Letting go of this one thing will help transform your business
|When I was just starting my business in 2006, I simply wanted to get my foot in the door somewhere. I needed new clients and was doing everything I could to get them.|
The biggest source back then was going to live events consistently and always connecting with my mentor and his group of colleagues. (Before the social media craze.)
What alluded me was that I was so desperate for clients I could have been more discerning. It was all about the hustle and bringing in money.
I had just gotten laid off from my corporate job, and we had a big mortgage, taxes, and a stepson to put through school. I was beyond stressed.
That’s when I decided, with the help of my mentor, that I’d take on as many clients as possible doing all different things in hopes of narrowing my focus after I got more experience.
The downside was that I still took on clients that weren’t totally aligned with my vision and values. I ended up really miserable with a few of them.
The good news was my communication skills were up to speed, so we would mutually agree to stop working together. And in some cases, I, unfortunately, had to outright fire them.
One thing that was always consistent was my integrity. And if it didn’t work out – I’d give them their money back. This only happened once in the 16 years I’ve been in business.
Yet, every so often, some clients slipped through that I had thought were a good fit.
At that point, I really started to dig deep as to why this was still happening.
Why was I attracting these people that appeared to be a good fit on the outside? Then, as we started working together, things fell apart.
That’s when the aha moment happened while listening to one of Pema Chodron’s audiobooks…The challenge for me was that I was always ATTACHED to the outcome.
For whatever reason, I was focusing on the money and the outcome and not really paying attention to the early interactions with the client. (Especially if they came from a well-known referral partner.)
If I’d been more aware and present, I’d have seen all the signs and not been in that position.Looking back, I’m GLAD that happened to me. It gave me tremendous growth and insights.
Mainly it’s about letting go of my attachment to working with a specific client or attached to the money that would be coming in.
Talk about hard, especially if you need it. This takes some discipline.
Some things I learned that might help if you find yourself in this position:
1. Know your dream client inside and out – What are their values, vision, and mission, and how have they treated other vendors? Do they pay on time? Do they have integrity? Are they willing to do what it takes and more? Make a list of what you’re looking for in your dream client.
2. Use questions or positioning on your website such as – “You’re my client if…” Or “You’re not my client if…” Or “Don’t reach out to me if…” An example from my site to inspire. Feel free to borrow and expand on this for your business.
3. Let go of Attachment – Buddha taught that “the root of suffering is attachment.” What’s constant in the universe is change. And change often involves loss. If you allow yourself to become attached to someone or something, you will suffer when it’s gone or changes. How do you do this in a work-client situation?
4. When someone wants to work with you and is a referral, have a first initial conversation and make sure you send them some questions to answer in advance. Let go of any preconceived notions of working with them. Be honest with yourself and realize why you’re doing what you do.
My motto is if I don’t resonate with the person or if it doesn’t feel like it will be a fun gig, I’m not doing it. The critical part is — We can literally work with anyone in the world. We don’t have to settle. The money will still come from somewhere else – promise.
Don’t Make Your Decision Based on Money – This is where a lot of folks get tripped up. Suppose you follow what Buddha says above about attachment. When you let go of the outcome of that client and turn them down, I promise you someone bigger and better will come along.
I’ve got many examples to prove this in my own business. I know, it’s REALLY hard when you need the money. That’s where believing in yourself, having a good coach, having faith in your skills, and loving what you do will take you to new heights – promise.
This is a big leap – being unattached to the outcome, of not just work, of anything else in your life, such as buying a house.
When we bought this house, we had a few issues come up, and we kept questioning ourselves, is this the right decision? Are we too attached to living in this house?
We needed to be able to walk away if it wasn’t meant to be.
How do you know?
For me, it’s when too many issues or doors start to close that I take notice. And I also note how I feel about it.
We all have amazing intuition when we take the time to be still and access it. And I’ve written about it a few times here.
Start today, being more aware and present of what you’re attached to and how you start paying attention and even work on letting go.
It’s a journey, not a sprint, one step at a time, one day at a time. You got this, and I’m always here for you if you want some help, encouragement, or support.
Reach out – hands at your back.
Note: Heading to Vegas this weekend to learn more about growing your business online, not using Facebook or Instagram. I‘m looking forward to sharing what I learn with you. 🙂
Below are some pics of the week. It’s all about dogs. There’s a group of us in the neighborhood that walks our dogs every morning. That’s Harley and of course, Emma who’s always happy to pose for a picture!
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