“When you stop growing you start dying.”

That line from William S. Burroughs, “Junky” scares me to death.

It’s a stark reminder, in both life and business, stagnation is not an option.

It might even explain why The Rolling Stones are still rocking out at 80?

But I digress!

Today, I want to share an effective framework for growing your business.

I call it the 1-2-3 method.

  • 1 ideal client
  • 2 challenges
  • 3 steps

It’s a powerful method for moving the needle, particularly if you’re feeling stuck.

Let’s break it down, so you can keep the wheels turning everyday.

Find and engage your ideal client

How often do you set aside time to find and engage with your ideal clients?

If you answered “sometimes”, “rarely” or “when I can”, you’re missing a trick.

The simple act of engaging with your ideal clients consistently is where magic happens.

For example, imagine you coach founders in tech start ups.

You’ll find your ideal clients at:

  • Over 100 tech conferences
  • Breakout rooms, seminars and events
  • On social media by job title and demographics
  • Specialist groups on LinkedIn such as The Startup Coalition
  • Tools such as Sales Navigator to connect and build relationships

To kickstart the process:

  • Use a mix of channels, platforms and tools
  • Create a weekly list of your ideal clients
  • Note where and when they’re active

Now set aside time to observe, listen and engage with 1 ideal client per day.

Imagine the conversations, imagine the possibilities.

Your focus is on the quality of the interaction, not the quantity.

Identify 2 challenges per client

By focusing on one person at a time, you’ll start to uncover their challenges and pain points.

You’ll build up a unique picture of their personality, preferences, and value drivers.

This will help you establish better rapport, and more insightful exchanges.

Your next task is to identify 2 significant problems or challenges they’re currently experiencing.

And what impact (professional or personal) they might have.

If you’re physically present, simple questions help break the ice:

  • What’s keeping you up at night?
  • What’s going on for you?

However, a more skilled and credible approach would be:

  • “I’ve been working with clients similar to you, and found that these three challenges keep coming up time and again. What are you experiencing?

Expect to hear immediate frustrations, but these are door openers to deeper issues.

This is your cue to dig a little deeper.

  • Tell me more.
  • What impact is that having?

Digging deeper still

  • How have you addressed that in the past?
  • What if anything would you do differently today?

Now uncover the financial pain or possibility

  • How much is this problem costing you professionally?
  • If that was resolved what would that mean financially?

Finally, uncovering what it means personally can reveal how motivated they are to address the matter.

  • On personal level, what would solving this mean to you?
  • If you found a way through, how would that make you feel?

This level of inquiry not only deepens your understanding of the customer’s pain points but also builds a more empathetic connection.

If it’s not possible to be physically present, focus your attention online.

Engage with them directly on their posts or comments before inviting them to chat.

3 Steps to support them

Now you have a better understanding of your clients’ challenges.

It’s time to outline three ways you can support them.

This isn’t about solving their problems but offering meaningful support that addresses what’s going on for them.

Here are some examples:

  • Invite them to a Connect or Discovery Session
  • Share a unique workshop or program around ideal outcomes
  • Create content that connects to the exact pain points and challenges.
  • Forward outcomes your clients have experienced in similar situations.
  • Connect them to someone in your network they may be interested in.

Think outside the box.

Come up with 3 different ways you can support them.

This helps your ideal client feel like you get them and can help them.

You may also find others are attracted to you too because of your insight and commitment.


Think of the 1-2-3 method not as a strategy but as a philosophy for continuous growth.

By applying these 3 steps consistently, you’re not just moving your business forward; you’re evolving with it.

Nothing beats authentic connection, insight, and actionable support.

So, what’s your next step?

Take a moment right now to identify one action you can take today.

Whether it’s drafting a list of potential ideal clients or brainstorming ideas that address their challenges, the key is to start.

Let’s keep those wheels turning, every single day.

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