Listen to what your clients want like your life depends on it

Because your business DOES

Because your business can earn more when you do this

Because your business can earn more when you do this

 

How often do you listen deeply to your clients?

  • Putting your personal agenda secondary
  • Taking your business and financial goals off the table
  • Where you listen to your people like it’s the first time you have ever worked with a client
  • And you are open to hearing the unfiltered truth

Let’s keep it real.  It’s HARD.  Because we have agendas.  Bills to pay.  Financial goals to reach.

But it’s a valuable practice that can help you start nailing MORE  financial goals.

Check out an “aha” I had recently.  I listened to attendees at a workshop I delivered.  And it really opened my eyes to how best to serve them.    

 

If you are a one person business owner, you’ve probably had this occurrence. A business/professional issue. A personal issue. Something that causes you to get into a funk – aka you don’t want to get out of bed and your energy is totally lacking. You have no creativity.

I’ll share two tips for how you can embrace the funk…without letting it destroy your business.

Why I’m not bothered that we didn’t create vision boards at my recent workshop

If you want more than fancy doodads and trips, you'll look for these deeper visioning and goal setting opportunities. Y’all I hosted a vision board workshop. And we didn’t even get to the part where you create the board.  But, I couldn’t be happier!  LOL

Why this insanity you ask???

Because visions boards are about much more than pasting pretty pictures.  It is more than cutting fancy ads about the doodads you want or places you want to travel.

  • It’s about tapping into your core dreams.
  • Uncovering possibilities that you have buried.
  • And drafting a plan to bring this ideas to life.

Without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.

Because here is something many entrepreneurial leaders know about goal setting and dreams:

Why you need a vision board before you start your business

Prefer to read it?  Or don’t have any headphones handy?  The edited transcript is below.

Why you need a vision board before you start your business

This is Malla Haridat here, helping you kick start your business.  I am a small business coach and I love helping folks take their business to the next level.

I just came off of a week of having a nasty, nasty sinus cold, so if you still hear me very nasally, my apologies in advance.

But I’ve just had something in my spirit that I want to get out.   

What is a Vision Board?

So, first of all for those of you that may not know what a Vision Board is. A Vision board is simple.  It is you basically sitting down with your six-year-old self-cutting out visuals or words that call to you.

Stop waiting. Start this before you need the $$$

There is something that entrepreneurs often forget when they are planning all of the details.

 

Nervous about flipping the switch to start your business?  Because you don’t have everything “all together” yet?

STOOOOPPPP the nonnnnnnsense.  You ain’t never gonna get it perfect. Just start.

  • Before you are ready
  • Before you have things organized
  • Or perfect

And for the ladies who are about to flip me the side eye……I’m talking to you.  Start telling people why you can help them solve their problems.  Before you are comfortable.

I was chatting with friend recently.  A really smart woman.  In school getting her Masters. Working full time and handling family and life responsibilities.

She knows I coach entrepreneurs.  She started proudly telling me about what she developed already  in the pre-launch stage of her business.

  • Legal status
  • Business cards
  • Location
  • Website

But there was something missing.  And it’s common for entrepreneurs who are creating businesses that connect their heart with their future invoices.  

You must do this before you zone out for the holidays

Because you can do this 1 thing and set better business goals next year

This is the one key task you must do if you want to set better business goals next year

Take an honest look at your numbers.

I know.  This isn’t the “whoo hooo we are goal setting ” moment that you wanted.  No planners.  No cool strategy maps.  No vision boards or business plans.

Instead, it’s a quiet moment of reflection for some.  Or a “Let’s come to the altar and pray ” moment for others.

All you need to do is ask yourself two questions:

  1. How much did I make?
  2. How much did I spend?

Do not JUDGE your wins or “fails”

If you are anything like the Type As I often work with, you’ll feel like a failure.  It’s easy when you start thinking about your plans for the year.  The comparisons with other businesses.  And what you know in your heart your business can earn.

