“I know I should be looking for new clients all the time, but I’m too busy working with the clients I already have.”
That’s what Simon told me – does it sound familiar?
He started his IT consultancy four years ago, and he now has over 50 clients. As you might expect, he’s earning a comfortable living … and he’ll be able to keep doing so, as long as he’s willing to work over 55 hours per week (which he confessed was his usual workload).
Financially, he’s fine.
But he’s paying the price in terms of personal time, energy and relationships. In short, he’s earning enough, but he’s knackered.
Like so many in his position, he feels successful – his bank account reassures him he’s right.
And like many others, he wants “more success”.
His solution: find more clients.
His problem: he’s already working 55 hours every week serving those 50+ existing clients and has no spare time or energy to generate more new clients.
There’s good news for Simon, though – he’s trying to solve the wrong problem.
His problem isn’t a lack of time to find more clients … it’s that he’s working with too many clients already.
Naturally enough, the idea of working with fewer clients was utterly counter-intuitive, he simply didn’t believe it was possible.
Fortunately, Simon was open minded enough to learn how a different approach would work for him.
Within four weeks he’d put the new approach in place, and had already (despite being very busy at the start) converted two of his existing clients into a very different arrangement. These two clients now had a much closer relationship with him, and were paying over 5x the previous arrangement.
Importantly, he was now enjoying these new rates while working far fewer hours with each one.
By repeating this with four other clients, he could maintain the same earnings level, and reduce his weekly workload from 55 hours to just 32 – and could choose to continue supporting the remaining clients, either himself, or he could bring in someone else to do this work for him.
In one smooth movement he’s moving from a one-man-band, overworked consultant into the leader of a business with a clear path for growth.
Simon tells me this is pretty exciting for him.
I agree – I’m excited for him too.
All starting from a change in perspective, and an openness to explore a different possible approach to working.
If Simon’s situation rings any bells with you, maybe you’d like to do what he’s now doing too? If you’re open to seeing how he did it, please comment, email or message me any way you like, and I’ll be glad to share it with you too.
My experience tells me not many will believe it’s possible … and that’s ok, because it’s natural for people to feel successful when they’re working hard. In fact, that seems to be the commonly agreed definition of success nowadays!
However, if you’d rather have the same (or higher) results with fewer clients and in less time, maybe it’d be worth asking the question?