Here’s a personal question for you. How much money did you make last year?
More than the actual number, though, I’m interested in how that number makes you feel. Are you proud of it? Do you feel like you blew your goals away? Does the number excite you and make you want even more for next year?
Or does your number make you sigh, and feel like you let yourself down? Like you wonder if running this business is really the right thing?
I get it. Maybe you spent this year working hard to establish yourself as an expert. You refined your visibility strategy and you’re getting out there. People have the chance to see you the way you want to be seen.
But that’s not the same as actually closing new clients.
And like I said last week, you don’t just want to pile more on your plate. More work might translate to more money — but it can also lead to more exhaustion, more overwhelm, and more unhappiness.
Who needs that?
When you’re planning ahead for 2020, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself that go beyond “How much money will I make?”
How do I improve on last year? That might not mean making more money. It might mean maintaining your income — but working less, or working differently, with clients who respect your time and boundaries, or doing projects that feel less like work.
What clients/projects did I enjoy? Think about the days when you woke up excited to get to your office and dig in. Think about the people whose names you were delighted to see in your inbox.
What clients/projects made me miserable? What made you dread getting out of bed in the morning? What names triggered that PTSD-style reaction in your body?
What do I want more of this year? Do you want to do the same work and charge more for it? Do you want to spend more time on site or on stage? More time at home with your family and projects you can handle on your terms?
What did I take on for the wrong reasons? How can I step away from that? It happens to all of us. Money is tight, so we say yes despite the red flags. Or the fit isn’t perfect, but we think it’s a stepping stone to something better. Or the client is a nightmare, but the name recognition is too important. Think hard about the times you said yes even when you knew it was a bad idea.
How much did I enjoy my business? Do I want to keep doing this? Remember, “how much money will I make?” is one number — but you have to consider where that money comes from and how hard you’ll work for it. Is it making you miserable?
One of my SIGNED students told me that 2019 was the first year that she didn’t think to herself, “Should I just give up and go back to my job?” And that’s because she finally feels like she has enough business — and a solid plan for how to get more when she’s ready for it.
If you find yourself constantly thinking, This is too hard, ask yourself why you think it’s too hard.
It’s probably because you don’t know how to close the sales you really want.
Take your 2019 projects and clients and divide them into two lists: the ones you liked, and the ones you didn’t. Do you know how to get more of the ones you liked? Or do you just look at the list and feel frustrated, because you can’t figure out how to get more of what you want and ditch the stuff that makes you crazy?
What if you could 5x your earnings and build a 6-figure pipeline? Or book a year’s worth of revenue by the end of February?
What if you had a plan to create the year — and the life — that you want, with the clients and projects you love the most?
What if you could do all of that WITHOUT having to awkwardly pitch your services, without cold-calling, and without lowering your prices?