When she said, “It keeps happening again and again,” I knew it was a sign of a bigger problem.
Carissa continued: “I keep accidentally taking on too many projects and having to work weekends and evenings and burning out because I’m afraid to turn down jobs.”
And she’s not alone. I hear from a lot of women in this situation. They’re too busy, but even though they’re in “feast” mode, the fear of “famine” mode later compels them to take on more work.
It’s a vicious cycle. And it’s important to look at the causes of this cycle, if we’re going to look at the solutions.
So where does it come from? Why would a woman who rationally knows that she’s at capacity, and she shouldn’t take on more work if she’s going to have time in other parts of her business…
… make the irrational decision to take on more work, even though she knows she’s going to be super busy and overwhelmed?
When I see this, I know it’s a sign of deeper problems. Not just for Carissa, but for every woman who finds herself in this situation.
First, it’s a pipeline problem. When you don’t have enough in your sales pipeline, and you don’t know how to fill your pipeline with new clients, you feel like you have to nab any client who comes your way now, because you won’t know how to get other clients later.
Second, it’s a pricing problem. If every client is saying yes, your prices are too low. If clients are saying yes too quickly, your prices are too low. Your price communicates your value, and your clients need to know you’re worth it.
Third, it’s a mindset problem. When you’re taking every client that comes your way, and making yourself overworked, you’re in a service provider mindset, not a business owner mindset.
Service providers make decisions in response to their clients. Business owners make decisions through the lens of what will make their business more profitable, more sustainable, and designed to create the life that they want. When you’re overworked, taking any client that comes your way… that’s not sustainable, it’s not profitable, and I’m willing to bet it’s not the lifestyle you had in mind when you started your business.
But there’s good news, because there are key things you can do to get out of this cycle.
First, learn how to build your client pipeline. It sounds counterintuitive, since you’re already busy, but knowing HOW to build your pipeline will allow you to be PROACTIVE about your clients, instead of REACTIVE to the clients who come your way. When you know how to land the clients you want, when you want them, you will be able to take control of your workload and your revenue.
Second, raise your prices. And not just by a little. By a lot. And have the confidence to name your price upfront, say it without justification or explanation, and stand by it. When you can make the same amount of money or more, with fewer clients, it will immediately free up your time and your life.
Third, adopt a business owner mindset. Remember that you are in control of your business. You set your prices and dictate your terms, you decide who you get to work with, you can create the business that creates the life that you want. You are in charge. Not your clients.
But I’m not going to sugar-coat it: all of this takes work, and it’s hard to do on your own. If you’ve never done it before, filling your client pipeline or coming up with more profitable pricing can feel like you’re making it up as you go along. And that means it’s harder to stick with it.
So if you want a proven, step-by-step system to get out of the feast or famine cycle for good, apply for SIGNED today. Spend 10 weeks with me and other awesome women who are learning how to implement this system in their consulting or service-based business.
It’s the system that prompted SIGNED grad and branding strategist Maria Ross to say:
“If you’re ready to get serious about running your business, ease your anxiety over where the next deal is coming from, and just change your mindset and save your sanity, DO IT! Like, now. / I now have systems and templates that are already saving me time and getting me results.”
There are a few spots left for the next session starting on March 6th. Apply today – I’ll see over there!
To your success,