More money…. AND more time to spend with family, on fitness, or (GASP!) just enjoying life.
This is what we want, right?
So, my question is: Do you want it bad enough to KILL for it?
Because that’s EXACTLY what you’ll have to do. Metaphorically speaking, of course. And it’s exactly what I did to move my own income past the six figure mark some time ago and up substantially again recently– while still enjoying plenty of time to hang with my kids, work on my tan, date my mister — again, read incredible books, and feed my newly discovered zumba- and MapMyRun- fetish. So, let’s get into the “KILL” strategy, shall we?
First, let’s start at the beginning. Too many business owners come to me under the delusional belief that they are ONE GREAT CLIENT away from “making it.” Hint: They’re not. Maybe one client away from, I don’t know, making their bills… but not ONE GREAT CLIENT away from “making it” the way they’ve been imagining. Truth be told, many of these people have been ONE GREAT CLIENT away from making it for years and years. They’re robbing from Peter to pay Paul. They’re making money, but not nearly enough. Oh — just wait until that one huge client comes through. THEN, they’ll be golden.
Like I said, it’s delusional. I can say this, of course, only because I’ve been there. I’ve had to borrow money to float my bills… I’ve landed big clients, thinking this was going to change everything…. only to discover that I was still hustling around like a bat out of hell, and my bank account was still fairly unimpressive. Every entrepreneur I knew was wearing a CRAZY SEXY BUSY badge around like some badge of honor. So, was this it? I mean… would I ever really “make it?” How would I break out of this “busy and near broke” cycle?
Well, there’s NOTHING I hate worse than being “busy.” Okay, VERY FEW things I hate worse than being busy. So, I had to figure out a way… or I had to give this thing up. Period. None of the standard solutions were working for me. I’d hired and fired. I’d re-orged my work. I’d pretty much done it all… and was still “stuck” — doing “okay” financially, but never really knocking it out of the park. AND, I was working all the time.
So, here’s my little “hindsight is 20/20″ strategy for BUSTING OUT of your current RUT, and creating MORE MONEY and MORE TIME to enjoy it! =)
First, I had to realize that this “I’m ONE BIG CLIENT away” philosophy was flawed. And delusional. But, mainly flawed. You see, this philosophy reveals (and hopes to leverage) your OVER-dependence on your clients or potential clients. This philosophy puts YOU in the needy position and THEM in the power position. (You want it / NEED it to be the other way around.)
Next, I had to realize that this “I’m ONE BIG CLIENT away” philosophy was delusional. (Have I said that already?) It’s delusional because NO ONE CLIENT will ever build your business in a sustainable and profitable way. Ever. It takes so much more than that. Plus, have you ever BEEN in a position to be overly-reliant on ONE great client? YUCK! (more on that here, in this article for TheBizzyBuzz.com.)
Okay, so, I let go of that ONE GREAT CLIENT away strategy. Instead, I took a more holistic look at my business. My grandad’s been farming since he was four years old, and I’ve got plenty of his wisdom in me. So, after about a decade of watching him and his 89 year old brother tend a garden year after year, I sat down one day and looked at my business as my own garden.
My marketing efforts were the seeds I planted. My soil were my target markets. My follow up was the watering. Not every seed became a plant. And not every plant survived. You get the idea.
So, first, I took stock of what I had. I looked at each client, each “offer” I was selling, and everything I was doing to nurture this thing… to grow it. And, I listened to my Grandad rattle on and on about gardening. I was “getting” the whole idea that my business would never be dependent on any ONE thing. It needed LOTS of things, LOTS of nurturing, LOTS of seeds, etc.
FINALLY — when my kids were still relatively small — I saw the piece I was missing: THE KILL STRATEGY.
I looked over to find my Grandad “weeding” the garden — NOT OF WEEDS — but of plants that were underperforming. He called them rotten plants. Essentially, they were just weak. Like Fern’s dad was going to dispose of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. Kill off the runt. Leave more milk for the others. Cruel, maybe. But a common “farming strategy.” In gardening, you kill off the weak, under-performing plants, to leave enough room and nutrients to nurture the strong plants. OMGosh! THIS is what I’d yet to do for my business.
You see, I’d been running around every day & all week serving EVERY client that came my way. My garden was full of small, weak clients. Those that were paying too little… paying late… and generally — weren’t a pleasure to work with. They’d try to re-org our arrangement and make me chase their money. They were constantly asking for more, needed a TON of extra help, and — honestly — I hated working with some of them. They’d not follow through, reschedule constantly and were always “waiting” on something in order to take action. I called them “waiters.”
OMG! Were my rotten clients choking out my business in the same way these weak plants would have choked out the stronger plants in my Grandad’s garden?
And COULD this be the secret behind working less and making MORE?
You betcha! All of the sudden, it made sense to me! I had to kill off my “rotten clients” to make room for better ones. (METAPHORICALLY speaking, of course!) I had to fire them! Fire my clients? Yup. To make room for more and better clients!
I made a list of the clients who were “rotten” or “weak.”
And I made a list of my clients who I absolutely LOVED.
I fired the former, and wrote a love letter of renewed commitment and excitement to the latter.
Immediately, I had more time. Immediately, I had a renewed zeal and excitement for my business. Within a MONTH, the “more money” part of this almost magical “kill strategy” had shown up in my account.
So, are you willing to kill off (i.e. FIRE) your own rotten, resource-robbing clients? More money and more time to enjoy it requires a BOLD kill strategy. If you’re willing, reach out to me and let me know how I can help you do this. Maybe you need help deciding WHO to fire. I have a resource for this. Or maybe you need help deciding HOW to fire them. (After all, you don’t want to incite a riot.) Well, I have several firing techniques I can share with you.
So, if you’re ready…. let’s go weed our gardens together!