I enjoy Seth Godin’s musings, and today’s was particularly good:

“We can’t please everyone; in fact, we’re not even going to try.”

Or perhaps:

“Pleasing everyone with our work is impossible. It wastes the time of our best customers and annoys our staff. Forgive us for focusing on those we’re trying to delight.”

The math here is simple. As soon as you work hard to please everyone, you have no choice but to sand off the edges, pleasing some people less in order to please others a bit more. And it drives you crazy at the same time.

I wonder how to best fit this into my business. I always do my best to please all of my clients, no matter how big or small they are. Although that generally keeps them happy, I agree with Seth that it means I’m sacrificing a little bit of my time that could be spent pleasing the big clients. And I don’t necessarily mean “big” in terms of money or clout, but rather “big” in their importance to my business.