Have you ever set yourself a big awesome totally-aligned-to-your-business-vision-and-dream-life goal, only to sabotage your chances of succeeding? If you have, oh man, do I feel you. I can’t even count how many times I’ve done something like this (I’m talking everything from setting a fitness goal and then not getting to a power yoga session all week TO committing to getting to bed at 10pm only to start watching a new Game of Thrones ep at 9.57pm TO promising myself to submit a guest post to the Huffington Post only to procrastinate wildly all day long, which at least results in an unusually tidy house.)
Sometimes without even realising it, we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to going after what we really want.
This is something I see all the time with women coaches and creatives when we set ourselves the goal of being booked out. Even though we really want it, for some reason resistance and a bunch of self-sabotaging behaviours seem to take hold, keeping us small and wreaking havoc on our chances of success. Eugh!
In this article, I break down 7 of the most damaging behaviours I see us lady-bosses doing and what to do instead. If you’re serious about being booked out and making the journey easier for yourself, read on!
1. Fooling yourself into believing you can THINK and PLAN your way to new clients
Absolutely; being clear on your vision is critical. Obviously, strategic thinking and planning are very important. But many people seem to forget that a core part of manifesting your dreams is actually taking impactful action every.single.day until you get there.
Overthinking and analysis paralysis will kill your booked out dreams faster than any real-life limitations you face. Seriously lady, I’m pretty confident you’ve already done enough planning. It’s time to take a deep breath and go for it.
Spend a little time every morning getting your head set, and then get the fuck out of your own way and get on with taking action. (Wondering what kind of action to take? Check out these ideas: What to do when things are quiet)
2. Discounting like a mofo
No matter what your fear is telling you, just being the cheapest option is NOT a fast track to being booked out. No matter your price point, you must connect with your ideal clients, build desire, build credibility and, you know, convert great leads into great clients. Most people are looking for the best VALUE, not the cheapest option… and that aside, in my experience, price shoppers aren’t likely to be great clients. In fact, I’ve found that if a potential client is trying to squeeze you up front, they’ll continue to squeeze you every step of the way. You’ve been warned!
(BTW there will always be someone, somewhere out there who’s cheaper than you. Competing to be the cheapest is almost always a terrible, TERRIBLE idea. Wish them well and move on.)
3. Waiting for the right time
There are no situations I can think of where taking steps towards your goals isn’t a great idea. Exactly what that step might look like for each of us depends, of course, on our unique circumstances.
It’ll be the right time when you make it the right time (but you already knew that, right?)
4. Trying to figure it out alone
I used to pride myself on my independence and self-reliance and so it took me years – really, a beyond embarrassingly long time! – to realise that struggling on alone is stupid.
Going it alone does nothing but waste precious time and miss opportunities. The hard (and delightful!) truth is there’s no prizes for figuring things out in isolation.
Sure, you’ll probably get there in the end, but I promise it’s faster and way more fun to get help along the way. Perhaps this means you should work with a coach or expert; perhaps you should form a mastermind; perhaps hosting a soul sister dinner once a month is a great idea; maybe investing in a program and an accountability partner is important for you right now; or maybe hiring a project manager, virtual assistant or other team member is the support you need right now.
If you’re serious about being booked out, identify the kinds of help that would be most impactful and enlist support now.
5. Spending all your time on $10 tasks
This is another area I’ve personally struggled with, but take it from me: All those seemingly innocent $10 per hour tasks are in fact dangerous little feckers if you want to be booked out.
By $10 tasks I mean those business support activities that you could outsource for around $10 p/h (for example, processing email, publishing blog posts, fixing minor website glitches, designing simple graphics etc). These activities are important and they probably feel safe and totally within your comfort zone. No doubt about it, those $10 tasks are nowhere near as intimidating as some higher impact (and more usually way more $ per hour if you were to outsource them) activities (like say, writing sales page copy, hosting Discovery Sessions with potential clients and making offers). The killer thing about those damn $10 p/h tasks is that there’s a whole bunch of them. If you’re not careful it’s easy to fill your entire day with them and lull yourself into thinking you’ve productive. But fill your days with $10 p/h tasks, and you’ll forever lock yourself out of the booked out revenue you desire.
