partners from the past. What made them so great to work with? Maybe they came to you with a fascinating challenge that really piqued your curiosity and creativity. Or their communication style and work habits naturally synced with yours in a flow state.

On the flip side, we’ve all had those engagements that gradually became draining frustrations. The goals were unrealistic, or the visions misaligned. Deadlines were missed, or you found yourself nagging for every minor update. Those are the kinds of toxic situations to avoid at all costs.

Ultimately, the people who allow you to do your best, most fulfilling work are the ones you want to surround yourself with. Those are your “hell yeah!” clients and dream team members. Everyone else is just displacing them on your calendar.

How to become a ruthless client curator

Of course, being ultra-selective is easier said than done, especially when you’re just starting out. Financial pressures and uncertainty about the next gig can make us want to cling to any opportunity like a life raft.

But the sooner you get over that scarcity mindset, the better. Saying “no” allows you to really show up for the “hell yeahs.” Here are some tips to become a ruthless client curator:

• Create clear criteria to evaluate potential fits. Maybe it’s an ideal budget range or certain types of projects you’ll take on. Get specific.

• Don’t be afraid to create deliberate filters or offer a paid consultation process where you charge for your time vetting potential clients upfront. This will weed out the “just browsing” clients.

•  Check the vibe during any initial conversations. Do they communicate in a way that aligns with your strengths? Can you imagine a smooth collaboration dynamic?

• Establish professional boundaries that you commit to and communicate them from the outset. For example, you don’t take calls after 6pm or you will only wait x minutes for a client who hasn’t let you know they’ll be late.

• Practice saying “no” firmly and confidently. You don’t have to overexplain or get drawn into back-and-forth negotiations. A simple “This isn’t quite the right fit for me, but best of luck finding someone!” can work. Check out the “Say ‘no’ easily” eBook for more help with this.

• Ditch the FOMO and trust there’s plenty more where that came from. Tell yourself “The right client is still out there, and I’ll be ready for them.” You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can start attracting the right people when you get intentional.

Staying focused on what matters

It’s so easy for entrepreneurs with ADHD traits to get shiny object syndrome and chase every potential opportunity that comes our way. But regularly re-visiting and re-evaluating your values and priorities is key.

Personally, I want to work on projects that are challenging and push me to new creative heights and clients who I am confident I can add value to. I thrive with folks who communicate clearly, appreciate my working style, and who are ready to grow their own skills and capacity.

Those are the criteria I try to centre when deciding who I want to bring into my space. It’s not always easy to be so discerning, and it’s taken me several years of practice, but it’s absolutely essential for me to do my best work and feel fulfilled.


One of my favourite exercises to share with clients who are struggling to get clear on who they want to work with is an Ideal Client Q&A. I have them think of their favourite client as we run through a series of questions like the ones listed here. This helps them to get more clarity on why this client is such a good fit, as well as providing insight into where to find more dream clients and the language they connect most with.

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to clients and collaborators?

Get ruthlessly clear on them, implement some of these strategies, and watch how it levels up your focus and passion for your craft.

I’ll see you here next week for a new tip!

Next Level ADHD Entrepreneurs Australia Facebook Group

Join our free Facebook community!

Are you an Australian-based business owner with ADHD? Join our free Facebook community!

Execute program for business owners with ADHD

Are you a business owner with ADHD?

Check out our Execute membership program designed specifically with the ADHD entrepreneur in mind!