Sure, you’re the business owner. But what role do you want to play in the lives of your clients?

That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? You play many differing roles in your life: parent, spouse, caretaker, teacher, worker.  Each role calls for different rules and expectations. You act differently as a spouse than when you’re the parent, right?

You also play a role for your clients. You are running on in defacto mode unless you take the time to clearly identify for yourself and others what role you want to play.  The role you select and the way you convey your role will impact the way clients perceive and interact with you.

You might be expecting me to say take the ‘businessperson’ or leader role.  I will but that’s for later. Right now, focus on what role you want to play for your client.


Are you the Expert?  

If so, what words and behaviors come to mind that make you think expert?  Let me ask you a tricky question. Are you clients expecting you to be the expert or are you imposing that expectation?

By virtue of being a nurse or attorney, you do have expert status. That status will be important to some clients and less important to others.  Would clients hear or use your solution better if you played a different role?

Are you the Guide?

Are you using a process or technique to move ahead or transform their experience in some way? Yes, you may be a guide. What are the words and behaviors that a Guide might use with clients.  What is your process for helping clients complete their journey?

Are you the Curator/Facilitator?

Your mission is to share the best of the best and the easiest path, then you’re a Curator. You seek out so others can save time and effort. What are the standards you use to ensure your info is relevant, current and usable?

I find it very helpful to look at my community and identify other who I think are doing a great job at each role. Then, I think about how I’d do it differently.  Try that and let me know what you discover in the comments.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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