What A Difference An Hour Makes…
I was chatting to one of my VIP clients this morning. She told me that she was feeling a bit fed up because she’d somehow got herself into a situation where she was doing lots of things for free.
Now, over the last few months while I’ve been working with this client, she’s taken on every challenge I’ve thrown her. She dropped her old, unprofitable business model and quickly found a niche in something she loves.
She’s become a prolific creator of great quality content. She has learned all sorts of new technology so that she could build her online business and she perseveres until she gets the hang of it.
In short, she’s an ideal client.
And she’s stuck at it, despite the fact that the first 3-6 months in any business, is always the foundation time where you feel like you’re marketing like crazy and getting very little return.
She’s got through times of desperation where she didn’t know where her next money was coming from, but she carried on. She’s got two small children who, between them, cause her severe sleep deprivation and yet, she’s still carried on, with her eyes on the prize, trusting that all her work is going to pay off.
But this morning she was exhausted. She’d had 45 minutes sleep the previous night. She was feeling that strange calm/drugged/pained/detached feeling that all sleep deprived mums know only too well (I’ve literally only just got my 5 year old daughter sleeping through the night, so I’m speaking from experience).
But she had a morning free while her little girl was at nursery. So we had a chat. And she told me that she’d started giving away her time for free, almost without realising.
She had a lightbulb moment the previous day when she was sitting in a hotel, miles from home, because she’d agreed to meet a woman who had been picking her brains for free for months, halfway between their houses so she could continue to pick her brains for free. (I know! I was, like, YOU DID WHAT??)
She had what I call an OMG moment.
What am I DOING??? Then she looked at how else she was spending her time and realised that a pattern had developed where she was doing more for free than she was charging for.
And then she realised that this pattern had started after Christmas when she was trying to get back into work mode after a few days off. She’d started off by responding to Facebook messages on her page, answering questions for people who asked if they could ‘pick her brains’. Before she knew it, she was driving miles, spending her fuel and time to meet someone who didn’t value her enough to pay her for her knowledge and experience.
Anyway, the good news is that after a chat and a pretty stern talking to from me, my lovely client got her mojo back. I mean seriously got her mojo back. She realised that she needed to shift her focus and start valuing herself.
I got a Facebook message an hour later saying ‘You’ll never guess what, I’ve just sold 2 places on my coaching programme’, then (I kid you not) I had 5 more messages that afternoon saying ‘I’ve sold more’. She was a like a different woman. All it took was for her to get back in the zone and she was like a woman possessed.
The even better news is that she’s not doing any more for free. And she knows she can create cash when she needs it. Which means she can have some ‘me’ time built into her week, to help her counteract the sleep deprivation!
The moral of the story is this.
If you don’t value yourself, no-one else will. As soon as you wake up to that fact, and believe in your amazing talents, you’ll be back in the flow and the money will come.
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.