I was three years into it, and my business was doing fairly well. I had survived the emotional rollercoaster of grueling through the ‘pre-launch’ branding and service development phase, the elated ‘birthing of my business concept’ stage, and the dip of ‘oh crap this is harder than I thought it would be’ phase. I almost died as I grinded my way through the ‘pound the pavement I need clients’ phase and rounded the bend on ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I won’t need to live under the Granville Street bridge after all’ phase, during which time I was working with a steady stream of clients and raising my prices to better reflect my real value.
In short, while 50% of other businesses were closing their doors in the first five years (Women’s Enterprise Centre statistic) I had miraculously moved myself through the ‘cash-strapped, sell my belongings’ survival phase and was getting my groove with marketing and sales conversion (it was hard work, but I did it thanks to the help of my coaches and mentors!). I was getting really busy, which is what I wanted – BUT – something still wasn’t quite right.
When I first started out I just wanted clients and it didn’t really matter who they were. I could serve anyone and everyone needed my services (sound familiar?) It was only when I had a lot of clients I discovered that some of them really weren’t the best fit, to the point that when I received emails from them I would feel a gentle tugging at my heartstrings – a feeling I later identified as dread. They weren’t bad people they simply weren’t the right type of client for me.
You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s the client who doesn’t pay on time and the one who wants a discount. The one who keeps changing her mind about the details of the scope once the proposal has been agreed upon and the one who seems to know exactly what he wants because evidently he is the expert in your field. Perhaps it’s the one who doesn’t recognize that you offer a whole range of services not simply the one service she comes to you for. There is also the client who doesn’t value your time and seems to soak up so much more of it than anyone else. Or maybe it’s the one who complains about your work, has bad boundaries or who is downright disrespectful.
Eeek! What a nightmare.
The question for me became: “How do I get more of the clients I want and less of the ones I don’t?”
If I kept doing the same thing in the same way, I would continue to get the same results.
In all honesty, I was tired of tolerating. I was done with shrinking back and downplaying my gifts and talents to appease others. I was so done with staying quiet and not speaking my truth for fear of getting a negative reaction. I was finished with being super busy and being unsatisfied. I was ready to make more money and work less. And most of all I was prepared to dump the emotional burden I was carrying around as a result of giving so much of myself away. I was depleted and burnt out.
It was time for a mindset shift.
It was time to declare what I wanted and proactively make some changes.
I wanted to work with more of my ideal clients, the ones who would appreciate and acknowledge my talents and skills by paying me what I am worth, and those who valued my time and expertise. I wanted to work with people who were high-achievers and motivated to take their business to the next level – not the excuse makers who weren’t willing to do the work.
As I worked through the painful process of self discovery, I developed a set of tools and strategies that helped me become clear and more self aware of what I wanted the next level of my business to look like. To make the shift, having a clear vision wasn’t enough. I needed to reposition my marketing communications and refine my conversion strategies for effectiveness.
This is what I discovered:
- The more I declared what I wanted, the more discerning I got about who I took on as a client
- The more I valued myself, the more other people valued me
- The more clear I was with my non-negotiables, the easier it was for me to set expectations and enforce them
- The more I anchored into my vision, my purpose and my goals, the more I was willing to give up what I was doing, in order to step into the next best version of myself and the next evolution of my work
So what about you?
How long have you been tolerating?
Are you committed to working through the discomfort and being uncomfortable in order to learn what you need to do to have the results you want?
Will you give yourself permission to do this?
It’s not enough to want it, you have to make the right changes in order for it to materialize.
Over the past five years, I have packaged all of my learnings into what I now teach in my business development coaching program so that my clients can benefit from my experience without having to go through it themselves. It’s a proven-system, which borrows from traditional business fundamentals (taught in business school) coupled with my real-world ‘in-the-trenches’ experience on my journey to building a six-figure business. If you are tired of slow growth, or no growth in your business and you want a shortcut to fast-track your ability to get more of the right clients and grow your business with more ease and confidence, contact me for a 45 minute ‘get acquainted’ call.
If we worked together and you had the support, a clear path of actions and accountability, so that you could work with 80% of your ideal clients rather than 40% of them – how would you see that support making a difference for you emotionally and financially?
Contact me to schedule a consultation. Within 45 minutes, I will paint a picture for what you need in order to work less, get paid what you’re worth, increase your revenue and serve more of the people you want to work with.
If not now, when?