When clients come to me saying they’ve been working like a crazy woman, but still don’t have all the clients they want, the type of tasks they’ve been dedicating most of their work time to is often the reason why.
Rather than focusing on $10 p/h tasks, identify the $100+ p/h activities you could be smashing out.
Think about it: If, on average, 30% of all the people you host a Discovery Session with become clients, and your offer is priced at $1,000, and you usually allocate about an hour for each Discovery Session, then you’re making $333 every single hour that you lead a Discovery Session (even during those Sessions where for whatever reason you and your potential client decide not to work together. In essence, you’re still getting paid $333 for every no decision.)
How many Discovery Sessions would you need to host this week to easily outsource all the $10 p/h tasks you’d like done in your business this month?
Likability, credibility and trust are all very important (often more so than our price point alone) when it comes to our potential clients making their purchase decisions. The first step to building our likability, cred and trust quota is putting ourselves out there. And by ‘out there’ I mean literally being seen, connecting with your ideal clients, multiple times a week (heck, maybe even multiple times a day!).
Stop hiding your personality, your opinions, your face, your story, your style, your ideas, your approach, your values. They are your golden ticket. I speak for all your potential clients when I say we want to know who and how you are.
7. Giving up too soon
A pattern I see among women coaches and freelancers in the first few years of business is not trusting or following through on planned strategies. Rather than sticking to the plan they’ve set, fully bringing to life a specific strategy and then analysing and making forward decisions based on evidence, many of us will jump from one half-cocked strategy to another, panicking because we didn’t see immediate results or achieve our ultimate end-game in the first few days/weeks/even months of applying a certain strategy.
If you can relate: please, hold up.
If you’ve been blogging for a few months but don’t yet have an eager waitlist? If you sent a single email to your subscribers yesterday afternoon and haven’t filled your schedule with Discovery Sessions yet? If you hosted your first webinar last week and didn’t instantly make 5 figures? Take a breath. It takes time to master new skills and build momentum. It takes time to generate results (along with iteration, refinement, expert support, resources and a whole swag of other variables).
Seriously, if you want to be fully booked with great 1-on-1 clients, the worst thing you can do is bounce from half-done tactic to half-done tactic every couple of days fueled by fear and doubt. Instead, commit to a single strategy and go all in on following through with it for a specific period of time (say, for example, 90 days), and then evaluate your evidence-based progress before announcing something failed. I have a feeling you’ll be happily surprised at the outcome. But no matter your results, the lessons you’ll be able to apply to your next step will be invaluable.
8. Being inconsistent (I know I said 7, but this baby’s really important!)
If there’s a secret to success, this is it: Keep going, even though life is hard/ you’re scared/ you don’t know how to do something/ you’ve never done XYZ before/ it’s not perfect/ there’s no guarantees/ you’d prefer to binge watch Pretty Little Liars/ it’s easier to scroll through your Insta feed/ it’s raining/ whatever…
It’s not sexy, or glamorous, or always in flow or even fun. In fact, some days it sucks balls. But the dedication to consistently take action and habitually get the high-impact tasks done will see you booked solid faster than anything else.
To be clear, consistency is so important that every (work) day you aren’t consistently taking action in the direction of your booked out dreams, you’re letting yourself down. Every single day counts.
(Wondering exactly what actions I consistently take in my own business? Check out this bad boy: Daily Habits to Get Fully Booked)
I hope you found this article useful. How many of these sabotaging behaviours can you relate to? I’d love to know – let’s talk about it in the comments (Numbers 5 and 6 are my personal Achilles’ heels I need to be vigilant about).
And as always, I’d love you to please share this article with your friends. It might just be the loving kick up the ass they need to take real action towards their goals today. They’ll love you for it (and so will I!). xo