I have a friend who’s trapped in the wrong pond.
She can make sales in her sleep, but only because she continues to accept unattractive clients who pay below her fee level and lead to unproductive, low potential business.
And I understand her dilemma. It’s hard to turn down business when you’re hungry. Everyone fights the battle between obligation and longing.
But at some point, entrepreneurs must be willing to give up wasting their passion on people who don’t appreciate or deserve it. Otherwise they end up battling the point of diminishing returns.
I’m reminded of a question my mentor once posed.
At what point are you working on making a living, versus working on building your company?
That was a crucial turning point for me. Choosing equity over earnings. Choosing to do work that would grow the brand, not just put money in the bank. Because as painful and uncertain as that transition was, I knew that I had to end something to get to the next level. I knew I had to let go of was working today to make room for what needed to happen tomorrow.
Even if that meant pricing myself out of low hanging fruit opportunities. Even if that meant abandoning a market that I was in love with. Even if that meant outgrowing clients that took a chance on me in the beginning. I was willing to give all that up for what awaited on the other side.
And it was worth it.
Turns out, there was a whole new level of market that was more upscale than the one I was currently reaching, and that piece of the pie was clearly waiting for me to eat it. So I started catering to it, doing work that was more leverageable, with clients that were more enjoyable, growing my business in a way that was more equitable. And I never looked back.
I liken the process to a pilot getting close to the sound barrier. That moment when everything starts to rattle and shake and seem impossible. But once the pilot breaks through, once he realizes how smooth it feels on the other side, he looks back and wonders what all the disturbance was.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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