I have a new mantra. It working great for me. It might work for you too.
My friend John Osswald told me that when he was running his own faux finish business, dealing with very wealthy clients, his job (in addition to the painting) was to generate enthusiasm and manage expectations.
Generate Enthusiasm and Manage Expectations.
Enthusiasm is defined as intense and eager enjoyment, interest or approval. Who doesn't want that?
It comes from the Greek enthousiasmos meaning possessed by a god, or divinely inspired. Generating enthusiasm is so positive. It means let your creativity flow and encourage the creativity of others.
The work comes with managing expectations, but what a great place to begin! I've tried to manage impressions and failed miserably. Repeatedly. Somehow I understand it when it is put this way. It relieves so much stress by putting things on the table. It means you get clear about what your expectations are. What you are willing to do or not do?
Manage expectations invites discussion of those very things you're afraid to talk about. Money. The Parameters of the job: How much do they want to be involved or have done for them. What do your clients expect but aren't saying? Managing expectations allows you to just ask questions and listen for answers. Subjectively and Objectively.
Give this mantra a try and let me know how it works for you.