Instead consider yourself a researcher.  Someone gathering data.  Numbers that don’t mean anything.  No stories.  

The Freelance Isn’t Free Act: 3 tips to leverage this NYC opportunity

3 tips to take advantage of getting paid as a freelancer in the wake of the NYC Freelance Ain't Free Act

I’m still in shock.  The New York City Council recently passed the nation’s first bill that protects freelancers who are not paid on time.

Yesssss!!  This is a game changer.

The bill will protect New York City based freelancers who are not paid by their clients.  Highlights include:

  • Freelancers can require payment within 30 days
  • If they are not paid, they can make a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs
  • If they win the complaint, they can sue for damages plus the original fee

The bill still needs to be signed by Mayor DeBlasio.  But all signs look good.

In the interim, check out City Council member, Brad Lander’s website.  As well, you can google, Freelance Isn’t Free, for more deets.

(And for those of you outside of NYC, stop sulking.  Start talking to your local politicians about the importance.  And check out FreelancersUnion.com.  They are pushing for nationwide acceptance).

This is a game changer.  But consider if your business is ready to take advantage of this major opportunity.   Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

Do you really need a business phone if you are 1 person service business?

Don't drop the cash 'til you figure out the full impact

Yes, you look professional and it's a tax write off. But you might want to dig deeper. How does it affect your business model, your brand, and your leadership?

Short answer:  You look professional and it’s a tax write off.  But you might want to dig deeper.

How does this decision affect your business model, your brand, and your leadership style?

I know you are probably thinking: “Malla, I’m just getting a phone.  It’s not that deep”.

Yeaahhhhh.  It is.  Adding an additional expense has a direct impact on your business.  You want to consider a few things.

Like:

  • Extra time – Someone has to answer it
  • Extra money – There is a new bill
  • Extra time – It can be a distraction

So how do you decide?

Before you jump into the final decision, consider creating a decision matrix.  While it takes time to develop, it will save you in the long term.  It’s pretty likely that you’ll make future business purchases.  With the decision matrix in place, you’ll make them based on strategy AND your gut intuition.  So consider these ideas:

Why service professionals struggle when they start a business

There are so many things to learn when you hang out your shingle. Start first by speaking so that your prospects understand why you

Over the years, I’ve encountered many people who want to start a service business.  Rather than working any longer for “The Man”, they opt to hang up their own shingle.  No more office politics.  No unfair promotions.  Just the projects that they are enjoy.  And checks that they don’t have to share!  Yessssssssssss!!!

Most working professionals do their research.  So they start out like this:

  • Legal registration
  • Print business cards
  • Get a website
  • Start social media accounts
  • Locate office space
  • Wait for clients to show up

And for many, the client “wait” isn’t long.  Friends and family are happy to oblige during the first few months.  They are celebrating and happy to get quality services at a rock bottom rate.

But after a few months, the love of friends and family is gone.  The list is tapped out.  And there are no new recommendations.  So the marketing marathon begins:

  • Networking events
  • Conferences
  • Online groups
  • Social Media
  • Paid ads

But the results are ……crickets.  Alot of proposals.  Alot of “that’s too expensive”.  Alot of “If I had money”.

Why?

Because the biggest thing that many service professionals miss is:

Why it’s so freaking hard to find your future customers

 

Because it doesn't have to be so hard to find your peeps if you make this one mental shift

But why is it so FREAKING hard to find these people on a regular basis????

You get all dressed up for a networking event.  Pass out a ton of business cards.  Schedule follow up via phone and email.  Spend hours on social media posting, liking, and following.  (Well, maybe it was only 20 min.  ‘Fess up.  I was there too laughing at jokes on #BlackTwitter!  lol)

You’ve even tried paid ads and special incentives.  The online marketing gurus constantly talk how this stuff works and suggest ads.

But…nothing.  Crickets.  Silence.  You’d have an easier time finding an empty register at a Back to School penny sale.

So, here is an idea to ponder.