Interview Patty

Reject The Myth of More

July 18, 2023

What does The Broken Cookie Effect® look like in action?


One of our most common and troubling beliefs is that the road to consistent revenue is paved with more clients. It’s what I call the myth of more.


In truth, bringing on more clients creates a whole new set of problems: Do you need to hire staff, train them, and trust them quickly? Do you have staff but no standards to guide them?

How do you personally navigate those new client relationships? Are they right-fit clients for your business, or are you saying “yes” simply to capture new business?


If you haven’t addressed your pricing and built an effective pricing model, you could be working for peanuts – and driving yourself crazy in the process!


While not every business owner should raise her prices, every one of them would benefit from creating a pricing model. With a pricing model, you have structure and a rationale behind your service offerings and pricing. This makes it easier to communicate your value to your prospective buyers and current clients.


A pricing model is a method to determine pricing for your services. For example, Microsoft, Google, and Apple all use a subscription pricing model for their online tools. Amazon, Costco, and your local golf or swim club use a Membership pricing model.


There are many pricing models that work well for service businesses. Having a standard model gives you a baseline and flexibility so you’re not guessing every time you have a new buyer.


Equipped with your shiny, new pricing model, you will feel more confident sharing your solutions and answering questions, and your buyer will have a better understanding of the scope, cost, and value. When all this comes together, talking about your pricing is less stressful and much more effective.


Debra is an expert in the eldercare industry. Motivated to build her company based on personal challenges as her parents aged – and realizing she didn’t know what she didn’t know during that time – she has built a team of twelve to help adult children navigate the minefield of declining parents, resistant family members, and a confusing healthcare system. She believes: “I’ve got to take on more and more clients to increase revenue.”


In Debra’s case, we reframed her belief this way: “I can define and find my ideal buyer: someone who clearly understands the value I bring and is energizing to work with. They can afford to work with me, and they appreciate my expertise, experience, work ethic, and skills. When I have an effective pricing model, sales effort, and service delivery, I can make more money, feel less stress, and serve my clients better. I’d rather have ten ideal clients than one hundred ‘warm bodies’ who take up all my time and energy.”


Ironically, focus can be liberating. Giving yourself permission to focus on identifying, finding, and working with ideal buyers lets you jump off that “more and more” mentality treadmill.

Today’s Questions:

Is this a problem or a symptom?


Many issues that business owners think of as problems, I think of as symptoms. We end up wasting a lot of time, energy, and money trying to fix “problems” that are really symptoms of a bigger, underlying roadblock.


Debra’s situation is a good example. When we started working together, she had many symptoms that she saw as problems. For example, she:

  • Was frustrated by revenue ups and downs
  • Believed she didn’t have enough clients
  • Felt pressured to keep her team fully engaged with clients
  • Felt stress around time and money


She believed she could solve these “problems” by adding more clients. While she was busy doing so, the symptoms compounded and created new problems:

  • Her team was always scrambling to find new clients, putting pressure on everyone.
  • Debra had less time to focus on staff training, team building, and morale, and this can lead to staff leaving.
  • She overlooked critical business processes, which added confusion to the daily work and communication with clients.
  • Debra felt like she was in damage-control mode every day.

Now What?

To address the real problems, Debra and I worked together to:

  • Shift her thinking
  • Build an effective pricing model
  • Define and find her ideal buyers
  • Refine her sales efforts and service delivery
  • Test and tweak these solutions until she achieved her right combination


If you are running around trying to solve symptoms but not addressing the underlying problems, you’ll end up right back where you started. One day, you might look up and realize you have an even bigger mess!


Do these statements sound like something you might say?

  • “I avoid raising prices and having difficult conversations, because they feel like conflict.”
  • “I feel like I am running in place, trying to round up more and more clients.”
  • “My revenue is unsteady at best and arrives in wild swings at worst.”
  • “I struggle to grow my company with more revenue, not necessarily more work.”


These are all symptoms of The Broken Cookie Effect, led by the angst we feel when selling our services and exacerbated by the frustration of creating a fresh pricing model for every new client. We have been eating crumbs and denying ourselves the whole cookie!


-- Excerpt from Patty’s book, Your Hidden Advantage: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue


When do you want to jump off that “more and more” mentality treadmill? I'd love to hear what you think.  I read and respond to every email personally.

P.S. Are you giving 'invisible' discounts to prospects who didn't ask for them? The anxiety you feel when talking with a potential client leaks out when you slash your price because you're afraid you'll lose the opportunity if you don't.  

I’ve broken down exactly why this 'discount dilemma' happens in an exclusive training called The Value Equation, which you can get for FREE by signing up for the bonuses that are companion pieces for my book, Your Hidden Advantage.

Patty Block

Business advisor, pricing expert, and bestselling author, Patty Block empowers women business owners to turn up their power by shifting their mindset, attracting right-fit clients, and boosting their revenue to achieve a more profitable future. Isn't it time to run your business with more confidence, profit, and joy?

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