Copyright 2006 Mary Foley
About a year or so ago the national news told us that scientists in Europe cloned a sheep. As a watched the story I fantasized about cloning myself.
One Mary would take care of all the logistics to run my business like e-mails, phone calls, sending out packages, filing, bills, etc. Another Mary would dedicate all of her time to networking, marketing, and following-up on sales calls. When the story was over I was snapped back into reality. The two additional Marys vanished and I was left with just myself to do it all. And I was exhausted.
If youre like me, one of the reasons you went into business for yourself was to feel more satisfied and fulfilled. The constant feeling of never getting enough done or not having enough clients for cash flow doesnt quite meet the satisfaction criteria.
Striving to be bodacious, I mustered the courage to be in charge of my life by trying to solve this problem. Here are two important things Ive come to realize:
1. The feeling that you need more time AND more clients NEVER goes away in business.
Its part of the package. Or, better yet, part of the adventure.
In fact, these same feelings exist in the big companies of Corporate America. They are always anxious about their sales revenues and always pushing the clock to get out the next product version or new model.
So, Ive come to accept this tension as normal, and Ive come to accept that it actually serves a purpose of pushing me to work smarter. Thats where the adventure part comes in, which leads me to my second realization.
2. The only way to get more clients is to dedicate more time to marketing and selling, in all kinds of ways.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, I realized the problem for me wasnt my brain; it was my fears.
When I was honest with myself I admitted I was fearful of hiring someone else to do the numerous operational tasks because I was afraid I couldnt afford it. I also admitted that I was afraid I didnt feel as comfortable with marketing and selling as I wanted to and I might not be good enough at it, perhaps even fail. Throw in that I could do administrative tasks pretty well, plus the embedded work ethic that Id be lazy not to do them, and Ive done a dandy job of masking to myself the real issue.
So, what did I do about all this? I took the risk to hire people to help me. For me, it was a BoMo® (bodacious moment). I hired each of them for their particular skill (like book keeping, design, web mastering, and marketing) and only in the proportion I needed. I immediately felt some relief.
Then, recently, I got weary and frustrated again. So much so I almost lost my zest for my business. Why? Because all the daily tasks crept up again and I was working many 10 hour days, 6 days a week, on the stuff that wasnt bringing me clients. I finally admitted I needed an assistant. I should have done this long ago!
The lesson: you have to keep monitoring yourself and be prepared for more changes as you grow.
Many years ago when Gary Larsons Far Side comics were popular I saw one of Einstein at a chalkboard writing his famous formula E=mc squared. Underneath it read, Einstein discovers that time actually does equal money! It doesnt take being a scientist to really get that; it simply takes being an entrepreneur!
If you want more time and more clients, I encourage you to answer this simple question: Am I creating the time needed for marketing and sales calls in order to generate the revenues I need to make my business viable? If not, why not? Go about removing the excuses and make at least one change to free up your time from non-revenue generating tasks to ones that reach out to customers and make money. Its the bodacious thing to do!