Last week we covered a few ‘tough love’ ways to deal with toxic clients. Here are a few more to help you be aware of what to look out for.
1. When You Terminate or Graduate a Client, Suggest What to Do Next
A huge part of the anger or hurt that can come from a client who has been terminated is the feeling they’ve been ‘dumped’.
If you offer next steps they can take, what you’ve actually done is turn it from a dumping to a graduation—much easier on a client’s pride (and in some cases, emotions). Do it right, and they’ll leave you with a sense of hope.
2. Hold on to Your Joy
Don’t let negative nellies suck the joy out of your day. If you’ve had a particularly draining client you’ve had to deal with, take fifteen minutes to recharge.
Think of the things you are grateful for, things that make your life worthwhile. Think of what or who brightens your days. Be thankful and repeat your favourite affirmations.
It’s not practical to ‘fire’ every single client who causes you grief: Especially if the problem is your own lack of assertiveness and unwillingness to protect your boundaries. Sometimes you want to say no, sometimes you want to say ‘go’ – but what you end up doing (much to your frustration – after all, you’re a business owner; this should be easy-peasy) is putting up with it.
1. Taming Time Suckers
This type of client often pays big but expects an exclusive on your time. He calls, emails, wants your advice on stuff outside of your area of focus, and expects you to fit in unscheduled sessions at the drop of a hat. (You may especially notice that he always wants you to see him or Skype him during hours you have explained are not available – like your evenings and weekends!)
He’ll even phone you or email fifty times on vacation!
If a client is losing you money by sapping time you aren’t offering and cutting into your...
In my last blog I covered 5 ideas about how to get your motivation back. Here are six further ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
1. Align Your Work with Your Life Purpose
If you combine your area of genius with a deep, inner life purpose that drives you, regaining your motivation comes naturally.
Your life purpose is not external, like “teaching kids to play hockey”. That would just be a manifestation of what drives you. The sort of life purpose to identify and embrace is spiritual, even if you are not. It gives your life meaning. It’s something you want to live for every day, like “leading by example”.
Even if you don’t like journaling, this is a highly useful tool to embrace when you are on an inner journey. Articulating your thoughts on paper helps you quickly see through premises or statements that aren’t really true (just as it does if you talk about a topic in a group). It...
How do you help your clients to motivate themselves?
You ask questions, encourage them, call them out on avoidant or excuse-based behavior, praise them for steps forward. All of this you can apply to yourself – become your own client.
That’s one useful tip… and here are five more ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
1. Recognize that Goals and Paths are Two Different Things
You’ve been focusing on your goal but not really getting closer. Your business is much too busy, and you feel like you’re expending all your energy on clients.
If this is happening to you, you’ve likely wandered off the path towards your goal. Re-evaluate your path: Is it moving you forward? Are you letting yourself get caught on tangents?
Lack of progress can diffuse motivation. Rethink your path and set it up to really move you forward.
2. Create Checkpoints
Milestones or checkpoints – these are markers along the way...
Here are 6 proven ideas for building your confidence so you can magnetically attract new clients. Choose and put into practice the ones that best resonate with you.
1. Start Small
Do you have a big change to make? Don’t wait for the “right time”—start small. For example, if you want a new office but can’t afford it, try buying a new piece of furniture or an accessory for your office that will make your life easier—like a bookshelf; or even just a shelf. Or a new lamp, to reduce the chronic eyestrain you suffer. Or even just some flowers because you deserve them!
When you start to surround yourself with things that signify success or make life easier, you are sending yourself a strong message - “I CAN have this in my life! I deserve this!”
2. Make Confidence a Habit
Contrary to what others might think, no one is born with supreme self-confidence. It has to be learned. And it...
Here are a few ideas to help power up your day. Start a new two-hour morning routine or add them elsewhere to supercharge your productivity.
1. Start Your Day with a Balanced Breakfast
Many people like carbs or something “light” for breakfast—but your brain and energy levels will do better if you eat a breakfast that is balanced. That means including protein and fresh produce too.
If you really don’t want to eat bacon and eggs, there are lots of healthier alternatives. A glass of milk or yogurt for protein; protein powder mixed in with porridge or with a smoothie; a protein bar plus an apple (that gives you all the protein and carbs you could want).
Adding spinach to your smoothie also gives you those crucial “leafy greens”—and you won’t taste spinach. It becomes a neutral flavor in smoothies.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Don’t just think lunchtime will do as a...
We're all inundated with emails, right? Not sure how to get control of your inbox? Here are 3 easy tips.
1. Create a Specific Time Daily for Reading and Responding to Emails
Part of not being reactive (and creating a great new habit): Set aside a specific time slot for dealing with email. Schedule it in! Give yourself a start and finish time: If you do, you’ll most likely find that you grow much more efficient at getting through them quickly.
And if you find yourself with time to spare after responding to the last one, reward yourself—go sit on the veranda with a glass of iced tea and smell the roses, or go for a walk round the block—whatever fun activity you can fit into the remaining time in your email slot.
2. Make Email Templates
Do you send the same type of email, over and over? If so, take one of your sent emails (preferably the one that got the best response) and turn it into a generic email...
While there are common causes and reasons for procrastination, there are even more “cures”. Here are 7 ideas to find strategies that work for you.
1. Banish Guilt
If you’ve been a procrastinator since childhood, it may have been made worse by overly-authoritarian parents or teachers. Procrastination can also be a type of avoidance behavior, where those who feel habitually feel powerless take back personal power in the only way known to them—procrastination on tasks they are ordered to do.
Along with avoidance-based procrastination unfortunately goes its offshoots—guilt and shame. We hear the voices of those authority figures telling us that we “blew it again”, “can’t be depended on”; even all-or-nothing statements like “you’re a complete failure” (usually accompanied by comparisons to a perfect sibling or neighborhood example)—long after we’ve grown up and...
It's really easy as a business owner to get so wrapped up with your clients work that you actually forget about your own business. Starting up on your own is really exciting and full of promise but if you're not careful the business can soon take over your life, exhaust you and worse still, if you take your eye off the ball, financially ruin you. Poor cash flow is a renowned small business killer.
Here are 5 tips to keep you on track
1. Work out your Figures
You need to be clear exactly how much your overheads are and ensure the prices your are charging to your clients are inline to make you a profit. Produce a spreadsheet, write down all your overheads and look at your prices. Have you included ALL your overheads? Here's a biggy - REVIEW. Review your prices and overheads at least quarterly.
2. Check Your Bank Statement
Are you paying out for something you don't use anymore. Check your bank statements for regular outgoings and cancel...
Your business is growing and you’ve taken on one or more additional staff members – but are you really maximising their skills and getting the best out of them?
Or, if you’re honest, do you find yourself still doing some of the things you employed them to do?
Perhaps you’re still running round like a headless chicken and yet they seem somewhat under-utilised…. or they are not doing things the way you want them done…. or they are busy doing ‘other things’ …. or you’re so frantic that it is just quicker to do it yourself at the moment…. one day you will sit down with them and show them what to do (but that time never comes, right?!)
Well, help is at hand!
3 Reasons why business owners find it difficult to delegate
Firstly, we have to assume that you have the ‘right people on the bus’ to use that old cliché. If you haven’t, then no amount of delegating will help you. Take appropriate action...