Cultivating Growth Comes From a Shared Mindset Regarding Your Most Urgent Need


By Jim Christiana

Managing Partner & Founder


If you know anything about me, then you know that I’ve built my career around a passion for helping people change their current situation in order to reach their fullest potential. 

So, it makes sense that I started a consulting firm that helps organizations move closer towards their fullest potential. But I’ve often wondered, “Why do things just work better with some clients versus others?” Well, I recently discovered the answer, and I wanted to share it with you. 

Every success story at M:7 Agency has had two things in common: (1) a great consultant and (2) a great client. So, the easy part first: What makes a consultant great? A great consultant efficiently secures what the client wants. Here’s a simple rule I tell my clients: If I can’t get you what you want, or move you substantially closer to getting what you want, within 6-12 months, then fire me! 

Then, what’s the difference between a bad, good, and great client? In simple terms, knowing what you want.  

More specifically, a bad client doesn’t know what they want their consulting firm to get for them. “Well, I want marketing” or “I need communications help” doesn’t count as knowing what you want. 

While a good client knows what they want the consultant to help secure for them, they speak in marketing mumbo jumbo about things like target audience demographics or they get down in the weeds about the specifics of marketing deliverables. For instance, good clients say, “I want a new website,” or “I want a marketing video that shows our manufacturing plant,” or maybe “I want a government grant for a new piece of equipment.” Inevitably, what we discover through onboarding is that what they really want is to grow their business, and websites, videos, and grants are potential tools to achieve that growth. 

The common factor with all great clients is that they communicate, “I want you to help us grow our business,” and they have already identified which one of the 3 C’s they need to grow it. 


The 3 C’s

A wicked-smart mentor once told me, “For any organization to grow, they need customers, capacity, or capital.”  

More customers, capacity, or capital…that’s it, huh? That’s it. 

I’ve come to wholeheartedly believe that a shared mindset between a client and a consultant about securing more customers, capacity, or capital is the key to a successful client-agency partnership. I’m so thankful that I’ve built a team at M:7 that is phenomenal at securing those three things for our clients. 

This shared mindset is the reason for all of our successes. But no firm is perfectly in sync with every client. Recently, we lost a client that we had had for several years. So what happened?

About 18 months ago, that client’s leadership instituted a hard cap on their number of customers. That’s right, no more customers. Obviously then, they didn’t need more capacity, and they clearly didn’t need more capital. Their strategic goals weren’t focused on growth; their leadership was focused on holding on to the status quo. Over time, I struggled to provide adequate value to the client, because I royally suck at maintaining the status quo.  

While this example is unique (because most clients are not opposed to organizational growth), it does reinforce the downfall of an unshared mindset and illustrate the intrinsically-linked relationship between more customers, capacity, and capital. 

Increased customers bring increased demands, exposing the need for more capacity. Some client’s increased capacity may be in the form of purchasing expensive equipment or technology which requires more capital. Another client’s need for more capacity may be met by hiring more labor which requires a robust marketing campaign, which requires more capital.     

Alternately, when organic customer growth is the focus, what happens when there is not enough capital to spend adequate resources on a marketing campaign to attract new customers?

Again, the 3 C’s are interwoven. The client may have to cut capacity to free up the capital to spend money to bring in more customers. However, some clients don’t want to do that, especially if they are ultimately hiring employees back after the marketing campaign is successful in securing more customers. 

Maybe a client wants us to create an investor deck to attract outside investments for capital, an SEO plan to get more qualified leads into their sales funnel, or a LinkedIn strategy and content to secure more B-2-B customers. While these solutions become the focus of us (the consultant) and our client, they ultimately lead to securing either customers, capacity, or capital. And the faster we are in agreement on which we are going to pursue, the faster we get to securing growth for the client.    

Now, consider your brand at the moment…

Which C is Your Business in Need of Most Right Now?



Growing their customer base is definitely a top priority for most brands, as it should be. The best way to do this is by first truly knowing who they are. Having a team adept at the latest in market research is therefore a huge advantage. Once you know who your customers are, what they really want, and how they best respond to different marketing, you can develop the most effective strategies to reach them and convince them that your brand is their best choice. 

Meanwhile, your marketing and communications deliverables have to be the perfect blend of visual, verbal, and strategy in order to stand out from the crowd. This is why we’re constantly adding to our repertoire — from aerial drone services to promotional product distribution — to provide clients with anything and everything they need. 



Businesses both big and small don’t always have the resources or know-how to handle their marketing and communications effectively. That’s why most marketing and PR firms exist — to help companies with their messaging so they can focus on other business objectives. 

In my experience, it’s become clear that the more capabilities an agency has, the better they are at weaving a consistent powerful messaging across all channels. Unlike most other agencies, the integrated team of marketing and communications experts we’ve put together can handle just about anything including research, strategy, branding, crisis comms, grant securement, influencer matching, promotional products, and so much more. 



As the old saying goes, it takes money to make money. And as the new saying goes, scared money don’t make money. While smart businesses typically start out with enough capital to back their efforts, most can still use financial support whether from investors or government funding whenever and wherever they can get it. Getting others to buy into your endeavor, however, takes some strong convincing. 

From investor presentations to grant applications, you need to know just what to say as well as how to present it in a persuasive, attention-getting manner to get others on board. I’m proud to say that our team has secured tens of millions of dollars for clients just in the past couple of years alone. 

Two things have become clearer to me now; while our firm’s success is a direct result of our clients’ success, (1) our client’s success is directly related to us being super passionate about helping those who come in with or can develop a clear growth mindset focused on customers, capacity, or capital, and (2) the projects and clients that haven’t wow’d are typically ones without a shared growth mindset. 


I’ve built M:7 to be great at growing any of the three C’s a business might need — as opposed to us specializing in just one. And because they’re intertwined, we’re especially good at strengthening all three. If you and your company have that shared mindset of going full throttle toward real growth, then I say, What are you waiting for? Let’s go!