I’ve noticed a theme in many conversations I have with women coaches and experts: even though we have big dreams, it seems the real-life expectations most of us have for our business right now are in fact very VERY low. Over and over again, convos are peppered with ‘do you think I need to drop the price?’, ‘My dream number is 5, but I’m realistic – 1 new client this month would be incredible’, and ‘I know fully booked isn’t for me right now’.
I reckon aiming low like this mainly comes from 3 things: 1) a fear of big noting ourselves (‘What if I’m not as good as I think I might be? How embarrassing!’), 2) an assumption that to be fully booked we’ve gotta be somehow more than we are now: smarter, cooler, more famous, more established, something, and the BIGGIE: 3) a belief that not everyone can be fully booked (and if not everyone can be, we’re probably not going to be one of the chosen few!).
For the record, I think that’s a crock of shit. Even though it sounds cliché, experience tells me it’s true: while time in the saddle and know-how DO count (and you KNOW I love a practical, step-by-step strategy!), it’s our beliefs and expectations that are the real culprits keeping us small.
Change your beliefs and everything else follows.
Don’t believe fully booked can be a reality for you this year?
Check out these 5 bullshit myths about being fully booked that are keeping you playing small and you’ll see what I mean:
Myth #1: You must have a big list to be fully booked
Why it’s bullshit: There ARE some business models where success demands thousands of engaged contacts on your subscriber list, high traffic to your blog, and an IT girl social media community, but being fully booked with great 1-o-1 clients ISN’T one of those models.
Back in my consulting days, I reckon we had less than 100 contacts on our list. In fact, we didn’t even have a social media presence. And we were booked out – often months in advance – *almost* all the time.
The number one thing that impacted our fully booked status wasn’t our list size or subscribers. Rather, it was the amount of contact and number of conversations we had with potential clients (which, for the record, we treated like gold).
I know actually having a conversation with a potential client about their needs and whether or not you’re able to help them can be intimidating. But seriously, if you’re open to growing your comfort zone and give it a go, connecting LIVE 1-on-1 with just 10 ideal clients in your community this week and letting them know that you’d really love to work with them *could* result in MULTIPLE new clients this month (and for most women I know starting out in business, 3 new clients this month would change everything for them!).
Myth #2: Only a few people at the top of their game in my industry can be fully booked (aka Not everyone can be fully booked)
This is such a prevalent limiting belief. Why it’s bullshit: Let me break it down for you by asking this question:
How many premium 1-on-1 clients would you need to be fully booked with great cash flow this month?
For many coaches, consultants, designers I know, that number is usually between just 1 to 5 new clients a month. Yep, just 1 to 5. That means for many people I know, their fully booked roster would be 60 clients or less each year. Also, keep in mind they don’t need or even want to sign all 60 clients at once.
Now think about your industry as a whole. Think about those approximately 60 clients you want to serve and the likely size of the entire market of potential clients. Even if you work in an extremely specialised niche, I bet there are thousands, perhaps even tens or hundreds of thousands of great potential clients out there for you.
When you think logically about the number of clients you’d need to rock a full house schedule compared to the size of your entire potential customer base in total, I hope it becomes clear that being fully booked is within your reach.
In fact, my take is that being fully booked is more about being genuine, sharing your excitement and gifts, and mastering some key marketing skills, than anything else. And that means that being fully booked is a skill you can learn.
Myth #3: You can’t make 6 figures working only 1-on-1
Why it’s bullshit: I know from repeated personal experience and my client’s experiences that this is plainly not true. This myth is probably only prevalent thanks to the work of sneaky marketers feeding our self-doubt that ‘who would pay X to work with me’ OR ‘no one would pay X to work with me!’ (with X being a figure that feels totally beyond what you think is reasonable for YOUR services right now…).
Reality check: If you’re looking for fast cash flow, working 1-on-1 with clients can be the FASTEST way to generate 6 figures (or whatever your special goal number is!).
FYI there are THOUSANDS of women just like us out there right now, booked solid with plenty of great clients, that you’ve never heard of. They aren’t famous online in the circles you move in, or the most qualified, or the most established, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t killing it rocking a full schedule of 1-on-1 clients and bringing home the goods. And you can too.
Myth #4: To be fully booked you’ve gotta be an asshole who makes people squirm until they agree to work with you
Why it’s bullshit: Fully booked is much more about consistently caring, striving to understand, being helpful and sharing your gifts with people you know you can help rather than pressuring or wearing people down in some kind of inauthentic, sleazy, icky way.
Sometimes learning new skills – like how to host fantastic discovery sessions – can stretch us, make us feel a little awkward or even feel confronting in the beginning, BUT that’s very different than feeling like a slimy shister!
Myth #5: Being fully booked means you’re super busy
Why it’s bullshit: Like so many other things, being fully booked is what you make it.
If you can only work between 10 am and 2 pm, or if you know life is sweeter when you have 2 full mornings a week to yourself, or if you hate the idea of doing client facing work every day, or if the idea of back to back client sessions makes you wanna barf, or if you can really only work with 3 clients a month, or even just intensively with 1 client every 90 days, that’s perfectly grand.
The key is to know, very clearly, what you’d like your dream schedule to look like. Then, once you’ve filled all the available client spaces you are officially fully booked.
BTW: I know from personal experience that sometimes (especially if, for example, you’re trying to manage a chronic health condition!) the idea of being fully booked can feel scary and hard to manage. But the truth is that run off your feet, exhausted and hating life is NOT the price of admission to the world of fully booked. It IS possible to rock a schedule that nourishes your wellbeing AND your clients.
I hope this post inspires you to reflect on and bust through any limiting beliefs that could be keeping you playing much smaller than you need to in your business. As Marianne Williamson’s famously said (and I’m obviously paraphrasing here!), who the hell are you to NOT shine bright, help the people only YOU can best serve and be fully booked in your business? Mind-blowing success isn’t especially reserved for others. Why NOT you, hey?