I need to get the word out now! I must fill my classes now! I can’t wait and let the opportunity slip past! I need to fill my diary, I need clients now.
How do I do it all at the one time? I have to, I need the money… etc.
I expect this has been the case all year, but now it feels like it has to happen NOW!
In reality there’s never a good time to start.
Really, it’s true. But that also means the best time is now.
Not for any reason than it gets easier when we take action.
The down side of the ‘It must be now’ thinking, is it creates false precipices for us to fall off. We make arbitrary decisions on dates, we put unrealistic expectations up front because we feel pressure, and we make decisions based on urgency rather than what will work best.
I’ve done it. Waited and worried then felt the panic rise and rushed off the cards to the printers. I’m sure you’ve guessed it – yes I’d misspelt psychotherapist on them!
A colleague of mine procrastinated for ages then tried to do it all at once and spent a lot on a sign with the same problem, she’d misspelled it!
I got a call recently from a business owner who I’d spoken to 4 years ago. It was 10:30 at night when they called my home number. ‘I have to get my Facebook page up tonight!’ I was told.
Well, if it wasn’t an issue for 4 years it’s not likely to be an issue now.
The problem with ‘the rush’ is we do things stressed when we rush. Quality suffers, we make mistakes, and we load too much pressure on at the start.
Now, let’s be clear. I like to push and to get a lot done, but I also realise a longer view gives better results.
Here are three pieces of advice for building success rather than a headache 😊
1. It’s not that people don’t want it, just that it takes longer to make it happen.
I see people trying to fill seminars and classes on a few weeks’ notice. That’s very hard to do. If you’ve a large following and people know about you and your offer already then that is fine, but if you’re new or launching something for the 1st time you will do better to have a longer campaign.
I generally can fill a room of 30-40 people for a detailed training, by campaigning that event over 10 weeks. The same event at 3-4 weeks notice, to a new audience, will have 20-25 people.
Now, forgive my lack of modesty here, but I’m good at putting my message out. Don’t expect to fill a room on your 1st outing unless you’re already good at marketing.
The courses I’ll see filled in January are planned in November, offered in December, and pushed in January. The courses I see filled in September are planned in July, offering in August and pushed in September. Give people time to see what you’re about more than once. Build interest and bookings over time.
Ideally give an early bird offer to cover the costs of the event right at the start. This way you know it’s going ahead and can get yourself out there with more conviction when the worry of ‘will I get enough people to go ahead’ is removed.
Every January and September I see my newsfeeds filling up with ‘event cancelled’ notices as people’s hopes and dreams crumble – not because they are offering things that are not wanted, not because people are not interested, not even because of the prices, but because the way people make new buying decisions requires more time.
It’s not you. It’s not your help. It’s just marketing. Cut yourself some slack. Take a deep breath and plan again on a more realistic scale.
2. Just as people need time to make a decision, you need to take time to build success.
Life is not the X-Factor. Simon Cowell is not going to pluck you from obscurity and fill your room. Even in that competition most people have been struggling for years before becoming an overnight success.
It’s fine to be ambitious. But use realistic planning.
Schedule your year. What is your goal for each month?
If it’s to build to 20 clients a week, that needs to scale. If my plan is ‘Get 20 clients’ I’ll have a feeling of failure at every step of the way.
If my plan is get 2 next week, four more the week after and so on then I can celebrate success as I go and it’s a more manageable task.
If the plan is to earn 60,000 this coming year it needs to be broken down to a schedule to make it both doable and low stress along the way.
40,000 in client sessions = 400 client sessions on a fee of 100.
If I’m working 46 weeks in the year I’d need a plan for building towards getting that few clients extra each week, rather than just assuming I’d have 9 a week straight off.
So maybe that should be:
Week 1 = 2 clients
Week 2 = 4 clients
Week 3 = 6 clients
Week 4 = 8 clients
Week 5 = 10 clients
It can seem demoralising to be looking for just 2 new clients each week but that’s much easier to build. The bottom line: this time next year, where will you be if you do this rather than try the all at once method again?
So, the other 20,000, where does this come from?
A 12-week evening course/group session.
Campaign it for 2-3 months. Planning let’s say for 25 people each paying 150 = 3,750
Run the same thing for the same course all over again in 6 months’ time. That’s a total of 7,500.
Perhaps a 2-day weekend workshop for 25 people at 250 each.
Again, campaign this for 2-3 months in advance and it’s much more likely to succeed.
Do that twice a year and it’s another 12,500
That’s a potential 60,000. The only hope of getting there is to plan it. Schedule, it. Campaign it.
Plan your year and build each step in a realistic timeframe to make a better future.
Panic-planning to fill something now is a poor option to developing a real schedule in advance.
You have time. Success is not a race. It must be built one block at a time. Be gentle with yourself. Work regularly and be smart!
3. Rather than ‘what must I do to be successful right now?’, look at ‘what must I do right now to be successful?’.
What can be done today to build success? This question is way more powerful than ‘How can I be successful today?’
The odds are that success can’t be achieved in one day. Fair enough to say that?
However, to be in a better place this time next year we must act now.
What useful step will make a difference today?
What step will make the next step easier and add to your success?
If we don’t know what to do then the 1st thing to do is make a list of what we feel is needed but which we don’t know how to do.
For example, if we don’t know what should be the 1st step then the 1st thing on our list is – find a system that works and follow that until we can adapt it as needed.
We can model successful people. We can learn from professionals. We can brainstorm with friends and colleagues. By identifying the problem in even simple ways we can move forwards and address them.
There is never a dead end. As long as we keep moving and looking for options we’re creating chances for success. Sitting at home feeling sad and doing nothing until we break out in a mad rush of activity that doesn’t work very well is not a plan. But it’s what happens when we don’t have a plan.
Schedule realistic time into the plan!
Seek answers for any question that holds things back!
Success is possible. Six years ago, I was seeing 1-2 clients some weeks. Now the waiting list is weeks long. My seminars are booked out. My online training is being taken all over the world.
Why? I kept going. I build one step then the next. I realised it was not about me, my help, or my method. It was about connecting with people and that takes time.
Give it the time it deserves, give it the energy it deserves. Make a difference that matters.
Every best wish sharing your help with the world!
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He is also the Founder of Therapy and Coaching Success that specialises in helping Therapists, Coaches and other Wellness Practitioners, connect with those in need, build their diaries and earn the income they need.
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