Hate the Hustle? Here’s how to get out of it…
There’s something that I talk about a lot with my mentoring clients and I’ve been meaning to write about it for some time… What I’m about to talk about is the eternal challenge of balancing this “Triad” of business essentials:
– The need to bring in immediate income
– Building towards a “hustle-free” future
– Delivering on promises to existing clients
For example a client will come on a mentoring call and say something like:
“Catherine I’ve got a workshop in three weeks, how can I get more people booked on at short notice?”, or
“Money is tight, I really need some new clients quickly – what should I do?”
Now, if they have only recently started working with me I will usually give them some practical advice about how to attract more of their ideal clients at short notice – in fact I have a whole course on this.
But if they have been working with me for any length of time I like to wag my finger (metaphorically speaking) and ask:
“What have you been doing to grow your list and nurture your community or audience in the past 6 months?”
If the answer is a sheepish “not much” that is usually the reason they are struggling to fill that workshop or attract those clients today.
And this is the big mistake that I wanted to warn you about…
… because the activities that lead directly to a more enjoyable and “hustle free” future are usually the ones that are the most easy to neglect in the need for immediate income, and taking care of the clients you’ve already got.
Need Income Right Now?
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to attract clients to your 121 services, courses, workshops or webinars at short notice.
The bad news is that most of my clients don’t seem to enjoy doing those things! Continually operating on a short-term, quick-fix basis feels stressful, and like you are constantly “hustling” for clients.
Get out of Hustle and into Flow
You’ve probably heard this many times before: The best way to get out of the reactive hustling for immediate income is to grow an audience or community of people who love what you do, see you as the expert, and see what you have to share as valuable. These people who already know about you will periodically step up in response to one of your offers and say “yes please!” to buying from you.
And it’s not just about growing an email list (because that isn’t a magic bullet either) it’s more about remembering that every single name on that list is a human being with a problem you can help solve. It’s about adding value to their lives with genuinely useful information and support.
This is how you keep people in what I call your “Orbits to Yes” until they are ready to buy from you. I’ve had people follow me closely (I’d almost call it stalking except it’s the kind of stalking I encourage!) for several years before finally stepping forward to talk about working together or joining one of my programmes.
It is so much easier and more effective (not to mention enjoyable) to sell “internally” to a group of people who already like you, trust you, and value what you have to say, than it is to sell “externally” when it feels like broadcasting out into the ether with no idea if anyone is even taking any notice.
So it’s Easy…. right?
Yes, it’s easy! All you need to do is spend 50% of your time doing short-term marketing activity to bring on new clients quickly, and 50% doing long-term activity with the aim of developing a sustainable business where you no longer have to hustle every month just to break even. Instead you have an entire community of people ready to respond to the offers you put out there.
The more raving fans in your “Orbits” the less hustle and stress.
Or maybe it’s not so Easy…..
Because then come the clients: Throw some paying clients into the mix and suddenly you have promises to deliver on, sessions to run, admin to do, invoices to raise and process, and courses or events to organise.
And this is when you hit what I call the “hard yards” that characterise Stage 3 of my Business Pathway. That period of time in a business where you are getting clients regularly – enough to keep you quite busy – yet you still haven’t built the platform for a sustainable business without the “hustle and stress” approach. If you regularly question whether you should just pack it all in you are probably in the “hard yards” Stage 3 phase right now.
And with so much to take care of – your clients, your family, your own wellbeing – something has to give. It probably won’t be delivering value to your clients if you are in business to be of service rather than to make a fast buck, and it won’t be the hustle for new clients if you need to pay the bills each month.
So the things that build toward a hustle-free future end up being the first to go.
And it’s not just you – it’s me too
It’s not just you – it’s me too. With over 300 people in my membership, an online course that I run once a year and (sometimes) a small group Mastermind, and ongoing health challenges, when things get too much it’s the growing and nurturing my audience that tends to “give” first.
So if you find this balance a challenge, do not despair. Know that you are not alone and getting that balance right is all a rite of passage on the way to enjoying a successful business.
In the meantime here are some things you can do to help make it easier to balance it all:
- Don’t try and follow too many strategies for growing your audience at once. Stick with just 1-2 that give you great results rather than spread yourself too thin.
- Choose an activity that is most in flow for you when it comes to your audience growth and nurturing – because if it feels hard, or you dread doing it, that will become yet another reason you won’t prioritise it.
- Get consistent – do whatever you need to do to allow the nurture and growth of your audience to become a non-negotiable part of your business – block out the time and don’t let anything get in the way. It’s your hustle-free future that’s at stake.
- Batch your content – if content marketing is one of your pillars, block out 1-2 days per month to create all of your marketing and nurture content for the month ahead.
- It’s also a great idea to hire a VA to help you with your marketing, even just for a couple of hours a week – having a deadline you have to meet for them is a great way to keep you accountable
The good news is that once you’ve put in the time and effort into growing your audience, learned how to serve them and have got into a regular routine for doing so (which takes time to get into, but in the end, is much easier and more fun than the monthly hustle), it will only be a matter of time before you can wave goodbye to the “stress and hustle” approach to sales and marketing forever!
I hope you’ve found this useful. Maybe it’s helped explain why you are finding things a bit harder than you thought you would? Do let me know in the comments below, I always love to hear from you.
How to Create a Business you can Fall in Love with
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